Spousal & Partner Abuse
Compensation Claims

According to a Crime Survey for England and Wales, approximately 2.3 million adults experience domestic abuse between March 2019 and March 2020.

Whatever your circumstances, there is no excuse for spousal or partner abuse.

At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we’ve settled thousands of pounds worth of spousal and partner abuse claims. We’ll deal with your case sensitively and keep you safe throughout the process. Contact our expert solicitors today to start your no win, no fee compensation claim.

What is spousal and partner abuse?​

Like any abuse, spousal and partner abuse can cause serious physical harm as well as psychological. What makes spousal abuse even more devastating is that it comes from those we love – leaving us feeling worthless.

An abusive relationship, also known as domestic violence or intimate partner violence, involves any kind of behaviour that makes a partner feel threatened. It may also involve coercion, where the victim does not feel in control.

Spousal or partner abuse can happen to anyone. It may take the following forms:

  • Physical violence or sexual assault
  • Verbal abuse such as ongoing name-calling
  • Control over a person’s actions or finances
  • Physical and verbal threats
  • Belittling you to others
  • Predatory behaviour such as multiple phone calls to “check up” on you.

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    Was it reported to the police? *

    What are the signs and symptoms of spousal abuse?

    Generally, we can categorise spousal and partner abuse into physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, as well as stalking. If you’re not sure how to recognise an abusive relationship, look for signs such as:

    • Belittling you in private or to your loved ones
      Keeping you away from your family and friends
    • Monitoring where you go or demanding permission
    • Stopping you from working or spending your own money
    • Threatening you with physical harm to you or your loved ones
    • Keeping you away from your family and friends
    • Stalking, such as sending unwanted gifts or letters, or calling your phone repeatedly.
    • Monitoring where you go or demanding permission
    • Stopping you from working or spending your own money
    • Threatening you with physical harm to you or your loved ones
    • Damaging property when angry (which could lead to physical abuse)
    • Accusing you of cheating, or repeatedly monitoring texts or emails
    • Holding you down or making you perform sexual acts you’re not comfortable with



    Why does spousal abuse happen and who commits it?

    You may not know how to recognise an abusive relationship, particularly if your partner hasn’t acted this way before. So, why are partners abusive?

    There is no way to excuse emotional or physical abuse. Often, abusers may have trust issues, perhaps caused by previous relationships. It’s also likely that there is something they hate about themselves, which they project onto the ones they love.

    Some may like the feeling of being in control, particularly where one partner is physically weaker. A common trait for abusers is to go through the ‘make-up phase’, where they might try to convince a partner they have changed using petty gestures, such as sending flowers.

    Others may try to blame things like drugs or alcohol for their behaviour – but this is not an excuse. The fault always lies with the abuser – not the partner, the substance, or anything else.

    Anybody can commit spousal abuse, but statistics highlight common traits among abusers:

    • Four in ten girls aged 14 to 17 experience sexual violence from their partner.
    • Nine times more women than men are killed by a partner or ex-partner.
    • In court cases, 93% of defendants (abusers) are male, while 84% of victims are female.
    • The average age of domestic homicide victims is 47.

    How do I help someone else who is with an abusive partner?

    If you need to know how to help someone in an abusive relationship, you should remember to respect their privacy and be patient. It is not always easy to get a victim to admit that he or she is being abused – particularly when partners try to ‘make up’ for their behaviour.

    Ask the victim if they have contacted any organisations such as the National Domestic Abuse Helpline. Do not go to the police for them – instead, offer to go to the police if they wish to, as well as any hospital appointments.

    Your role is to be supportive and to listen to your loved one, rather than forcing him or her to take action. This may be anything from a confidential chat to offering your home as refuge. Remind them that it is not their fault, and take steps to protect your own safety, such as changing the locks.

    Should I confront my own (or a loved one’s) abusive partner?

    You should never confront a loved one’s abusive partner, as this could put you in danger. If you are in the relationship, and want to know how to stand up to an abusive partner, for example, you should stay calm.

    Defusing a potentially violent situation is not easy, and it is never your fault if things turn that way. You may wish to confront a partner, but it is best to avoid danger by finding a safe place and removing yourself from the situation.

    Talk to a friend, use a codeword or even contact the police if possible. Domestic violence is rarely an isolated incident, so now is the time to start taking steps to leave the relationship. Contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline to find out what support is available.

    What can be done to stop and prevent spousal abuse?

    Remember – it’s not about knowing how to protect yourself in an abusive relationship. It is not up to you to stop your spouse from abusing you. Only they can change their behaviours.

    If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, look out for red flags such as breaking household items. You may wish to contact charities and organisations to tell them you’re concerned about potential abuse – information that can also be given to the police.

    This may help you in future if your partner’s behaviour does become troublesome. Ultimately, there is no way to prevent abuse, but you may be able to walk away before it takes over your life. Reach out to organisations like Women’s Aid and Refuge for further support.

    Can abusive relationships or partners change for the better?

    Do abusive relationships get better? There’s no way of telling how a person’s behaviour could change. For example, much of it could stem from past experience which you may not even be aware of – but it is not your duty to face abuse.

    There are programmes available for abusers such as abuse cessation schemes. It starts with the abuser – he or she has to acknowledge that there is an issue, and commit to change. This will not happen overnight and it may be safest to spend time apart.

