Support for people being abused

Domestic abuse is abuse from a current or previous partner. It doesn't have to mean violence. Your partner may say threatening or hurtful things, or try to control how you behave. You have the right to live free from abuse.

If you feel threatened or if you or your children are in danger, call the emergency number 999.

Stay safe

You need to think about looking after your physical and mental health.  There can be some options and support from specialist services and organisations. They can help you to identify these options and to support you to make informed and safe decisions. For example, you might wish to

  • leave home temporarily or permanently
  • talk to a family member, friend or specialist organisation
  • stay, accepting that your partner or ex-partner won't change
  • stay, with the hope that your partner or ex-partner will change
  • take legal action by contacting the police or using the law to protect you. 

Find out about legal help, homelessness and money.

The police treat domestic abuse as high priority. If you report an assault, the police will investigate and contact your partner. The police will press charges if there is enough evidence.

You can search for local domestic abuse support services and download the Safety Planning Booklet for practical advice below.

Download the Safety Planning Booklet

If you are concerned about someone at risk of harm, find out how to protect someone from harm.

You can call, email or look at the following websites for more information.

Council support

Emergency Social Work Service

Offers support and advice to anyone who is suffering or feels at risk of domestic abuse.

Call 0800 731 6969

Family and Household Support

Offers help to residents who need support with their day to day lives. From health and wellbeing to parenting, neighbour disputes to welfare benefits, the team will assess your needs and put you in touch with the right services.

  • South East on 0131 529 5123
  • South West on 0131 469 5150
  • North East on 0131 529 7168
  • North West on 0131 529 5014

Housing and Homelessness

  • South East on 0131 529 5151
  • South West on 0131 527 3800
  • North East on 0131 529 311
  • North West on 0131 529 5050

Housing Options Team - Housing Officer

Can improve access to social housing for victims of domestic abuse and help those who are planning to move, by providing various housing options as part of a solution for escaping an abusive relationship. The Team also supports those who may be experiencing domestic abuse and already live in social housing provided by the Council as the social landlord.

The Service works in a partnership with registered social landlords, Edinburgh Women’s Aid and Police Scotland.

Call 0131 529 7368

If you are currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the next 56 days, you can book a Housing Options appointment by phoning us on

0131 529 7036 or

0131 529 7125

We are available

  • Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm
  • Friday 8.30am to 3.40pm

We can

  • Try to stop you losing your home
  • Advise you on housing options
  • Contact other agencies to help you.

We strive to offer you an appointment within 14 days of your first contact.

If you have significant support needs, you can visit the Access Point.

Out of hours

Our emergency out of hours service can be contacted on

  • freephone 0800 032 5968

Housing Options Team - Housing Officer:

Can improve access to social housing for victims of domestic abuse and help those who are planning to move, by providing various housing options as part of a solution for escaping an abusive relationship.

The Service works in a partnership with registered social landlords, domestic abuse accommodation & support providers and Police Scotland.

Social Care Direct

Offers support and advice to anyone who is suffering or feels at risk of domestic abuse.

Call 0131 200 2324

Safer Families Edinburgh

Delivers a programme for men who are unhappy about their abusive behaviour towards a woman partner or ex-partner and want help to change. Provides a support, safety planning and advocacy service to the women partners and ex-partners of men who attend the programme.

Call 0131 469 5325

Support from Police Scotland

If you feel threatened or if you or your children are in danger, call the emergency number 999.

If it is not an emergency, you can contact Police Scotland on 101.

If you report an domestic abuse, the police will investigate, which is likely to involve making contact with your partner who may be arrested. The police will report your partner for consideration of prosecution where there is enough evidence.

Domestic abuse covers a range of behaviours including but not limited to physical and sexual violence, threatening and abusive conduct or communication, coercive/controlling behaviour, stalking and harassment.

In an emergency call 999 and in all other cases contact the police on 101.  Advice can also be found on the Police Scotland website.

External Groups and Charities:

Aditi

Provides one-to-one mental health and wellbeing support to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women in a range of languages who are affected by domestic abuse and honour-based abuse.

Call 0131 603 4865

or email aditi@sacro.org.uk

Visit Aditi webpage

Amina – The Muslim Women’s Resource Centre

Offers a range of tailored support services on a one to one basis, national ‘listening ear’ helpline which also offers Islamic advice through a scholar, employability guidance, befriending, as well as through peer group support.

