Domestic and relationship abuse can be defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, or violent behaviour by a current or ex-partner or family member, over the age of 16. Abuse may include emotional, physical, sexual, financial, stalking, online/digital or psychological.

Coercive control is a purposeful pattern of assaults, threats, humiliation, and/or intimidation which occur over time with the aim to exert power and control over another person.

Relationship abuse can be experienced by people across society, regardless of their age, gender, race, sexuality, class, disability, or lifestyle. 

If the above sounds like the experience of somebody you know, it is not your responsibility to stop the abuse, however there are ways that you can support them:

  • Your safety is important. Try to speak to the person in a safe place, the person experiencing abuse knows their situation better than anybody, be led by what they think is the safest way to speak. Never challenge the person who is hurting the person you know. 
  • Listen. Showing somebody who is experiencing abuse that you believe them and that you care can be very important, you may be the first person they have told about what is happening.
  • Give them options. The person has taken a big step in speaking to you about their experience; this is the first step and may not mean that they are now ready to take any further action, such as leaving the relationship. You can be supportive by providing them with information around their options, so that they know where to go if they choose to seek further help in the future. 

University support for students

Report and Support is a disclosure site, which allow students to inform the University of incidents including domestic abuse. Students and staff can report anonymously, or can request to speak to an advisor who is a trained member of the Student Welfare team to discuss their disclosure and options, this will be in line with University's privacy statement and does not instigate the start of formal complaint. Our Counselling, Mental Health, and Wellbeing Service is also available if a student needs support with their mental health or wellbeing. 

External Support

Relationship abuse can be reported to the Police; it is very important that this is the choice of the person experiencing the abuse. This link explains how Greater Manchester Police can support somebody experiencing domestic abuse. If you or somebody else are in immediate danger please call 999.

If the person experiencing abuse does not want to speak to the Police at the moment, they can still access support:

Manchester Women’s Aid support victims of domestic abuse through a helpline, 1-2-1 support, and group work.

Refuge run the National Domestic Abuse Helpline

LGBT Foundation Domestic Abuse Support

If the person needs help with their mental health, SHOUT provides text-based crisis support. Text SHOUT to 85258. You can also call the Greater Manchester NHS Mental Health Helpline available 24/7 on 0800 953 0285. 

If the person chooses to disclose relationship abuse via Report and Support to speak to an advisor, they will be able to explore further signposting relevant them and their identity.

There are two ways you can tell us what happened