Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, race, age or background. It can be emotional, physical, financial or sexual, and occur in all sorts of relationships, between couples, in marriages, and between different members of a family.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may feel scared, trapped and alone. Please know that there is support available and that you are not on your own. If you seek specialist support, your decisions will be respected, and what happens next is up to you.


Are you safe?

If you feel at immediate risk of harm, you can call the police on 999. If you are injured or need medical assistance, then call an ambulance by dialling 999. If you are on campus, you can call Security on (01904 32) 3333 or use the SafeZone App.

If you are not at immediate risk, try to find somewhere safe and warm, and speak to someone you trust. This could be a friend, family member, someone at the university, college or at the student union.

You could also contact IDAS, which is a specialist organisation supporting people affected by sexual abuse and domestic violence. They have a 24 hour confidential helpline 0808 2000 247.


Signs of Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse can take many different forms. It can be emotional, physical, financial or sexual. It can involve being controlled, threatened, isolated, and criticised, as well as physical violence such as hitting, slapping, beating and sexual violence. It can include honour-based violence and forced marriage, and can continue after a relationship has ended.

Many people live with domestic violence for a long time before they feel they can seek help.

You can seek help at any time, even if the abuse or violence was a long time ago. Please be reassured that what happens when you seek specialist support is up to you, and the decisions you make will be respected.

If you think you or a friend may be experiencing domestic abuse, you could look through this checklist provided by IDAS to see if these apply to your situation, and to seek further support.


Who can I talk to?

If there is no immediate threat to you and you wish to talk things over with someone confidentially and/or discuss options available to you, there are a number of people you can talk to.

Sources of support on campus: Whilst these staff may not be experts in providing support specifically around domestic abuse, you may feel more comfortable talking to them first, and they can talk you through your options for seeking specialist advice.

  • University Sexual Violence Liaison Officer: If you are at risk of, or have experienced, sexual violence from a partner or family member, the Univeristy’s SVLO can meet with you face to face to talk through your options for support. They can also explain reporting options, and how these processes work. Support is confidential, and what you decide to do is up to you - you will not be pressured into taking any action unless you want to. If you decide to report, the SVLO can support you through the reporting options available. You can request to speak to the SVLO by completing this online form
  • College Wellbeing Team
  • Student Hub
  • Open Door Team

If you would prefer to speak to someone independent from the University, you can make a confidential appointment with a Student Union adviser:


Where can I find specialist support?

Independent Domestic Abuse Service (North Yorkshire)

IDAS is a specialist charity that provides comprehensive support services to anyone experiencing or affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence. They have qualified and professional Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), who provide support to people who have been assaulted or abused by their partner or a family member. They can provide emotional support, as well as information on housing and legal matters. They can also explain your options for reporting to the police, the criminal justice process, and act as a single point of contact for people who are involved in cases going through the courts. They have separate service of Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) for people who are experiencing sexual violence from a non-intimate partner.

Phone: 03000 110 110 (North Yorkshire)

24 hour National Helpline: 0808 2000 247


National Domestic Violence Helpline

A national helpline for women experiencing domestic violence, offering information and guidance on your rights and options, housing, and support.

0808 2000 247 (24 hours)

24 hour National Helpline: 0808 2000 247



A national organisation that offers advice and support to lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have experienced biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse. They are an independent community-led group and not connected to the police, and you can talk to them anonymously if you prefer.

Phone to make an appointment: 01904 638813

Phone: 0800 999 5428 (Domestic abuse helpline)


Men’s Advice Line

A confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse, that offers advice and emotional support to men who experience abuse, and signpost to other vital services that help men keep themselves and their children safe.

Phone: 0808 801 0327 (not 24 hour)


Rape Crisis (England and Wales)

An umbrella organisation for Rape Crisis Centres across the UK that support people who have experienced rape or sexual violence, and can signpost you to your nearest Centre.

Phone: 0808 802 9999



How can I report an incident?

Reporting to the police

If you are in immediate danger, then call the police on 999.

If this is not an emergency, then you can report to the police by calling 101. You can also go to your local police station.

You can report an incident to the police at any time. More information on reporting to the police is outlined here.

Reporting to the University

If the incident involves another student at the University of York, then you have the option of formally reporting the incident via the online student misconduct reporting process. More information about how to report, what to expect from the student misconduct process, and support available, can be discussed with the support services on campus.


Last Updated December 2019