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Support for people affected by domestic abuse

Anyone can experience domestic abuse. If you are worried about your own relationship, frightened of someone close to you or would like to change your own behaviour, there is help available.


Harbour are a specialist domestic abuse service who help people living in County Durham. They provide advice, guidance and practical assistance, to adult and child victims, regardless of gender, age, or sexuality, and can offer support through one to one sessions, in a group with other people, or using a combination of both.

Help can include:

  • advice around keeping safe and reducing the risks of harm
  • information about housing and home security
  • advice on legal options, and support if  you are attending court
  • help with money, and looking for a job
  • help with building your confidence, and getting back into the community
  • support for your children, and rebuilding your relationship with them

Harbour: support available, 03000 202 525 (this is a 24 hour, seven days a week support and advice line),

Victims who need additional support

Domestic Abuse Navigator Service (DAN) provides support to victims of domestic abuse who also have additional support needs such as mental health, learning difficulties or disabilities, substance misuse, or a history of offending.

Foundation UK: Domestic Abuse Navigator Service (Durham), 0191 386 2303,

Victims of sexual violence

If you are a survivor of sexual violence or abuse, help and support is available, regardless of your age, gender, sexuality or when the violence took place.

The Darlington and County Durham Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (RSACC) is a specialist sexual violence charity offering free, confidential services to support anyone affected by sexual violence. They provide:

  • 20 weeks of one to one specialist sexual violence counselling
  • an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) service, for people who are considering, or have reported, sexual violence to the police
  • an Emotional Support Line and email
  • a number of trauma informed support groups

Darlington and County Durham Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre

Sexual assault (including rape)

The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre offer confidential healthcare and compassionate support to people aged 16 years an over in County Durham that have experienced sexual assault and rape in their lifetime.

The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre, 0330 223 0099

Parents and carers suffering abuse from children

Child adolescent to parent violence and abuse (CAPVA) is a form of family abuse where children/young people use harmful behaviours towards parents/caregivers. This can include physical violence, verbal abuse, behaviour that is emotionally and/or psychologically abusive, and physical harm to property that can also cause financial problems. Friendly, professional and non-judgemental support is available in Durham to support you and your family. 

First Contact, 03000 267 979

Forced marriage and 'honour-based' abuse

You have the right to choose. If you or someone you know is being forced into a marriage or is a victim of honour-based abuse, you can contact the Halo Project, who support victims of honour-based abuse, forced marriages and female genital mutilation (FGM) by providing appropriate advice and support. 

Halo project: forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence Charity, 0808 178 8424 (free phone), 01642 683 045

Male victims

Men can be victims too.

LGBTQ+ support

Durham Pride provide fully qualified volunteers who can help you if you've been a victim of same sex domestic and/or sexual violence and abuse, hate crime or bullying at anytime in your life. Free support and advice is available to over 18's.

Abuse of people with care and support needs

If you see, hear, or suspect that an adult with care and support needs is being harmed, abused or neglected, you must report what you know. 'The worst thing you can do is nothing'.

We have a duty to carry out a safeguarding adults enquiry if an adult has needs for care and support, is at risk of or experiencing abuse, and they cannot protect themselves because of their need for care and support. The enquiry is to find out what actions should be taken and by whom. Consent is not required to report a safeguarding adults concern nor to carry out a safeguarding adults enquiry.

Durham Safeguarding Adults Partnership: reporting abuse

When it is not domestic abuse

If you do not think you are a victim of domestic abuse but are concerned about conflict/arguments in your relationship (whether you are together or separated), and the impact this may have on your child, the Relationships matter programme can give you free support and space to talk.

Other help

You could also speak to your GP, health visitor, social worker, child's school, housing officer or the police who can get advice on your behalf.

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