'Let us help you': Council's plea to people affected by domestic abuse
"If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse, then please let us help you."
That's the plea from Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council as the Government's Domestic Abuse Bill makes its way through Parliament.
Domestic abuse can take many forms including psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, and controlling or coercive behaviour.
And in Stockton-on-Tees, the Council contracts specialist charity, Harbour, to provide a range of support services to people affected by it.
"Everyone has a right to live without fear and domestic abuse in any form is completely unacceptable," said Councillor Jim Beall, the Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Leisure and Culture.
"Sadly, it's a huge problem and one we need more people to report because we firmly believe is very much under-reported.
"Our message to anybody affected by domestic abuse, whether you're a victim or know somebody who's being abused, or you're a perpetrator yourself, is please let us help you.
"Our domestic abuse services are provided by Harbour - they've been helping people for more than 40 years and they've changed many lives for the better. They can help very quickly and nobody will judge you.
"You don't have to go through this alone."
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse contact Harbour's 24-hour helpline 03000 20 25 25 or visit www.myharbour.org.uk.
And remember, if somebody is immediate danger call the police - dial 999.