Life Without Fear

BAME community
The Office for National Statistics (2019) data has shown that rates of domestic abuse amongst BAME communities are o!en higher than in white communities, and were also highest amongst those of mixed ethnicity.**
There are many different reasons why this may be happening, such as religious and cultural beliefs.
Please contact someone for help if you’re experiencing domestic abuse.
* Source: Domestic abuse in England and Wales overview: November 2020
** Source: ONS 2019 study: Domestic Abuse in Ethnic Minority Communities

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident, or a series of incidents, of violent, manipulative and emotional abuse towards your partner (including your children), ex-partner or family member.
Domestic abuse is an incident, or a series of incidents, of violent, manipulative and emotional abuse towards your partner (including your children), ex-partner or family member.
Anyone of any age, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexuality can be a victim of domestic abuse.
The majority of cases in the UK are experienced by women and committed by men, but men can also experience domestic abuse.
Research has shown that every year, 2.3 million adults aged 16 to 74 experience domestic abuse (1.6 million women, 757,000 men). One in 6 men and one in 4 women will be a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime.*
This guide explains what domestic abuse is, and how to find help.

If you experience domestic abuse

The person causing harm may try to justify their actions, but there is never an excuse for domestic abuse.
It’s important to remember that it is not your fault.
They may be struggling to come to terms with what they are doing, and try to encourage you to stay or forgive them a”er each incident.
But that does not mean you should feel trapped.
You do not need to help fix the situation, or fix them.
The following pages give examples of what domestic abuse may look like.
Call 999 if you believe you or someone else will cause harm.
The pages at the end of this guide have contact details of charities and communities you can contact if you need help.
Is it me?
Womens Aid have a short video based on the novel Dressed up as Love, by Bhavna Limbachia. It covers the type of comments, thoughts, and feelings experienced by those who have lived through domestic abuse.
Watch the ‘Is it me?’ video on womensaid YouTube channel
Call 999 if you believe you or
someone else will cause harm

Types of Domestic Abuse

Abuse can take many different forms.
The following pages give examples of what domestic abuse may look like.
It doesn’t matter if it happens once, or several times – there is no excuse for domestic abuse.
Talk to someone if you feel unsure and need help.



Emotional and Psychological

Sexual contact

BAME communities
Domestic abuse affects people from all ethnic groups and can take different forms. In some communities, abuse may be seen as culturally typical because of family traditions. If you have recently arrived in this country, it may be much harder for you to understand the support available to you.


Gaslighting is an example of psychological abuse.
A person or a group of people cause someone to question their own sanity, memories, or understanding of reality. If you experience gaslighting, you may feel confused, anxious, or as though you cannot trust yourself.
Some phrases you might notice include:
“You’re making things up.”
“That never happened.”
“You’re being dramatic.”
“You’re blowing things out of proportion.”
The aim of gaslighting is to confuse the person into doubting what they see, hear, feel, and know about what is real and what isn’t. It’s important to stand firm in your truth.
This means believing in yourself, your feelings, and what you know to be true.

Stopping gaslighting

Staying safe online

If you’re worried about someone finding out you are looking for help, Women’s Aid have instructions on how to cover your tracks online.

Contact with others

Controlling someone’s phone and social media use, and going through their messages is a sign of coercive and controlling behaviour.
It can happen instantly, or over time. For example, asking you to remove photos or to stop following certain people or pages.
Call 999 if you believe you or someone else will cause harm.

If you are worried about someone else

Asking others to talk about domestic abuse isn’t always possible.
They may feel frightened to talk about it – or not even willing to admit it is actually happening.
Some victims o”en feel they need to stay with their partner or family member, in the hope things will change, or that they can help them.
But this can o”en make situations more difficult.
What to look for if you believe someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse:

Advice for friends and family

It can be hard to know how to support a loved one who is being abused by friend or family member.
It may be that you have contributed to the situation in some manner, by thinking that your actions are simply ‘part of tradition’ for example.
There are things you can do to make them feel supported and safe.

