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Domestic abuse support

Domestic abuse is unacceptable. Everyone deserves to, and should, live without fear. There is no excuse.

Information about domestic abuse and support services can be found on the Stockton Information Directory.

Read our  Domestic Abuse Strategy 2022 - 2028 (PDF) [466KB] .

Urgent Support

If you have any reason to think someone is in immediate danger, or your life may be at risk, call 999.

  • if you don't speak or answer questions, press 55 when prompted and your call will be transferred to the police (pressing 55 only works on mobiles and doesn't allow the police to track your location. If you don't press 55 your call will be ended)
  • if you're deaf, hard of hearing or can't communicate verbally you can register with the emergency SMS service. Text REGISTER to 999
  • if you're experiencing domestic abuse or are concerned for someone who is, report it to us by calling 101
  • if you're deaf, hard of hearing or can't communicate verbally, use our text phone service on 18001101


Harbour is the main provider of services for services for individuals or families affected by domestic abuse in Stockton-on-Tees.

Harbour offers support to individuals and families by providing safe accommodation and practical support in the community to women, men and children, including a range of one-to-one and group programmes.

For those who have experienced sexual violence, Harbour can provide a counselling service, with both individual and group support.

Harbour can also provide advice to those worried about a friend or relative who they believe may be in an abusive relationship.


Men's Advice Line

Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline, email and webchat service for men affected by domestic abuse.

The organisation offers advice and emotional support to men who experience abuse, as well as signposting to other vital services that help men keep themselves (and their children) safe. The helpline's friendly advisors provide confidential support, practical advice and information.

Visit the Men's Advice Line website, webchat support is available Wednesday, 10am to 11:30am and 2:30pm to 4pm.

Men's Advice Line telephone service is available Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm. It is free from landlines and mobile phones within the UK, and also free from BT pay phones. Your call will not appear on itemised bills.

  • telephone: 0808 8010327

Email support is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm.


Halo Project

The Halo Project Charity is a national project supporting victims of honour-based violence, forced marriages and FGM.

The charity provides appropriate advice and support to victims, and works with key partners to provide required interventions and advice necessary for the protection and safety of victims.

Their free and confidential service is tailored to suit the needs of the individual and includes practical support, advocacy services including support to access legal service and to attend court, and referrals to emergency refuge accommodation and housing providers.


Protect yourself and stay safe while seeking help

Please visit the Women's Aid website - Cover your tracks online for information on how to protect yourself whilst seeking help, and 'cover your tracks' in terms of online safety.

Understanding domestic abuse

Anyone can suffer from domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. Domestic abuse is a crime and is completely unacceptable. We can help.

The law has recently changed, and more behaviours and actions are now classed as domestic abuse; further information can be found on the GOV.UK website - Domestic Abuse - how to get help.

Some common forms of domestic abuse include:

Coercive control

Coercive control is an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.


Psychological and emotional abuse

Domestic abuse does not always mean the abused is being physically hurt. Psychological and emotional abuse includes scaring, isolating or controlling a person. This type of abuse is often a sign that physical abuse may follow.


Physical abuse

Physical abuse is any violence or unwanted contact with the body is classed as physical abuse. A victim may be hurt in different ways. Some examples of physical abuse are: 

  • scratching, punching, biting, strangling or kicking
  • throwing objects
  • pulling hair
  • pushing or pulling
  • grabbing clothes
  • grabbing to prevent you leaving
  • grabbing to force you to go somewhere


Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is any action that pressures you to do something sexually that you don't want to do. This can happen to anyone either male or female. Some examples are:

  • touching you in a way you do not want to be touched
  • hurting you during sex
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex
  • make unwanted sexual demands 
  • pressure you to have sex

If your partner has sex with you when you do not want to, this is rape. 


Honour based violence

Honor based violence is controlling behaviours and practices that are said to protect the honour of a family or community. If your family or community think you have shamed or embarrassed them by behaving in a certain way, they may punish you for breaking their honour code. This is a violation of human rights and a form of domestic abuse.


Female genital mutilation

Female genital mutilation is the procedures involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or any other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons. It can also be known as female circumcision or 'cutting' but has many other names.


Financial abuse

Financial abuse is a pattern of controlling, threatening and degrading behaviour that restricts a victim's freedom. Using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner's current and future actions.

It can include:

  • using credit cards without permission
  • putting contractual obligations in their partner's name
  • gambling with family assets 


Economic abuse

Economic abuse involves the control of a partners or ex-partners money and finances. This type of abuse creates to make someone economically dependent which limits their freedom. Without access to money and the things money can buy, it is difficult to leave an abuser and access safety. This type of abuse can make rebuilding your life challenging, you can be left with no money for essentials. Survivors can be left with large amounts of debt and poor credit ratings.


Harassment and stalking

Stalking is a criminal offence. It involves a person becoming fixated or obsessed with another person. Victims are subject to constant unwanted attention that makes them feel:

  • pestered 
  • scared
  • anxious
  • harassed 


Online and digital abuse

Online domestic abuse can include behaviours such as:

  • monitoring of social media profiles or emails 
  • abuse over social media such as Facebook and Twitter
  • sharing intimate photos or videos without consent
  • using location trackers or spyware


Forced marriage 

Forced marriage is a marriage conducted without the valid consent of one or both parties and where force has been a factor.  


You are not alone and there are services which can help and support you every step of the way to a life free from abuse.

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