There’s so much information available about domestic abuse and we know that can be overwhelming. We will guide you to the information you need and help you make sense of it.
We can help with:
- mental health support
- debt and money advice
- support for children
- supporting you to deal with social services or the courts.
Mental health support
It’s extremely common to experience anxiety, depression and other mental health issues, as a result of domestic abuse. We work with specialist mental health organisations to help you get the support you need.
Debt and money advice
If the abuse you’ve experienced has caused you to be in debt, we can put you in touch with experts to help you. If you don’t have control of your own finances, we can help you take back control.
Support for your children
If you have children, we understand that you may be worried about the impact of the abuse them. We have a service designed specifically for children and young people to help them understand what has happened . We will also support them to cope and move forward.
Family courts, social services and other formal arrangements for your children can be daunting. We can give you practical help with forms and administration. We will also support you to have your voice heard and stand up for your rights.
Ways we can support
Domestic abuse can affect you in lots of different ways. At LVWS, we make sure that you are supported to move forward with each area of your life.
Whether you have left, intend to leave or plan to remain in your home, keeping you safe is a priority. We will give you advice on how to protect yourself and what to do in an emergency.
If you’re thinking about leaving your abuser – we can help you plan it as safely as possible.
It’s very important to keep your plans to leave from your abuser. If abusers find out about plans to leave, it’s likely that the abuse will get worse. In many cases, it will put your safety at risk.
You may feel that confronting your abuser or threatening to leave will stop the abuse. We understand the reasons for doing this – but in many cases we’ve dealt with – the abuse increases.
It’s also important to remember that the abuse may not end when you leave. This is why we encourage you to get help and support to leave safely.
Our caseworkers are specially trained to give the right advice and support for your individual situation. This could be as simple as having someone to talk to who understands what you’re going through. Or you may need a referral to specialist mental health services. We will help you work out what’s best for you.
We know your rights and we can help you to:
- understand your rights in different areas
- understand what each organisation is responsible for
- express your views and stand up for your rights
- complain if you have been treated unfairly.
We know how difficult it can be to access housing in London. If you’ve experienced domestic abuse – you have specific rights that include access to emergency housing. We work with specialist housing organisations to make sure you get the advice you need.
Arrangements for children
You may be trying to deal with social services, The Family Court and other organisations at the same time. This can be confusing and overwhelming for anyone. Our advisors have the experience to help you express yourself and stand up for your rights. They can also help you with forms and administration.
If your immigration status could be affected by leaving your partner, you need urgent advice. We can introduce you to specialist organisations we work with, to make sure you get the help you need.
Debt, benefit and money advice
It’s common for domestic abuse to cause financial difficulties. Whether your finances have been controlled by someone else, or you’ve found yourself in debt, you’re not alone.
We can give you information on:
- how to deal with creditors
- claiming benefits
- how to decide who to pay when there isn’t enough money to go around
If you need extra support, we can introduce you to specialist organisations we work with.
Going to court can be daunting, especially for the first time. We will talk you through what to expect and how to prepare. If you have different options to consider, we can help you to decide what’s best for your individual circumstances.
Reporting to the police
LVWS is independent and impartial. We can support you to:
- report your domestic abuse to the police
- understand if you have been treated fairly
- complain to the police if they have not followed The Victim’s Code.
If your abuser has subjected you to sexual violence, we can offer information and support. We can also introduce you to organisations that can offer the specialist support you need.
Sexual violence is any kind of sexual activity or act that took place without consent.
If this has happened to you, the first thing you need to know is that it is not your fault. You are in no way to blame. The only person to blame is the person that did this to you.
There are several types of sexual violence and it’s common for victims and survivors to blame themselves. You may think that what happened to you is not sexual violence.
If you’re feeling this way, it might be helpful to know some facts about sexual violence:
- it does not always cause physical injuries
- it does not always involve physical violence
- it could be carried out by a stranger, but is more likely to be someone you know or trust
- it’s common for victims and survivors to find themselves unable to move, speak or fight
- feelings of arousal can happen during sexual violence, this is not your fault
- if you’ve given consent to sexual activity previously but not this time, it is still sexual violence
- consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity.
This means agreeing to something by choice, with the freedom and capacity to make that choice.
You have not given consent if:
- you were asleep
- you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- you were pressured, manipulated or scared when you said yes
- you were too young or vulnerable to make a choice.