How you can help someone

Womens Aid have a short advice video on what you can do if you’re concerned about someone.
Watch the ‘How can you help someone experiencing domestic abuse?’ video on womensaid YouTube channel

Remind them, it’s not their fault

They may feel it is their fault they’re in this situation. They are not to blame, and help is always available to them.

Create a safe space

Safety for you and your loved one is priority. Create a safe place to talk (like a room, a public place, or an online chat room) and move to if they feel threatened.

Tell them you’re worried

You might notice they’re acting differently (diet, appearance, personality). Ask if there is anything they want to talk about and is everything OK at home – but try to do this in private or securely online if possible, perhaps in your safe space.

Encourage them to contact helplines

Reassure them there is help from charities, communities, and the police when they need it.

Record updates for evidence

Make a note of times when they have contacted you or mentioned disturbing behaviour by their partner. This can help with future police and legal action.

Protecting your child

Domestic abuse can have a serious, lasting impact on a young person’s life.
This includes their mental and physical wellbeing, as well as their behaviour and attitude towards relationships, family and friends, and their own confidence.
Even when you think your child has not seen or heard any abuse, or they continue to act normally, doesn’t mean they haven’t noticed incidents.
They may feel too scared or nervous to talk about their experiences.
All children and young people deserve to feel secure and grow up in a safe home.

If a child reveals abuse

If a child talks to you about domestic abuse it’s important to:
Contact NSPCC for more information
Helpline 0808 800 5000
Under 18s helpline 0800 1111

Make a safety plan

A safety plan is a list of steps you can follow to protect yourself and your children when you need to leave your place in an emergency
Include these steps in your plan:
Turn to the back pages of this guide book for groups and communities you can contact for more help.

If your parents or family are being abused

Domestic abuse is when someone like your parent or a family member, bullies or hurts another adult in your family.
For example, your father and your mother.
It is not your fault, and there are people you can talk to if you feel unsafe or you are worried about someone else.
Call Childline 0900 1111
Call 999 if it’s an emergency. If you can’t speak, make a tapping noise or cough to answer. Press 55 to signal an emergency.

What you can do to help yourself and others

It’s normal to feel worried or frightened if you see loved ones arguing or fighting.
There are things you can do to make sure you feel safe and calm.


You are not alone. There are helplines and emergency services you can contact.

Emergency services

Greater Manchester Police

Find out what classes as domestic abuse, how to report it and how, under Clare’s Law, you can find out if a partner has a history of domestic violence or abuse. We’ll also show you how to delete your visit here from your web history, if you need to.

UK Government

Information about domestic abuse definition and how to get help
Leaflet, aimed specifically at women in black and minority ethnic communities, covers advice on three steps to escaping violence and abuse.

Greater Manchester

End The Fear

Anybody who is experiencing domestic or sexual violence can find help, support and advice here.

Domestic abuse helpline 0161 636 7525

a free, confidential line whose staff can provide advice, help you formulate a safety plan, and access refuge spaces across the country. (Mon – Fri, 10am – 4 pm excl. Bank holidays)
24/7 national helpline 0808 2000 247 Helpline for male victims of abuse 0808 801 0327


UK homeless charity which also has details on finding a safe space if you have le” home because of domestic abuse
Call 0808 800 4444


Refuge at a confidential address in Birmingham. They provide a safe environment for women and their children who require emergency short-term accommodation and support a”er they have le” a situation of domestic abuse
Call 0800 008 6622


Safety4Sisters works to support migrant women across the North West who have experienced gender-based violence and who have no recourse to public funds or state benefits.

UK charities

There are many charities and safe houses across the UK. Even if you are not nearby, you can still contact them if you need advice and they will help you find local support.

Lantern Initiative

Workshops and seminars on Muslim mental health. They also host weekly Chai & Chat dropin sessions for Muslim women in Peterborough.

Karma Nirvana

National Honour Based Abuse Helpline, train professionals, gather data to inform policies and services, and campaign for change.
Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre Al Hasaniya Moroccan Women’s Centre has been part of the Tri Borough Angelou Partnership since its establishment in 2015. The partnership consists of nine other specialist organisations that have come together to support women and girls experiencing domestic or sexual violence and harmful practices across Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea.


