What is Domestic Abuse

Women’s Aid define domestic abuse as  “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.”

This can an often include physical violence, but can take many forms including psychological, online, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.


Domestic abuse is an often hidden crime and notoriously hard to quantify as it is vastly underreported, but what is clear is that it is very common throughout the UK and beyond.

  • 2 women a week in the UK are killed by their current or former partners
  • Since lockdown the above figure has at least doubled
  • An incident is reported to the police every minute.

These stats are all the more alarming when you consider that victims of domestic abuse often feel unable to report domestic abuse, out of fear that doing so will make things worse for them if the abuser finds out or the police don’t take their claims seriously. On average a victim will suffer 50 incidents of abuse before calling the police.

Who does it affect?

Anyone can be a victim of Domestic Abuse, regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class, or disability. Figures do however confirm that women are much more likely to do so than men – at least 1:4 women

Everyone reading this will know somebody who either has experienced domestic abuse in the past, or is facing this nightmare right now.

Victims are particularly vulnerable during the lockdown, with perpetrators spending more time in the home making it more difficult for victims to get help and advice and placing them at greater risk.

How Can Watson Ramsbottom Help

We have a nationally renowned Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Forced Marriage department, led by Director Rachel Horman, which comprises a team of specialist advisors who enable victims of domestic abuse to receive expert advice that many clients have expressed has “saved their lives”. The department is one of a kind.

The team can help with safety planning, practical advice, protective orders for the victim and children, orders preventing the abusive parent seeing or removing the children from the victims care as well as all of our other services

Non Molestation Orders, also known as injunctions, can prevent the perpetrator from contacting a victim in any way – in person, by letter, by text, by social media and through 3rd parties.  The Orders will also prohibit the use of or threat of violence and can even prevent the perpetrator form approaching the victim’s house or place of work. Non Molestation Orders can be made against the victim’s partner, former partner or family relatives.

These Orders can be obtained within 24 hours (subject to legal aid requirements if appropriate) and after having been served on the perpetrator are also lodged with the police, as breach of a Non Molestation Order is now a criminal offence punishable with up to 5 years imprisonment.

We can help victims to escape the nightmare of domestic abuse, even those who have attempted to report this previously and felt unsupported having done so.

We have a live web chat service available on our website, which victims can access from 9.30am – 9pm, 7 days a week. Our support for victims of domestic abuse is not bound by standard business hours, we are accessible when the support is needed

Alternatively, our team can be reached on 01254 67 22 22, by email at enquiries@watsonramsbottom.com or via our website contact form.

If you need our help, speak to us. If you know somebody who needs our help, please urge them to speak to us when it is safe to do so. Our team are on hand and ready to assist.  We’ve Got Your Back.

About Our Team

The team is led by Director Rachel Horman, widely regarded as a UK leading expert in the field, who in addition to winning numerous prestigious awards relating to her groundbreaking work helping victims of domestic abuse, has advised the police and UK government, sat on All Party Parlaimentary Groups for Stalking and Domestic Violence.

Rachel is regularly invited to speak at conferences and provide training throughout England and Wales, and regularly requested to make TV and Radio contributions. She literally wrote the book on Coercive Control, having previously been personally involved in changing the law to create a criminal offence of coercive control or emotional abuse which came into force in December 2015.

Rachel and several other members of the department are Resolution Accredited Specialists in the field of Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence.

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