Domestic abuse and sexual violence

Who to contact 

  • Call 999 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger from domestic abuse or sexual violence.
  • Call 101 if you want to report something that's happened or if you want to seek advice.
  • Call the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS) on 03000 110 110.
  • Call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
  • Visit the IDAS website for more help and support.

What domestic abuse is

Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults aged 18 and over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. This is regardless of their gender and sexuality.

In this definition, family members are defined as:

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

This applies whether they're directly related, in-laws or step family.

Domestic abuse can take many forms. This can include:

  • checking your phone
  • withholding money
  • isolating you from family or friends

All of these behaviours can have a real impact on your mental and emotional wellbeing.

You can find our more about domestic abuse on the South Yorkshire Police website. For advice and support with drug and alcohol issues visit Barnsley Recovery Steps.

Different types of abuse

Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, economic or financial, as well controlling and coercive behaviour.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse includes:

  • pushing, throwing, kicking, tripping
  • slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
  • pinching, biting
  • holding, restraining, preventing you from leaving, locking you out of the home
  • depriving you of sleep, food or medication
  • breaking bones
  • assault with a weapon such as a knife, gun or household object
  • burning

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse includes:

  • threatening or intimidating you to gain compliance
  • destruction of your personal things and possessions, or threats to do so
  • punching walls, doors, violence to an object or pet, as a way of instilling fear of more violence
  • yelling or screaming, name calling, constant harassment
  • embarrassment and making fun of you, either at home or in public
  • saying you're worthless, excessive possessiveness, isolating you from friends and family
  • constantly checking up on you
  • blaming you for how they act or feel
  • making you feel there is no way out of the relationship

Verbal or non-verbal abuse is more subtle than physical abuse. While physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep rooting.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse includes:

  • sexual assault. This is forcing someone to take part in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity.
  • sexual harassment. This is ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices.
  • sexual exploitation. This includes forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to take part in making pornographic films.
  • using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts.

Sexual abuse often is linked to physical abuse. They may occur together or the sexual abuse may occur after a bout of physical abuse.

Economic or financial abuse

Economic or financial abuse includes:

  • withholding things such as money, family allowance, credit cards etc
  • exploiting your resources for personal gain
  • withholding things such as food, clothes, medication, or shelter from a partner
  • stopping you from working or choosing an occupation

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour includes any act designed to make you subordinate and/or dependent. This can be  by:

  • isolating you from sources of support
  • exploiting your resources and capacities for personal gain
  • depriving you of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape
  • regulating your everyday behaviour

Coercive behaviour

Coercive behaviour includes any act or a pattern of acts that's used to harm, punish or frighten you. This includes

  • assault
  • threats
  • humiliation
  • intimidation


We work with our partner IDAS to support residents in Barnsley who are suffering, or have suffered, from domestic abuse.

We aim to prevent domestic abuse and encourage healthy relationships through our #SpeakUp campaign. This lets people in Barnsley know there's someone there for them.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any form of domestic abuse, speak up. Don’t suffer alone - call 03000 110 110.

IDAS can also provide support through:

  • online video support sessions
  • WhatsApp messaging
  • live chat on their website
  • email

Find out more about how to get in touch with IDAS.

How businesses and organisations can help

Speak Up I'm Listening

Are you a front facing business that deals with members of the public? Would you know where to signpost them if you had concerns about their relationship or home life?

IDAS run training aimed at helping businesses to spot the signs of domestic abuse.

Many people experiencing domestic abuse don’t always have the confidence to approach services for help. They’re often more likely to open up to someone they see often, like their hairdresser, barber or gym trainer.

To find out more call 03000 110 110.

Speak Together

Are you a local employer? Do you have training and policies to support employees with issues of domestic abuse and healthy relationships? Do you want to know more about how you can support your staff?

Call 03000 110 110 to find out more.

Speak to Me

Speak to Me is run with local medical practices. It encourages people to speak to their GP if they have issues in their relationship and discuss how IDAS can help.

If you work in a GP practice that would like to be part of the scheme, call 03000 110 110.