For over 25 years, we have been helping to make women and children safer. With services across London, we work to stop domestic violence and to reduce the harm it causes to women, children and families.

Faith Regen Foundation (FRF)

Funded by The Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and the London Community Foundation (LCF), Faith Regen is running a two-year programme in London (focused on Tower Hamlets), to support 80 women at-risk of or in standard-medium-high risk domestic violence through a range of services.


IKWRO is a registered charity which provides advice and support to Middle Eastern, North African and Afghan women and girls living in the UK, who have experienced, or are at risk of all forms of “honour” based abuse, including; forced marriage, child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), or domestic abuse.

Kiran Support Services

Kiran’s overall philosophy is to offer empowerment, freedom & light to survivors of domestic abuse.

Latin American Women’s Aid

This charity runs the only refuges in Europe and in the UK by and for Latin American women and children fleeing gender-based violence. We also offer holistic and intersectional services, providing everything a Black and Minoritised woman needs to recover from abuse and live empowered lives.

LBWP (London Black Women’s Project)

We are here to support women and girls. We can help with information, housing and homelessness, safe space, healing and recovery through art, advice and advocacy, keyworking and therapeutic support.

London Fatwa Council

London Fatwa Council offers legal advice and counselling in accordance with Islamic law. It acts as a voice for women silenced by violent, abusive and forced marriages; empowering them to achieve freedom and justice from their oppressive situations.


Aids in Domestic Abuse & Violence, all of their advice and support is given in the strictest confidence.

Muslim Welfare House

MWHT is proud to present the EHUK Project. Domestic abuse, forced marriage, abuse of New Muslims and many other forms of abuse happens in all communities. As Muslims it is our duty to challenge this behaviour and support victims.

The Muslim Community Helpline

We have consistently worked with mosques, community leaders, schools, media orgs. NHS, mental health orgs and society at large to tackle the kind of ‘taboo’ subjects of domestic violence, sexual abuse, depression that have caused such distress to our callers. We have worked tirelessly, over 28 years, to work with Muslims and non-muslims to pursue the best possible service and support.


Nour provide trauma-informed, culturally competent services to adult survivors of abuse, including, but not limited to, survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and childhood abuse. We work with survivors from minoritised communities, particularly from the Muslim community, however, our services are open to any adult survivor of abuse. We provide free counselling, legal advice, emotional and practical support, financial assistance amongst other services, with the aim to enable survivors to heal from the trauma of abuse and lead more meaningful lives.

Wellbeing Connect Services

We are a leading BAME Mental Health charity in London with and excellent track record of providing valuable and life changing services to mental health, e.g. Domestic Violence / Abuse Support – Holistic Assessment.

Muslim Women’s Network Helpline

The helpline is a national specialist faith and culturally sensitive service that is confidential and non-judgmental, which offers information, support, guidance and referrals. The helpline also supports women of other faiths, and no faith, as well as men and boys in need of help.

Respect Men’s advice line

The Helpline for male victims of domestic abuse


Saheli gives Asian women a chance to get away from violent domestic abuse situations by providing an environment which is safe, culturally familiar, and which helps them come to decisions of their own about their next steps

Sakeenah Foundation

Specialised support to Muslim victims (sisters and brothers) of domestic abuse, sexual violence, stalking, and harassment.

Roshni - honour based victims and South Asian

Support for Black and Minoritised communities affected by domestic abuse including Forced Marriage & Honour Based Abuse.

Sharan Project

Support and advice to vulnerable women, particularly of South Asian origin, who have been or are at risk of being disowned due to abuse or persecution.

Women's Aid

National charity which supports survivors of domestic abuse, and has details about raising awareness, how to create a safe plan, and staying safe online.
They also have details about local support groups and safe places

Find a local support servicea

Places of safety and refuge


Panahghar provides free dedicated BAME multi lingual support, advice and advocacy and access to safe refuge for victims and their families of domestic abuse, sexual abuse or gendered abuse in Coventry and Leicester.

Eden house

EHUK provides safe housing to women and children from across the UK helping hundreds of victims, for both new Muslims to non Muslims.