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Victims of domestic violence suffer on many different levels and often live their lives constantly in fear.
Domestic violence is believed to be extremely under-reported. Statistics show that it accounts for a quarter of all violent crime and has more repeat victims than any other crime.
There is a wide range of services designed to help victims of domestic violence. A directory of domestic violence services is available on the Birmingham Violence Against Women Board website.
Victims of domestic violence should be encouraged to report the incident to their local police on 0845 113 5000. However it is recognised that many will suffer in silence on many occasions before they are prepared to make a formal complaint to the police. Some will never make a complaint to the police.
The National Helpline 0808 2000 247 (which was launched in December 2003) operates on a 24 hour free phone basis. It joins the existing help lines of Women's Aid and Refuge and now offers both women and children help in finding emergency accommodation, information, planning on safety issues as well a translation service.
If you are a victim or are a concerned relative or friend of a victim you can contact the national helpline for advice. This operates on a call back service.
For male victims of domestic violence support can be provided by Men's Aid. They can be contacted on 01334 474348 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Men's Aid is run by volunteers and is open Monday to Friday 10am-3pm.
For lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people experiencing domestic violence support is available from Broken Rainbow on 0300 999 5428 or by e-mail email@example.com.