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WMWomensAid When we saw our helpline calls drop by a third at the beginning of the first national lockdown we launched our Live…
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WMWomensAid On tonight’s @BBCNews Midlands Today our CEO Sue and domestic abuse survivors Kate and Catherine were invited to di…
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WMWomensAid New codeword scheme “Ask for Ani” launched by government to help those experiencing domestic abuse.
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WMWomensAid Staying safe during lockdown - Download a personal safety app such as The Hollie Guard app or Brightsky. These feat…
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WMWomensAid RT @WestMerciaPCC: If you are at risk please don't suffer. Despite the #lockdown you can still leave home if you are at risk of, or exper…
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Today we have the following Refuge vacancies:


"Violence against women continues to persist as one of the most heinous, systematic and prevalent human rights abuses in the world. It is a threat to all women, and an obstacle to all our efforts for development, peace, and gender equality in all societies. Violence against women is always a violation of human rights; it is always a crime; and it is always unacceptable.

Let us take this issue with the deadly seriousness that it deserves."

Ban Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary General

What is violence against women?

According to the UN, violence against women is "violence that is directed at a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately".  Women’s Aid defines it as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner.  In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.

Each year across the UK up to 2 million women experience violence and abuse, and there are many more living with the legacies of abuse experienced in the past.

There are many forms of abuse against women and girls, including:

  • sexual, physical, or emotional abuse by an intimate partner;
  • physical or sexual abuse by family members or others;
  • sexual harassment and abuse by authority figures such as teachers, police officers or employers;
  • trafficking for forced labour or sex;
  • forced or child marriages and dowry-related violence;
  • honour killings, when women are murdered in the name of family honour;
  • systematic sexual abuse used as a war weapon in conflict situations;
  • financial abuse;
  • coercive control;
  • stalking;

Women and girls are more likely than boys and men to experience multiple incidents of abuse, different types of domestic abuse – intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking – and in particular sexual violence.  And it is worth noting that any girl or woman can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, class or disability. 

West Mercia Women’s Aid recognises that different forms of violence against women and girls are interconnected due to perceived and actual male privilege in society. It is in this context that we deliver our specialist services to women and children affected by domestic abuse.


All forms of domestic abuse stem from the abuser's desire for power and control over their partner or other family members. Abusers can use many tactics to establish and maintain control, some of which are detailed below.

Destructive criticism and verbal abuse Shouting, mocking, name calling, accusing, making threats
Pressure tactics Sulking, disconnecting the phone, withholding money, threatening to kill himself, take the children away, report you to social services, telling lies about you to friends and family, saying you have no choice in decisions
Disrespect Persistently putting you down in front of other people, not responding to you when you talk, interrupting you when you are on the phone, taking your things including money from your purse, refusing to help with childcare or housework
Breaking trust Lying to you or keeping information from you, breaking promises, being jealous and thinking you are having other relationships
Isolation Blocking your phone calls, keeping you away from your friends and family, telling you where you can and can't go
Harassment Following you, checking up to see who you have been on the phone to, embarrassing you in public, opening your mail
Threats Making angry gestures, using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill or harm you and the children
Sexual violence Using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don’t want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation
Physical violence Punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling
Denial Saying the abuse doesn’t happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again

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WMWA is committed to equality and diversity and aims to provide services regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion or class.

WMWA works with women with complex issues including drug or alcohol use, mental health problems and learning difficulties.