Abuse can occur on a number of levels. This can include physical abuse, in terms of visible violence, pain and injury. But it can also include emotional abuse when a person is being mistreated on a way that may not be physically violent but could make them feel they cannot leave their partner. Whatever the reason, it is important to know what to do when reporting abuse.
Different forms of abuse
When reporting abuse, people tend to think of physical abuse due to the visible injuries. It is recommended that you do this within 24 hours so that as well as reporting the crime you get the medical care you need.
Other forms of abuse include:
- Sexual abuse – this can include indecent exposure, sexual harassment, inappropriate touching, being pressured into sex and rape
- Other forms of physical abuse – while injuries can be clear, people can be physically abused by being denied food, water or medication
- Emotional/psychological abuse – this can be more difficult to prove and can include intimidation, withdrawing people from friends and family as well as verbal abuse (cyberbullying and trolling can also come under this category)
- Discrimination – harassment based on gender, race, religion or disability
- Financial abuse – this can be in the form of a scam or someone controlling and withholding money from you, or in some cases a carer or appointed guardian misusing funds that should be used to look after a vulnerable adult.
What to do
If you feel you or someone you love is under immediate threat, then you should call the police straight away. If it is not an immediate threat, but you do feel worried, then you should contact your local police and report it.
It is also important to get away if you feel unsafe or feel that your loved ones could be under threat. If possible, you could stay with friends or family. If that is not possible, then you can contact a local refuge to take you in.
Of course, if you are worried about contacting someone yourself, then you could ask someone you trust to do it for you. Remember, these organisations are here to help you and will support you if needed.
Long term issues
In the longer term, you do have to consider where you are going to live. For example, a legal representative can guide you through the process of separating with an abusive partner. If a violent former partner continues to threaten you, then another option is seeking an injunction.
This can also be complicated if you have children. The court may decide that if the children are potentially under threat, then they will take steps to ensure that the abusive partner cannot access the children.
We are here to help
At Larcomes we have been working for years as a family firm. Aside from the practical and legal aspects of these cases, we also want to make sure people are properly looked after and protected from abuse. For more information, please contact us today so one of our specialists can help you.