Call 0141 212 8420

Helpline 0808 801 0301

Visit Amina website

Bright Choices

Supports any woman, man, child or family affected by Honour Based Violence, including forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM). This service is provided by the Multicultural Family Base.

Call 0131 622 7500

Visit Multicultural Family Base website

Children 1st

Children 1st supports children in Scotland to live in safe, loving families and to build strong communities. They provide holistic family support and trauma recovery in neighbourhoods across Scotland and work with children, young people and their families to uphold and progress their rights and to strengthen and improve the systems that are there to support them.

Call Parentline 08000 28 22 33 (Mon-Fri 9am to 9pm, Sat and Sun 9am to 12pm)

Email cfs@children1st.org.uk

Visit the Children 1st website

Citizens Advice

Provides information and advice on a range of issues, including domestic abuse, family breakup, marriage and civil partnership. Visit the Citizens Advice website for more information specific to domestic abuse.

Visit Citizens Advice Scotland website to find your nearest service to contact.

EDDACS

EDDACS is a support and advocacy service for female victims of domestic abuse crimes going through the court process. EDDACS supports by explaining the court process, completing a risk assessment and individual support and safety plan with each woman.

If you are currently going through the court process as the victim of a domestic abuse crime you can call EDDACS for support on

0131 315 8122

Visit the EDDACS web page.

Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre

Offers free emotional and practical support, information and advocacy to women, girls aged 12 and over and all members of the transgender community who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives. Offers support including: a helpline, face to face support, long-term, group, advocacy and crisis and email.

0131 556 9437 (office hours)

08088 01 03 02 (6pm - midnight helpline)

email support@ercc.scot 

Visit Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre website

Edinburgh Women's Aid 

Provides confidential information, support and, if needed, refuge accommodation for women and any accompanying children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Visit Edinburgh Women's Aid website for information on crisis support.

Call 0131 315 8110

or email duty@edinwomensaid.co.uk

FearFree

Is a support service for any man, or LGBTI+ person experiencing domestic abuse.

Call 0131 624 7266

Visit FearFree website

Feniks

Provides mental health and wellbeing support to Central and East European Community members, particularly Polish. Feniks has a dedicated mental health and practical support service for migrant women affected by domestic abuse.

Call 0131 629 1881

email info@feniks.org.uk

Visit Feniks website

Foursquare

A service for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including women affected by domestic abuse and who might have experienced trauma.

Call 0131 557 7901

or email Referrals@foursquare.org.uk

Visit Foursquare's website

Rape Crisis Scotland

Offers free and confidential support and information by phone or email. Visit Rape Crisis Scotland for more information on their resources.

Call 08088 01 03 02 (everyday 6pm to 12 midnight)

Respect

Can provide details of domestic abuse perpetrator programmes and associated support services.

Call 0808 802 4040

email info@respectphoneline.org.uk (Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday/Sunday 10am to 12pm and 4pm to 6pm). A webchat service is now offered Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10 to 11am and 3 to 4pm.

Saheliya

Is a Women’s mental health organisation, which provides services to support the mental health and wellbeing of black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls (age +12) in Edinburgh.

Call 0131 556 9302

Visit Saheliya Website

The Samaritans

Offer 24-hour confidential emotional support for anyone in crisis.

Call 116 123

email jo@samaritans.org (non-crisis)

Scotland's Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline 

Provides help, advice and information in absolute confidence, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline website for more information and online chat service.

Call 0800 027 1234

email helpline@sdafmh.org.uk

Scottish Women’s Rights Centre

Offers free and confidential information and advice. Also offers weekly surgeries in Glasgow.

Call 08088 010 789 (Tuesdays 6pm to 9pm, Wednesdays 1.30pm to 4.30pm, Fridays 10am to 1pm)

Visit Scottish Women’s Rights Centre Website

Shakti Women's Aid

Based in Edinburgh, Shakti helps women who are experiencing domestic abuse. They offer support and information to all black minority ethnic women (over 16 years) and their children experiencing and/or fleeing domestic abuse. Visit Shakti Women's Aid website for more information.

Call 0131 475 2399

Shelter Scotland

This is a free phone service providing information about emergency access to refuge services and general housing matters.

Call 0808 800 4444

Shelter online chat service and Edinburgh Hub

Victim Support Scotland

Victim Support Scotland offers information and support to victims of crime, including domestic abuse and has local services all over Scotland (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm). They also run an online chat service 8am-8pm Monday -Friday and 8am-1pm on Saturdays.

Call 0800 160 1985

Visit Victim Support Scotland website