If you are affected by domestic violence and abuse, it’s likely that you have lots of questions about what will happen if you talk to someone or report it. You might even feel you don’t have a choice but to stay with an abusive partner, because you don’t know where to go or what to do if you leave. You might worry about what will happen if you report it.
The ‘Get comfortable talking about it’ campaign is welcomed by our Independent Domestic Violence Advocates at Leeds Domestic Violence Service – because unless we do get comfortable talking about it, people won’t know the answers to their questions or understand the amount of support available to them if they are affected by domestic violence and abuse. Nik Peasgood, Director and IDVA Service Manager tells us more about the Leeds Domestic Violence Service.
Leeds Domestic Violence Service is an all-round support service, offering immediate help to high risk victims, and then supporting them with legal advice and support at court. We also help those affected by domestic violence and abuse to find housing and resettle.
We are often asked what the police can do in terms of domestic violence and abuse, and what support is available.
Reporting it to the police can be the first positive step to end domestic violence and abuse. If you do report it, with your consent the police will refer you to our service so that you can get independent information and advice, and your own personal advisor or advocate.
If the abuser is arrested, Leeds Domestic Violence Service will be there for you every step of the way. We can let you know what happens with an arrest, whether the person is charged, when they will appear in court, and any other developments. We will offer to go with you, so you never have to feel alone.
Many people who we support are parents, who are worried about what will happen to their children and whether they have to allow their partner access to them. If you have children, there is lots of local support available – from our service and other local agencies. The safety of the children is more important than the rights of the parent to see them, and local agencies will work to protect the children from risk.
The Leeds Domestic Violence Service can advise about family court orders that regulate who sees the child and when, and who the child lives with. We can also help look at whether you could get legal aid to help you through court.
I hope that by writing this, more people experiencing domestic violence and abuse will realise that there is so much help available to them, and that this will make them feel able and safe to talk to someone and get the help they need. Please remember – you never have to feel alone.
For more information and advice, please call us on the 24 hour helpline number –
0113 246 0401.
Nik Peasgood, Director and IDVA Service Manager of HALT