If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and, if you can, respond by coughing or tapping on the handset. If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police. Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

Recognise domestic abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include:

  • coercive control and gaslighting (the manipulation of a person, by psychological means, into doubting their own sanity) 

  • economic abuse

  • online abuse

  • threats and intimidation

  • emotional abuse

  • sexual abuse

What signs to look for

If you believe that you or someone else could be a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn or being isolated from family and friends

  • having bruises, burns or bite marks

  • having finances controlled or not being given enough to buy food or pay bills

  • not being allowed to leave the house or stopped from going to college or work

  • having your internet or social media use monitored or someone else regularly reading your texts, emails or letters

  • being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless

  • being pressured into sex

  • being told that abuse is your fault or that you’re overreacting

See more signs of abuse to look for.

Get help if you or someone you know is a victim

If you feel at risk of abuse, there is help and support available to you, including the police, online support, helplines and refuges. 

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline 

To speak in confidence to a trained adviser at Herts Domestic Abuse call the free helpline (Monday to Friday 9am - 9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am- 4pm). This number will not show up on your telephone bill. 

Call 0808 808 8088 or email Kim@mailpurple.org confidentially, anytime. 


Refuge 24 hour national domestic abuse helpline 0808 2000 247

Refuge have recently launched a Tech Safety Website amid increase in numbers of women experiencing complex tech abuse. The website offers step by step guidance for securing devices and accounts, with cautions provided throughout where an action could notify an abuser.

Safer Places 

Safer Places is an independent charity, which provides a comprehensive range of services to men, women and children affected by domestic and sexual abuse in Hertfordshire. Call 03301 025811. 


Chayn is an online help and resources in several languages helping women experiencing abuse find the right information and support they need to take control of their lives


Galop - National LGBTQ+ domestic abuse helpline and webchat service. 

Call 0800 999 5428 or email: help@galop.org.uk

Hertfordshire Beacon 

Hertfordshire Beacon offers support for victims of crime, tailored to individual needs. You do not have to report the crime to the Police to access the service.

Call 0300 0115555 (option 3) or email: info@hertfordshirebeacon.org


Hestia offer support and information for anyone who might be in an abusive relationship. You can download the free mobile app, Bright Sky


Hourglass offers a confidential helpline for anyone concerned about abuse of an older person. Call 0808 808 8141

Karma Nirvana 

Karma Nirvana is a national helpline for victims of honour-based abuse, forced marriage and domestic abuse. 

Call 0800 5999 247 or email: support@karmanirvana.org.uk or send a secure message via the website

Men's Advice Line 

The Men's Advice Line provides a range of services aimed at men experiencing domestic abuse from their partner.

Call 0808 801 0327 or email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk

Mankind Helpline 

The Mankind Helpline offer support for men suffering from domestic abuse from their current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner) Call 01823 334 244

Muslim Women’s Network Helpline

The Muslim Women’s Network Helpline is a national specialist faith and culturally sensitive helpline that is confidential and free to access. 

 Call: 0800 999 5786, Text: 07415 206 936 or email:

National Domestic Abuse helpline

The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Abuse helpline, run by Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf. Call 0808 2000 247. 

NSPCC female genital mutilation (FGM) helpline

Contact NSPCC female genital mutilation (FGM) helpline if you are worried about a child at risk or someone who has already undergone FGM. 

Call 0800 028 3550 or email: fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk

Herts Sunflower

Herts Sunflower provide information and support services for everyone affected or concerned by domestic abuse in Hertfordshire.  

Rights of Women

Rights of Women offer free confidential legal advice to women by their telephone helplines. Call: 020 7251 6577

Jewish Women's Aid 

Jewish Women's Aid - for Jewish women and children affected by domestic and sexual violence. 
Helpline: 0808 801 0500
Sexual Violence Support Line: 0808 801 0656

Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Intervention Programme

Chrysalis Centre is a one stop referral, assessment, and triage centre featuring a range of specialist behaviour change services, available for anyone displaying abusive behaviour who wants to change.

The Chrysalis Centre accept anyone who resides in Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire and who displays coercive and controlling behaviours. They will work with all risk levels. If you wish to refer someone or yourself to the Chrysalis Centre, please complete a referral form or email enquiries@chrysaliscentre.net.

Watford Women's Centre

Watford Women's Centre’s services are open to all women over the age of 18 experiencing domestic abuse or struggling in their relationship.

All of the centre’s Relationship and Domestic Abuse Support Services can be accessed through the telephone line 01923 927 500 or by email ally@watfordwomenscentre.org.uk.

Please note, Watford Women's Centre are not a crisis service and do not specialise in emergency housing support, but will be able to signpost to other appropriate agencies, including applying for refuge.