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Domestic/sexual abuse is wrong and is a serious crime. Get in touch with our support team who will listen, support and guide you in the way forward.

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Refuge in England have developed a dedicated website to help keep you safe online. There are lots of helpful tips and interactive tools to use to help you secure your technology.

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Women's Aid defines domestic abuse as:

The intentional and persistent physical or emotional abuse of a woman, or of a woman and her children in a way that causes pain, distress or injury and can lead to loss of life.

Homeless? We can support you...

You are homeless if you have nowhere to live because:

  • you are afraid to go home because of violence or the threat of violence from someone who lives there
  • you don’t have permission to continue to stay where you have been living, for example, friends or relatives have told you to leave their home
  • you don’t have somewhere that you can live with everyone who normally lives with you or who wishes to live with you
  • you have a home but you cannot gain access to it, for example, because you have been illegally evicted
  • your landlord has taken you to court and the date by which the court has said you have to leave has passed

If you are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) can help.



Below are some of the most common questions we are asked here at Women's Aid Armagh Down.

  • Does alcohol and drugs cause domestic abuse?
    No. Alcohol and drugs do not cause domestic abuse.

    Alcohol and drugs can make existing abuse worse. Many people use alcohol or drugs and do not abuse their partner. Drugs and alcohol should never be used to excuse violent or controlling behaviour.

    The perpetrator alone is responsible for his actions.
  • Will anger management help my abuser?


    Domestic abuse is never about losing control, but taking control. They consciously choose who to abuse and when; when they are alone, and when there are no witnesses (if there is a witness, then usually they are a child). They are able to control their anger when they want/need to e.g. work, out with their friends, in public, etc.

  • How long can I stay in refuge?

    Refuge is temporary accommodation, your length of stay will depend upon your individual needs. Some women stay one day, others stay one month or even a year.

  • What is it like living in refuge accommodation?
    Our refuge provides safe accommodation for women/women and their children who have experienced domestic abuse.
    You will have access to highly experienced support staff on-site. Click here to find out more about the support we can offer in refuge.

    Women’s Aid Armagh Down’s refuge has 11 bedrooms.

    You will share a kitchen and bathroom with up to 3 other women.

    There are bedrooms with disabled access, rooms for single women and rooms for women with children.

    We can provide a cot and other practical items for babies and children.

    Facilities include; playpark, smoking area, communal living room, playroom, teen room, wifi, shared washers and dryers, secure carpark, onsite CCTV and security gates.




  • Why doesn’t she just leave?

    Women stay in a relationship with their abuser for a range of reasons.

    Some reasons she might not leave the relationship are:

    • She is frightened of what might happen if she tries to leave
    • She is worried for the safety of her children
    • She doesn’t have the money to support herself and/or her children on her own
    • She has nowhere safe to stay
    • She may still be in love with her partner

    It is also important to know that leaving the relationship is the most dangerous time for the woman as the abuser feels they have lost or are losing control.

    Isolation from friends and family is a common tactic used by abusers, so often when it comes to the point where they want to leave, they feel they can’t as they have nowhere and no-one to turn to.

    Women in abusive relationships need support and understanding – not judgement.
  • My partner has never hit me, could I still be experiencing domestic abuse?
    Domestic abuse does not always include physical violence;

    It also includes emotional, verbal, financial and sexual abuse, and can include stalking behaviours and digital abuse too. The key thing to remember is that all forms of abuse fall under the umbrella of coercive control.

    Coercive control includes assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation all with the intention to harm, punish or frighten the victim.

    Perpetrators will use a range of actions in order to control their victim.
  • Who can experience domestic abuse?

    Although it is undeniable that men can be and are victims of domestic abuse too, evidence from a range of sources including police records, crime statistics and research from a range of domestic abuse organisations shows that women are disproportionately in the position of victim.

    We assert that domestic abuse is a gendered crime and is perpetuated by women’s unequal position in society.

  • Does domestic abuse affect children?

    Domestic abuse unfortunately does affect children; just because they are not directly targeted by the perpetrator does not mean they are not impacted by what is happening at home. In fact, domestic abuse is the most frequently reported form of trauma that children experience, and it is estimated that 1 in 7 children witness domestic abuse at home in the UK.

    For a child, living in a home where domestic abuse is taking place increases the risk of disrupted social development. It can affect how they interact with friends, with teachers and affect their school life in terms of academic achievement too.

    We have seen many examples of perpetrators using children as a means of further abusing their partner. For example, the abuser might tell the children that their mother is a bad mother, is “crazy” or can’t look after them properly in order to manipulate and control the mother.