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Domestic Abuse

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What is domestic violence?

Domestic abuse isn’t just about physical violence.   There are many ways people can abuse someone, including physical, emotional, financial, sexual, and psychological.  It can include bullying, stalking, harassing threats, isolation or humiliation as well as forced marriage or so-called ‘honour based violence’.


Any abusive, controlling or violent behaviour by a partner, ex-partner or family member is domestic abuse.  Domestic abuse comes from the abusers need for power and control over their partner, ex-partner or family member.  Abusers can be male or female; partners; ex-partners; siblings; children; grandchildren; parents; grandparents or other extended family members.


All children and young people living with domestic violence and abuse are also at risk of emotional harm and may be directly abused as well.


Many people experiencing domestic abuse will never experience physical abuse, but they may experience controlling and coercive behaviour which can be as damaging and dangerous. We will ensure that we will consider all of the risks that anyone is facing and act accordingly


If you, or someone you know, is suffering from domestic abuse, please click here for more information on noticing the signs of domestic abuse and how to access help.




Stalking and harassment is a common feature of domestic abuse and is a pattern of repeated, persistent unwanted contact and behaviour around the victim and their family and or friends.  It causes the victim to feel intimidated and in fear in every aspect of their daily life.  Stalking is a crime of power and control and stalkers tend to obsess about their victim and refuse to accept the victim does not want a relationship with them.  The risk of stalking is highest for people who have recently separated or divorced.


In November 2012, new criminal offences came into effect; ‘stalking’ and ‘stalking where there is a fear of violence or serious alarm or distress’.   In addition to the new offences, the police were also given new powers to enable them to fully investigate stalking cases.


Honour Based Violence and Forced Marriage


‘Honour’ based violence is used by families to control behaviour in relation to perceived cultural and religious beliefs.  Honour based violence is different to other forms of abuse as it is often committed with the approval and collusion of family and community members.  There are many things which can be seen as someone bringing dishonour on the family or community, such as: having a relationship outside the community; wearing clothes or having a job deemed as ‘unsuitable’; other ‘inappropriate’ behaviour.


‘Honour’ based violence can lead to: physical and emotional abuse; disfigurement; kidnap; forced marriage and worse.


There is a radical difference between an arranged marriage and a forced marriage.  A forced marriage is often undertaken through emotional abuse and manipulation, bullying or threats of or actual violence.  Full and free consent must be part of any marriage otherwise it is an abuse of Human Rights and in 2014 Forced Marriage became a crime.


HALT can support people at risk of honour based abuse and/or forced marriage with a range of measures and safety planning.


To contact us, please call or email us:

24 hour helpline: 0113 246 0401

Referrals: 0113 246 0401

Client Line: 0113 243 2632

Email us:


Registered charity number: 1087583


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