    Signs that abusers are committed to change include:

    • Taking responsibility
    • Understanding that abuse is a choice
    • Identifying patterns of controlling behaviour
    • Confronting past experiences
    • Changing how they respond to certain situations

    Understanding that the patterns will take years to change – there is no ‘cure’. Not demanding praise for improvements or ‘credit’ such as justifying violence by saying they have not committed it in a long time. This is something only you and your partner can work through, and there is no shame in walking away, or committing to change. Your first priority should always be your safety, whatever the outcome.

    Spousal Abuse – The Facts & Stats

    • 2.3M adults aged between 16 to 74 experienced domestic abuse between March 2019 and 2020.
    • 1.6M increase in calls and contacts logged by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline between April and June 2020.
    • 73 % of domestic abuse cases are charged.
    • +65% increase in calls and contacts logged by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline between April and June 2020.
    • 757K men experienced domestic abuse between March 2019 and 2020.
    • 78% of domestic abuse reports led to a conviction.

    How can I tell if I am in an abusive marriage/relationship?

    The signs of an abusive relationship aren’t always immediate. A common trait for abusers is to ‘gaslight’ their victims.

    This is why we see people asking questions like, “is my husband abusive or am I crazy?”. The abuser may try to convince the victim that they are making things up.

    Whether it’s the first or 50th time, you should be aware of the following signs of an abusive relationship.

    What are the impacts and effects of abuse in a relationship?

    Spousal abuse doesn’t always come with physical injuries – if you need to know how to report emotional abuse, you can contact organisations such as SafeLives. These understand the significance of psychological violence and often the link to physical violence.

    If you are in immediate danger, you should call 999 where possible. We understand that this is not always possible. This is why the emergency services have a Silent Solution system. By pressing 55 on the call, you can answer simple yes or no questions. Note that this is only available on mobile phones.

    If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact your local neighbourhood policing team. This is essential if you wish to make a spousal abuse compensation claim.

    You can also reach out to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, who can give you advice on how to take your case further.

    Start your claim today

    Frequently Asked Questions

    I am currently in an abusive relationship or marriage, what should I do?

    If you’re wondering what to do in an abusive relationship, the first thing to remember is that it is not your fault. You deserve to be safe, protected from threats, and to feel loved and valued.

    Many victims of domestic abuse feel that they cannot get out of their situation, particularly where children are involved. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources that can offer you support.

    The National Domestic Abuse Helpline has a website called Refuge, which helps with legal aid, housing, financial aid and support for your children. It also comes with a ‘quick exit’ feature if you’re concerned your devices are being monitored.

    Other online resources, charities and organisations include:

    • Women’s Aid
    • Victim Support
    • Mankind
    • Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men.

    At Criminal Injuries Helpline, we can help you claim financial compensation for spousal abuse. Our specially trained solicitors will listen to your story and give you guidance on a no win, no fee basis. Your abuser will never find out you’ve made a claim and your loved ones will not lose any money.

    No amount of money can heal the pain of domestic abuse, but with our help, you can begin to rebuild your life once again. Contact us today to start your claim.

    How can I get away from my abusive partner?

    Safety should be your top concern if you’re considering how to leave an abusive relationship. In many cases, victims leave a relationship only to be drawn back in by a partner who says they have changed their ways. Take your time and make sure you have a plan in place.

    The first step would be to identify safe places to go, such as with your family and friends. You may even consider a codeword if you need to tell them you’re in danger.

    Start collecting important tools and information such as online passwords, medicine, glasses and hearing aids, or anything you and your children may need. Keep any digital files on an external USB drive rather than your mobile phone, as a partner may take this.

    Speak to your doctor or nurse, a local helpline, and teachers at your children’s school if needed. All of these organisations may be able to point you towards somebody who can help.

    Finally, pack a bag with an extra set of keys or car keys, plus any essential items so that you can get away quickly. These may include important documents such as:

    • Personal identification like birth certificates or driving licence
    • Bank records and mortgage statements
    • Paperwork for your car.

    Agree on a secret location rather than somewhere your partner may think to look, such as your parents’ house. You may wish to stay here while you sort out a permanent residence. When it is safe to do so, contact the police.

    How is spousal abuse proven?

    To understand how to prove spousal abuse in court, we need to look at the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This was amended in June 2021 to include offences such as revenge porn (publishing sexual photographs) and rough sex.

    The Crown Prosecution Service has a key checklist to build domestic abuse cases, including advice for evidence-gathering such as:

    • 999 calls
    • Bodycam footage
    • Victim statements
    • Medical evidence of DNA
    • Communication and financial data.

    If you wish to make a spousal abuse claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), we can help you to gather this evidence.

    Can I claim against my ex (or current) partner?

    You can make two kinds of spousal abuse compensation claims – one against the abuser themselves, or one with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). The CICA is an executive agency of the UK Government designed to help crime victims claim compensation.

    Generally, we advise claiming through the CICA because:

    • All claims are confidential
    • Your partner will not know you have claimed against them
    • Your partner may not have the funds to pay a claim made against them.

    You may feel ‘cheated’ if your compensation comes from a government organisation. However, this is generally the safer route and will allow you to move on from this chapter of your life.

    We can help you make an anonymous spousal abuse compensation claim through the CICA. Your claim must be:

    • For abuse that has taken place in the last two years (though there are exceptions to this)
    • Relating to a blameless act of violence
    • Reported to the police.

    You may be able to claim up to £500,000 depending on your case. To start your no win, no fee claim safely and confidentially, contact the Criminal Injuries Helpline today.

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    Victim Support

    Victim Support is an independent charity in England and Wales that helps those affected by crime. All support is free and confidential.

    The organisation offers information on different types of crime, what happens in a court case, and safeguarding.

    Call 0808 168 9111 – 24 hours a day.