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On average Cumbria Police deal with over 17 incidents of domestic abuse every day across the county with almost half of these being against people who have experienced violence before.

Cumbria Police are committed to supporting those who are affected by domestic abuse, protecting the victims and bringing the offenders to justice. In order to do this we work closely with our partners and have a multi-agency approach and together we can make a difference.

For more information on domestic abuse, please select the buttons below:

Domestic Abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional) between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

Domestic Abuse can come in many forms and can include the following unacceptable behaviours:

• Psychological

• Physical

• Sexual

• Financial

• Emotional

The abuser can use a pattern of behaviour(s) that is both abusive and controlling. This behaviour is designed to give control and power over their victims and isolate them from other people and support. They can also deprive people of their independence and try to control and regulate their everyday behaviour.

The effects of domestic abuse can be both frightening and devastating. If you, or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse we are here to help you. Talk to us or someone you trust and together we can stop domestic abuse.

Everyone is entitled to live safely without fear of violence or abuse and incidents of domestic abuse are not acceptable. Cumbria Police take this issue very seriously and investigate all incidents reported to them.

The following information and advice will help you, or someone you know who is a victim of abuse to stay safe.

If an incident occurs:

• Try to leave before the incident gets worse and go to a safe place if possible, if not try to remain calm and near to an escape route in case you can leave quickly.

• When it is safe, get out of danger as soon as possible and go to a safe place. This may be with friends, family or someone you can trust.

• Always call 999 in an emergency or use a pre-agreed code word to alert family or friends to call the police for you.

• Keep a record of what has happened to you, including damage to your home and belongings to give to the police.

Report domestic abuse to the Police straight away; nationally it takes on average 35 incidents before someone will ask the police for help, so please do something about this sooner as chances are it will happen again.

If you, or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse we are here to help you. Talk to us or someone you trust and together we can stop domestic abuse.

If you abuse others, Cumbria Police are committed to taking action against you and bringing you to justice .If you commit a crime we will arrest you, even if the victim does not ask for you to be arrested. Once you have been arrested we will take you to your local police station where you will be interviewed and charged if appropriate. Bail conditions may be given against you, these could restrict your actions e.g. a condition of bail could be that you are not allowed to return home or you may be remanded in custody until you attend court. Police officers and detectives will conduct a thorough investigation, collecting evidence, taking witness statements and photographing injuries and damage. This will then be presented to court against you. It may be that you are an abuser or you have abused in the past and would like help to change your behaviour. If you do want to change then there is support available to help you. You can visit www.respect.uk.net or call 0808 802 4040.

  • Abuse in a relationship can happen to anyone
  • It's never ok
  • It can destroy your self-confidence, have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing and leave you feeling isolated and lonely.

Don't put up with people treating you badly when you are in a relationship, for information visit: 'This is abuse' campaign - GOV.UK

Cumbria Police have spoken to a victim of domestic abuse who found the courage to tell us her story to help people get out of an abusive relationship.

Click here to listen to her full story.

Honour based violence is a violent crime or incident which may have been committed to “protect” or “defend” the honour of a family. It can be linked to family member/friends/acquaintances who believe that someone has brought shame to their family by doing something that is not in keeping with the traditional beliefs of that culture.

The following are examples of when honour based violence may happen:

  • victim has a relationship with someone from a different culture/background
  • victim wants to get out of an arranged marriage
  • victim wants to get out of a forced marriage
  • victim wears clothes that are not traditional
  • victim takes part in an activity that might not be considered traditional

Females are more likely to be victims of honour based violence, but males can be affected as well. Crimes of honour are not always violent, but those committed in the name of honour might include:

  • domestic abuse
  • threats of violence
  • sexual or psychological abuse
  • forced marriage
  • being kidnapped, held against your will
  • assault

A forced marriage is one that is carried out when neither of the people consent. An arranged marriage is different, both parties will have agreed to it, and there is no religion that says it is right to force anyone into marriage.

Although these types of crime are not prevalent in Cumbria, the police will always take reports seriously and no instances of honour based crime are too minor to report. The crime does not just affect one person, it affects the whole community.

