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Mental health and domestic abuse

Domestic violence and other abuse is the most common cause of depression and other mental health difficulties in women.

Domestic violence is not only about deliberately causing physical injury but also psychological harm. The impact of living with domestic violence, which systematically distorts a person’s beliefs about themselves and their world, will have a profound effect on their mental health, including the way they think, feel and behave, and the distress that they experience.

Men and women with all types of mental health problems are more likely to have experienced domestic violence than the general population.

Abusers may use mental health problems to exert further control by:

  • Telling you that you’re mad - and you may come to believe it
  • They may tell you that you couldn't cope without them
  • They may speak for you, or refuse to let you go out without them, because you need them to look after you
  • They may tell you no-one else would put up with you

Don't blame yourself. Your mental health difficulties are not your fault, and you are not responsible for the abuse; the abuser is. You are entitled to help as much as any other abused person, and if you have additional support needs, you should get help with those too.

Support services

Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust
01603 421 421

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of health and social care services, specialising in mental health and wellbeing. You can search for services on their website.

Mind Norfolk and Waveney

01603 432457 (Norwich and Central Norfolk)
01553 776966 (West Norfolk)
01493 842129 (Great Yarmouth and Waveney)

Mind believes no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. They provide local services to support people with, and at risk of, mental health problems. They work to reduce the stigma associated with mental health and champion better services for all.

Together for Mental Wellbeing
01603 305321

Norfolk Integrated Housing and Community Support Service supports adults with mental health needs to live as independently as possible in their local community.

Julian Support
01603 767718 

Working with the strengths of people with mental health difficulties, to help them lead an independent life of their choice.


Safe and reliable mental health advice for older people and those who care for them.

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