Domestic abuse and violence has a devastating effect on victims, their children, their families and the wider community. It is a crime and it is unacceptable at any level. It involves patterns of coercive, controlling or threatening behaviour and can involve physical, psychological, financial, emotional and sexual abuse.

The average length of an abusive relationship is five years, although many victims suffer from abuse for much longer.

What is the impact of domestic abuse and violence on children?

It is estimated that 66% of victims have children living in or visiting the home and that over 130,000 children live in households where serious abuse is taking place.

Children are affected in many ways by abuse that they see, hear or just know about. Domestic violence and abuse teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people. It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict, that people have to keep secrets about bad things that are happening to them and that even close family members can’t be trusted. Often children end up feeling that they are responsible and to blame for violence, especially if violence erupts after an argument about them.

Domestic violence and abuse leaves children feeling angry and ashamed, alone, frightened and powerless. The acute emotional distress that children experience frequently leads to bed wetting, anxiety, depression, self-harm , aggressive or anti- social behaviour, problems at school and running away.

Are you afraid of someone you know or live with?

No one should have to put up with any kind of violence or abuse. Everyone has the right to personal safety – so if you are worried then ask for help. If it has happened once it is likely to happen again. Even if it has been happening for years it is never too late to seek help.

Useful telephone numbers

  • In Emergency 999 Non-Emergency 101
  • National domestic violence helpline
  • Phone: 0808 2000 247

The Men’s Advice Line

Domestic abuse affects men too, as well as women. The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic abuse by a current or ex-partner. This includes all men – in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.

Freephone: 0808 801 0327 (Monday – Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm)

Phone: 0808 2000 247

In Knowsley as part of our response to Domestic Abuse Operation Encompass has been implemented and is now part of a Merseyside wide process.
Merseyside Joint-Agency Operation Encompass Protocol

This protocol sets out a joint-agency procedure to provide, by early intervention, appropriate support for children and young people who have experienced domestic abuse in their household.