Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub - call 0300 123 5101
National 24 Helpline 0808 2000 247
If you call the police:
- Always call 999 in an emergency so the police can provide immediate help. They may arrest your partner if he or she committed a criminal offence against you. It's their decision whether to arrest or not and you shouldn't feel you're responsible for this decision.
- If it’s not an emergency you can ring 101 to talk with the police about any aspect of your situation
- If they are called out to you the police will take a statement from you (i.e. write down the details of what happened.) You'll be asked to sign it to say it's true. The police will also gather other evidence that may be available such as medical records or statements from neighbours. They may also take photographs of your injuries.
- You may have heard that you can 'withdraw the charges' but you can't. It's the decision of the police to press charges and the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service whether to prosecute. The only action you take is to withdraw your statement. If there's still enough evidence of the crime, your abuser may still go to court.
If your violent partner is arrested
- Your partner will be taken to the police station. If charged with a crime, he or she may be released on bail while the police complete their investigation. Usually, there'll be conditions attached to his bail such as ordering the person to stay away from you and to not communicate with you either directly (e.g. in person or by phone) or indirectly (e.g. by sending messages via someone else). If he or she ignores these conditions, he or she can be arrested and may be kept in custody until the court case.
- If your abuser pleads 'guilty' you won't have to go to court. You may be asked to give a 'victim impact statement' to describe the effect the abuse has had on you. This would be considered when decided the sentence.
- If your abuser pleads 'not guilty' you may have to go to court to give evidence. If this happens you will be offered support by Witness Care and or by your specialist worker who can answer any questions you may have. The Crown Prosecution Service may also have a meeting with you before the court case to find out if there are things they can do to help you give evidence.
- If your partner is harassing you (calling you every 5 minutes, coming round uninvited, etc.) you can report it to the police and they can issue a formal caution under the Protection from Harassment Act. If he or she doesn't stop after cautioning, they can be arrested and could face up to 5 years in prison
Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO)
If there is not enough evidence to charge your partner police may issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice which removes them from your property for 24 hours. This can be converted to an Order which removes them for up to one month. In this time you can have some space to think about your future and get support from other services
Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)
This is commonly called ‘Clare’s Law’ and gives members of the public a ‘right to ask’ Police where they have a concern that their partner may pose a risk to them or where they are concerned that the partner of a member of their family or a friend may pose a risk to that individual.
If an application is made under the scheme, Police and partner agencies will carry out checks and if they show that the partner has a record of abusive offences, or there is other information to indicate that there may be a risk from the partner, the Police will consider sharing this information.
To find out more please contact your local police station or phone 101