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Domestic abuse and sexual abuse

Domestic Abuse is a pattern of coercive control, which includes combinations of physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse and isolation by a current or former partner or family member. 

Family members are defined as:

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  • mother
  • father
  • son
  • daughter
  • brother
  • sister
  • grandparents

These may be directly related, in laws or stepfamily. 

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence are issues that can affect anyone regardless of:

  • gender
  • social group
  • class
  • age
  • race
  • religion
  • disability
  • sexuality
  • lifestyle 

If every person subjected to domestic abuse and sexual violence were to report their experience to the Police, the number of incidents created would be greater than that for any other crime. 

In Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, we believe that addressing domestic abuse and sexual violence is essential to creating safer, stronger and healthier communities. We recognise that abuse is experienced by many different groups and that its impact is widespread; affecting the victim, their families and children and also the wider community. 

For further information, please visit the Safer Cornwall website.

If you are living with a person who is violent or threatening to you or your children, you may need to leave home, at least temporarily, in order to protect yourself.  For information on your options visit Cornwall Housing.

Information on services available providing support can also be found below.

First Light is a charity supporting people in Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire who have been affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.  In 2017 Twelves Company and Skoodyha merged to become First Light.  We are independent of statutory agencies, including the Police, and every year we help thousands of men, women and children in the South West to lead safer lives, free from violence and abuse.

The Women's Centre Cornwall are dedicated to helping all women and teenage girls, a specialist provider of services for women and girls who have experienced any form of sexual violence or abuse at any point in their lives.

CLEAR provide care and support for people of all ages impacted by abuse and trauma.  Their mission is to prevent, reduce and help children, young people and adults heal from emotional trauma, in particular trauma that is linked to domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Karma Nirvana - The Honour Network is a project designed to support victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based violence

National Domestic Violence Helpline is a Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.

Survivors UK is a national organisation providing information, support and counselling for men who have been raped or sexually abused. 

Southall Black Sisters provides information, advice, advocacy, practical help, counselling and support to women and children experiencing domestic and sexual violence (including forced marriage and honour crimes). Our holistic services aim to help them escape violence and abuse and deal with a range of inter related problems such as:

Rape and sexual abuse, Sexual harassment, Dowry related abuse, Matrimonial issues, Child residence and contact, Housing and homelessness, Immigration and asylum, Depression, mental health, suicide and self harm, Policing and crime, Suspicious deaths and coroners' inquests, Civil actions, Human rights and Racism.

WAVE – Women Against Violence Europe is a network of European women's non-governmental organisations working in the field of combating violence against women and children (women's refuges, counselling centres, SOS hotlines/helplines, organisations focusing on prevention and training, etc.).

Currently the Network focuses specifically on violence in the family and in intimate relationships. The Network sets out to promote and strengthen the human rights of women and children in general and to prevent violence against women and children in particular. We fully support the aims of the United Nations, stressing the importance of working towards ending all forms of violence against women and children in public and private life in accordance with the Vienna Declaration, the Declaration on Violence against Women, the Beijing Platform for Beijing Platform for Action and all other related documents.

The Men's Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. This includes all men - in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. 

Respect is the UK membership association for domestic violence perpetrator programmes and associated support services. Our vision is to end violence and abuse in intimate partner and close family relationships.  Our key focus is on promoting, supporting, delivering and developing effective interventions with perpetrators.

The following short film relating to Forced Marriage is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Uk.