Domestic abuse

If you are experiencing domestic abuse from a partner, ex-partner or family member, you can get free and confidential help.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can take many forms including:

  • Physical abuse may include slapping, punching, spitting, pinching or grabbing
  • Emotional or mental abuse may involve constant criticism, threats to you or your family, not allowing you to sleep or have your freedom, withholding food or money.
  • Sexual abuse may include being forced to have sex without consent or to do things that make you feel uncomfortable
  • Harassment may include phone calls, following you, turning up at work or where you are socialising, sitting outside your house.

Coronavirus - Safety planning when in isolation

  • ALWAYS keep your mobile phone charged and with you
  • USE a code word with friends and family so they know that if you call or text them and use the code word, they need to contact the police. Or agree with them you will send a blank text if you need the police. If neighbours are aware of your situation, ask them to call police if they hear sounds of an attack
  • USE a code word with children to let them know they should leave the house. Agree with them before where they should go
  • DON'T drink alcohol together as the probability of abuse increases. If your abuser insists you drink, add lemonade or have a soft drink in between alcoholic drinks. Alcohol reduces your ability to think clearly and it's difficult to reason with a drunk person
  • IF you are drinking, make sure you both are eating properly. Keeps snacks available and don't skip meals
  • KEEP your bank card and car keys (if you have a car) in a safe place where you can access them quickly. Keep a little cash in your pocket if you can
  • USE your judgement and intuition with your abuser’s mood. Keep a close eye on their body language. Nobody knows them better than you know them. If a situation is escalating, try to leave the room
  • IF you can't get out of the house, go to a safe room that you can lock. Consider purchasing a Howsar Quick Lock from Amazon or eBay. They can be slipped into a pocket and they will give you enough time to call 999. Alternatively, put a door wedge under the door once you're in the room
  • IF the situation is likely to escalate, stay out of the kitchen, bathroom, garage, or rooms where there are possible weapons. Stay away from the top of the stairs
  • THINK about the quickest route out of your house. Consider risks that are unique to your home. Make sure your children's toys are not blocking routes and exits
  • PACK an overnight bag and hide it somewhere if it's safe to do so - eg with a neighbour for example. Ensure you pack ID, birth certificates, medication, passports etc.

How can I get help?

You can get help and support from a number of local and Greater Manchester organisations:

Domestic Abuse

Police (non emergency)


Police (emergency)


Wigan and Leigh Domestic Abuse Helpline - Support and advice for victims or anyone concerned about the wellbeing of others.

01942 311365, Monday to Friday, 7am to 7pm

DIAS (Drop In And Share) (external link)

01942 495230

Victim Support (external link) - Greater Manchester and Wigan

0300 303 0162

RESPECT (external link) - Help for those using violence or abuse in their relationship.

0808 802 4040

National Domestic Abuse helpline (external link) A national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.

0808 200 0247
(24 hour helpline)

Wigan Council Housing Options Team - For advice on your housing situation and if you're threatened with homelessness.

01942 489005 or fill in our online referral form

Hollie Guard app (external link) - This turns your phone into a person safety device. You can let your selected contacts view where you are and where you're going. You can also set timers for meeting people and shake or tap the screen to generate an alert. Download it on the App store or Google play
Bright Sky app (external link) - Disguised as a weather app to protect you from your abuser finding it. It offers an ‘Am I at Risk’ questionnaire, personal diary to log voice recordings, pictures and text, and uses your location to provide the nearest support to you. It also has an emergency call button. Download it on the App store or Google play

Your Housing Group (external link) - Domestic abuse refuge provision.

0345 345 0272 
(24 hour helpline)

End the Fear (external link) - Support for anyone who is experiencing domestic violence or abuse.

0161 636 7525

Sitting right with you (external link) - Campaign launched to raise awareness of the 'hidden' types of domestic abuse and encourage people affected to start talking.

0161 636 7525


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