Below are some controlling methods that a victim of domestic abuse wanted to highlight, from their experience, in hope that sharing these might help someone to spot a sign.
  • Wanting to be together all the time.
  • Controlling how you look (i.e. clothes, hair, makeup).
  • Excessive compliments and gifts.
  • Bombarding you with texts, phone calls and social media messages.
  • Control your finances.
  • Aggressively breaking things/slamming doors.
  • Underplaying the violence they inflict on you.
  • Silencing you when you try to talk.
  • Isolating you from friends and family.
  • Being uncontactable for long periods of time.
  • Insulting you, often passing it off as a ‘joke’.
  • Changing personalities when there is an audience.
  • Moving the relationship at a very quick pace.
  • Dismissive of your feelings.
  • Making promises to change, but failing to do so.
Getting help and support for domestic violence

If you feel you are, or have been a victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone’s welfare please contact police by reporting online here, on 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Victims will be believed, reports of domestic abuse will be fully investigated with an open mind, and we will also work to bring offenders to justice.

Don't suffer in silence, help and support is always available. 

DA - Support available from the police

If you, or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 immediately .Our priority at Cumbria Police is to ensure the safety of you and your family, police officers will attend the incident and take the action that is required to protect and ensure your safety.

Police can force entry into your home if needed. They will give you an opportunity to speak to them in private and in confidence about this and any other incidents that may have happened without the offender knowing what you are saying. The police will listen, provide help and immediate medical assistance if required.

Cumbria Police will take all the circumstances into account and if required they will arrest the offender(s) to ensure the safety of you and your family.

The primary role of the police is to prevent and detect crimes, we are committed to bringing offenders before the courts.

If you, or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence we are here to help you. Talk to us or someone you trust and together we can stop domestic violence.

Find out more about how the police can help

Also known as Clare’s Law, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme aims to help those (both men and women) who are worried that they, or someone they know, may be at risk of domestic abuse.

The scheme allows you to make an application to police for information about a person’s violent behaviour in previous relationships. Following your application, police will consider sharing this information with you to help you make a more informed decision on whether to continue the relationship. You’ll also receive advice on support available to make that choice.

If you make an application for information about a friend or relative’s partner, police will consider sharing this information with the person you’re concerned about, or relevant agencies, if appropriate. Police will talk to you and decide whether it’s appropriate for you to be given more information, to help protect the friend or relative you’re concerned about.

To make an application, visit a police station or contact us on 101. If someone is at risk of being harmed, always call 999.

Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) provide you with immediate protection following an incident of domestic violence and give you time to consider what to do next. Local specialist services that provide advice and support will get in touch with you if a DVPN is issued.

Both DVPNs and DVPOs place certain conditions on the perpetrator which may:• Stop them from entering and being within a certain distance of your home.• Stop them from making you leave or excluding you from your home.• Mean they have to leave your home (even if you live at the same address).A DVPN comes into effect as soon as it is issued by the police. Within 48 hours of this (excluding Sundays and Bank Holidays), the Magistrates’ Court will hear an application for a DVPO. This hearing can take place in the absence of the perpetrator. The Magistrates will also take into account the welfare of any children who the police consider will be affected by the DVPO.

Please note: The police can serve a DVPN or DVPO even if you do not agree to it and you will not have to go to court or give evidence if you do not want to.

Report it - If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, we would prefer to speak to you on the phone (by calling us on 101) or in person.

Domestic Abuse - Male Victims

Here is the story of a male domestic abuse survivor. 

Anyone can suffer from Domestic Abuse and it is important for men to
know that they will be supported and listened to if they report domestic abuse
to us. If you would like to report abuse or are concerned about someone you know, call us on 101 or email 101@cumbria.police.uk

Always call 999 in an emergency.

Video Credit: Your Story... With Roy Smith' @roryesmith

Ask for Ani

Domestic abuse victims in Cumbria can now discretely seek help from pharmacy staff taking part in a new scheme - by “asking for Ani”.

The phrase will be code that they are making a call for assistance, with staff at participating pharmacies being trained on the next steps to take.

Boots stores across the county are taking part and other participating pharmacies will display posters to show they are also available to help – with the scheme being rolled out across Cumbria.

All the person who feels at risk needs to do is go to a staff member and ask “for Ani”.

They will then be provided with a safe space at the branch and a phone to call for help or information on what support is out there.

This issue has added significance during the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. People may leave home to avoid injury or risk of harm, including domestic abuse.

The “Ani” they ask for is an abbreviation of Assistance Needed Immediately.

If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Jenny's Story

Cumbria Police have spoken with a person who found the courage to report the abuse she was suffering and the support she received after her speaking out.

Jenny’s story is now used as an example to other victims of domestic abuse of the level of service available and how the support can help a victim move on with their lives.

Everyone is entitled to live safely without fear of violence or abuse. If you, or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse we are here to help you. Talk to us or someone you trust and together we can stop domestic abuse.