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Personal Problems

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes physical, psychological, sexual, emotional and financial abuse from a partner, ex-partner or family member. It involves bullying and controlling behaviours which could lead to you being isolated from your family and friends and controlling your everyday behaviour.

You don’t have to wait for an emergency situation to seek help. If you are a woman experiencing domestic violence or you are supporting a friend or family member experiencing domestic violence you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

Men's Advice Line run a confidential helpline for any man experiencing domestic violence and abuse from a partner (or ex-partner). They offer practical advice, information and emotional support to male victims of domestic violence, as well as to concerned friends and family.

Galop run a national LGBT domestic violence helpline providing confidential support to all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) communities, their family and friends, and agencies supporting them. You can call their helpline on 0800 999 5428.

Forced Marriage

The term forced marriage is used when one or both partners are put under physical, emotional or psychological pressure to marry a person who is not of their choosing.

Forced marriages differ from arranged ones, which may have been set up by a relative or friend but are willingly agreed to by the couple.

A person convicted of coercing somebody to marry could be jailed for up to two years. However the laws do not ban forced marriages and so, it is not a criminal act in itself.

People who either have been or could be forced into marriage can gain legal help in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The UK Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) is dedicated to supporting victims and is also there for anyone to call if they want to report a friend or family member they are worried about. You can phone them on 020 7008 0151, or you can email fmu@fco.gov.uk.

Alternatively Karma Nirvana is a UK registered charity that supports victims and survivors of Forced Marriage and Honour Based Abuse. You can get help from their website or by phoning their helpline on 0800 5999 247.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

FGM refers to the procedure where the female genitals are deliberately cut, injured or changed, but where there's no medical reason for this to be done. It's also known as "female circumcision" or "cutting".

FGM is usually carried out on young girls between infancy and the age of 15, most commonly before puberty starts.

It is illegal in the UK and is considered child abuse. Support is available if you've had FGM or you're worried that someone may be at risk.

If someone is in immediate danger, contact the police immediately by dialling 999.

If you're concerned that someone may be at risk, contact the NSPCC helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email fgmhelp@nspcc.org.uk.

If you're under pressure to have FGM performed on your daughter, ask your GP, health visitor or other healthcare professional for help, or contact the NSPCC helpline.

If you've had FGM, you can get help from a specialist NHS gynacologist or the FGM service.