Domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships

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Domestic abuse can affect anyone. Domestic abuse doesn’t always include physical violence. Whatever the form of abuse, it’s never acceptable.

The University of Nottingham is committed to promoting and providing a safe and respectful environment for every member of its community, by challenging harassment and abuse,  underpinned by the Dignity at Nottingham Policy and Code of Conduct Policy.

The 2020 Crime Survey for England and Wales reported that 10.5% of full-time female students and 4.8% of full-time male students had experienced domestic abuse. The HARM Network calculated that 162,073 students (full time and part time) experienced domestic abuse in 2019/20 and 23,760 university staff experienced domestic abuse in the same time frame.

Domestic abuse is a serious issue. We all have a role to play in advocating and promoting a safe environment.

Are you or do you know someone in a relationship like this? Do you feel you don't know where to go for help? Don't worry, there is help available. 

Here is the NHS guidance on where you can get help and support for domestic abuse.

SafeLives estimates that more than 20,000 survivors of domestic abuse experience non fatal strangulation every year. The NHS present the facts, the indicators and where to find support in their short video about non fatal strangulation.



UK emergency alerts: How to stay safe 

A nationwide test of the UK’s emergency alert service will take place at 3pm on Sunday 23 April. The alerts will warn you if there’s a danger to life nearby, such as flooding or fires. 

However, we are concerned about the potential safety risks to survivors who may be keeping their phones hidden from an abuser, as the alert is a loud, siren-like sound with a screen message and vibration.

Survivors can opt out from receiving emergency alerts to avoid their device from being detected.  

Emergency Alerts will be sent to compatible mobile phones within an area of risk. Emergency alerts work on: 

  • iPhones running iOS 14.5 or later 
  • Android phones and tablets running Android 11 or later

The alert may still be received on earlier versions of Android. To check, search your device settings for ‘emergency alerts’.  

How to opt out 

For iPhone
To opt out, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off ‘Severe alerts’ and ‘Emergency alerts.’ If this does not work, contact your device manufacturer.

For Android 
To opt out, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off ‘Severe alerts’ and ‘Emergency alerts’. On some devices, search your settings for ‘emergency alerts’ and turn off ‘Extreme threats’, ‘Severe threats’ and ‘Show amber alerts’.

For more information go to the Womens Aid website.

Support in an emergency: if you are at risk from harm

On campus: If you live on campus and are at immediate risk of harm you should contact Security on 0115 951 8888. They will take any action necessary including contacting the police.

Off campus: Contact the police by ringing 999 

You can call the UK non emergency number 101, you need support or advice from the police and it is not an emergency.


University support

If you are feeling unsafe in the place where you are residing, as well as getting help from local and national services, please also consider contacting the University, as we will be able to offer you additional advice and support.  

You may feel unsafe from family members or a partner or ex-partner or it may be a friendship which has become difficult. Relationships with friends can also become unhealthy and abusive, and whilst this may not be identified as domestic abuse, can impact negatively on students’ well-being and safety. This can particularly be the case when students are sharing accommodation. If you are worried that a housemate or close friend is causing you harm, please contact the University for advice and support. 

It can be hard to understand if the problems you are experiencing are abuse and this can be a barrier to seeking help. If you are concerned that you have experienced harassment or abuse and are not sure what to do, please speak to one of our services so that we can help you better understand what is happening and discuss  the support options available with you. 

 University services that are here to help: 

  • If you have been subject to - or have witnessed Domestic Abuse, please consider letting us know by making a report via our Report + Support  platform. Report + Support allows you to report an incident or incidents anonymously. Alternatively you can request to speak to an advisor. Speaking to an advisor does not necessarily mean that you are making a formal report to the university - it enables you to access advice and support for yourself or someone else. You will be signposted to information on internal and external support, policies, guidance and campaigns. You may then decide that you want to progress with a formal report, and we will support you in this.

  • University Security service continues to provide a 24 hour presence on all campuses. They are a point of contact and support for students who are feeling at risk wherever  that student is living. You can contact Security Control at any time, however if it is urgent, please use the emergency number.

  • The Residential Experience (ResX) Team supports all students living within university and partnership halls of residence. They provide non-judgemental wellbeing support and advice, promote positive community values and host regular events and activities to connect with others in the halls.
  • The Support and Wellbeing Officers can provide guidance, help and advice if you're experiencing difficulties and help identify other services that you may need to contact

  • If you are living off campus and need support with issues such as self-isolation or other community concerns you may benefit from support from the Community Engagement Team

  • The University Counselling Service offers free, confidential support to students registered at The University of Nottingham.  You can self-refer for counselling on line but if you need more urgent advice about your situation, you may need to contact the duty counsellor who is available during the working week and can be contacted by e mailing the service

  • Chaplaincy and Faith support. Whatever you background or faith, University chaplains offer spiritual and pastoral support

Students' Union support

  • Students' Union Advice can help students with information, advice and representation around all aspects of student welfare and education
  • Nightline is a student ran service providing confidential listening and information

Local and National support

Local support

Support in Nottingham/Nottinghamshire

GP/family doctor

Bright Sky is a free to download NHS mobile app providing support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or those concerned about someone they know.

The app is also available to use in Polish, Punjabi and Urdu.


Women's Aid

Notts SVSS

Topaz centre

Juno Women's Aid

Broxtowe Women's project

Support in Derby/Derbyshire

Safer Derbyshire

Derby Women's Centre


Support in Leicester/Leicestershire

For a list of support avalible, please go here

National support

The freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

Refuge - support for men

For a comprehensive list of available support go to NHS webpage and Equation.


Other forms of abuse or harassment 

The information below provides comprehensive advice to help you identify, seek help and report abuse you may be experiencing.   

Lets be clear on consent is a University initiative that provides students with information about sexual violence. It includes information on sexual assault services available in Nottingham and how to report any incident of sexual violence to the University. 

Harassment reporting: If you have been subject to harassment, abuse or assault, please report this through our Report + Support tool. You can do this anonymously or request to speak to an advisor. 


The University of Nottingham

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3666