01695 50600

Empowering Lives Every Day

Domestic Violence/Abuse isn’t just violence. It can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.
Anyone who is forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused. It can happen at any stage of a relationship and is very rarely a ‘one-off’. One in four women will suffer from domestic abuse at some stage in their lives.

On average a woman is assaulted 35 times before she makes her first call for help.

Domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of social background, age, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. However, the vast majority of domestic violence/abuse incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.

You and your children have the right to live in safety. You should not be scared in your own home. Your partner does not have the right to dominate and control you.

You should not have to worry about how he will react to what you do.


What is Domestic Abuse ?

Women’s Aid

Domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’.

A new, cross-government definition

The definition of domestic violence will now include ‘coercive control’. (The previous definition defined domestic violence as a single act or incident).

The new definition recognises that patterns of behaviour and separate instances of control can add up to abuse – including instances of intimidation, isolation, depriving victims of their financial independence or material possessions and regulating their everyday behaviour. The new definition will be implemented by March 2013.

The new definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

The government defines controlling and coercive behaviour in the following way:

Controlling behaviour

A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.”

Coercive behaviour

An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO)

‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender’.

Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Working Definition

Any criminal offence arising out of psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse by one person against a current or former partner in a close relationship, or against a current or former family member’. (NB This definition is not restricted to adults).

Note: An adult is defined as any person aged 18 or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step family.

Warning Signs

Physical violence

Punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling

Destructive criticism and verbal abuse

Shouting/mocking/accusing/name calling/verbally threatening

Pressure tactics

Sulking, threatening to withhold money, disconnect the telephone, take the car away, commit suicide, take the children away, report you to welfare agencies unless you comply with his demands regarding bringing up the children, lying to your friends and family about you, telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.


Persistently putting you down in front of other people, not listening or responding when you talk, interrupting your telephone calls, taking money from your purse without asking, refusing to help with childcare or housework.

Breaking trust

Lying to you, withholding information from you, being jealous, having other relationships, breaking promises and shared agreements.


Monitoring or blocking your telephone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from seeing friends and relatives.


Following you, checking up on you, opening your mail, repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you, embarrassing you in public.


Making angry gestures, using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, breaking things, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill or harm you and the children.

Sexual violence

Using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don’t want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation.


Saying the abuse doesn’t happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again.


(this is by no means exhaustive list)

Mission Statement

mother and children in parkOur organisation was founded in 1987, and has helped many thousands of people through the different projects that the organisation provides.

Our Mission

Our mission is to reduce the harm done by domestic violence/abuse and improve the safety, health and well being of all survivors and their children.

To lead in preventing and ending domestic violence/abuse, and to advocate and ensure the safety of all victims of domestic violence/abuse

To educate and raise awareness amongst the public, media, police, judicial system, schools, social services and other agencies & organisations, about the issues involved in domestic violence/abuse, and to challenge the disadvantages which result from domestic violence/abuse, and therefore promote a cohesive inter-agency response.

We are committed to partnership working to ensure that all agencies respond effectively, appropriately and in a coordinated fashion to each incident of domestic violence; maintaining a focus on prevention and early intervention.

We believe that everyone has a right to live in safety and have a future without fear.

Everyone has the right to live free from violence and abuse.

We believe that Society has a duty to recognise and protect this right.

Domestic violence is a violation of a person’s human rights.

Did you know over two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners, and that one in four women in the UK will experience domestic violence in their lifetime?

Protection, provision, prevention

The Liberty Centre is working to improve the standards of protection available to all victims by ensuring that their requirements lead to developments in policies and practice.

We aim to ensure the provision of high quality services for all victims

We aim to work towards the prevention of domestic violence/abuse through education of the public & with young people.

Current general services are listed below and services  in the Refuge are listed under the Refuge header .

Our current funded service include:

  • Support for Female victims of Domestic Abuse
  • Support for Male victims of Domestic Abuse
  • Support service for children and young person those 8- 25 yrs of age in Domestic Abuse situations.
  • Support at point of crisis & provide a recovery programme after the crisis that will ensure they are able to make informed choices in the future.
  • Drop in and information service from a town centre base, The Liberty Centre Ormskirk.
  • Confidential Counselling
  • Group recovery programmes.
  •  Domestic Abuse awareness courses for both Voluntary sector & statutory agencies.
  • Training Courses’ for survivors to meet up & get support from both staff & their peers (crèche available).
  • Training & Awareness for community, voluntary and statutory groups.
  •   24 Hour Emergency Telephone Helpline 0808 100 3062.


A confidential personal service for families experiencing domestic violence & abuse providing emotional & practical support.

  • Short term temporary emergency accommodation for women & their children who have suffered from domestic violence.
  • Children & Young People Support while living in refuge
  • Outreach and settlement Worker for those families who are being rehoused.
  • Confidential Counselling.
  • Advocacy service for people who have suffered from domestic violence.
  • Group Recovery Programme
  • 24 Hour Emergency Telephone Helpline 0808 100 3062.


At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence. Nearly three quarters of children on the ‘at risk’ register live in households where domestic violence occurs.
Source: Dept. of Health, 2002

In 40 – 70% of cases where women are being abused, the children are also being directly abused themselves.
Source: Stark and Flitcraft,1996; Bowker et al., 1998

How are children affected by domestic violence ?

The majority of children witness the violence that is occurring, and in 90% of cases they are in the same or next room (Hughes, 1992). Children can ‘witness’ domestic violence in many different ways. For example, they may get caught in the middle of an incident in an effort to make the violence stop. They may be in the room next door and hear the abuse or see their mother’s physical injuries following an incident of violence. They may be forced to stay in one room or may not be allowed to play. They may be forced to witness sexual abuse or they may be forced to take part in verbally abusing the victim. All children witnessing domestic violence are being emotionally abused.

Are the effects the same for every child?

Children can experience both short and long term cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects as a result of witnessing domestic abuse. Each child will respond differently to trauma and some may be resilient and not exhibit any negative effects.

Children’s responses to the trauma of witnessing DV may vary according to a multitude of factors including, but not limited to, age, race, sex and stage of development. It is equally important to remember that these responses may also be caused by something other than witnessing domestic violence, and therefore a thorough assessment of a child’s situation is vital.

Children are individuals and may respond to witnessing abuse in different ways.

Children may also feel angry, guilty, insecure, alone, frightened, powerless or confused. They may have ambivalent feelings towards both the abuser and the non-abusing parent.

What’s the legal definition of a child “at risk” in relation to domestic violence?

Children living in households where domestic violence is happening are now identified as “at risk” under the Adoption and Children Act 2002. From 31 January 2005, Section 120 of this act extended the legal definition of harming children to include harm suffered by seeing or hearing ill treatment of others. This would include witnessing domestic abuse

From 31 January 2005, Section 120 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 came into force, which extends the legal definition of harming children to include harm suffered by seeing or hearing ill treatment of others, especially in the home. (WAFE)


Domestic Violence in Teenage Relationships

The official definition of domestic violence is to be changed from March 2013 to ensure that thousands of teenage victims who are abused while in a relationship get the help and support they need. It is also to be widened to explicitly include “coercive control”, which is defined as complex patterns of abuse by one partner using power and psychological control over another, such as financial, verbal abuse or enforced social isolation.

If you are a young person suffering domestic abuse and would like to talk to someone about your situation, please contact our confidential helpline for help and advice. The Liberty Centre has a specially trained young person’s IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) who will be able to support you.

Helpline number 0808 100 3062.


Healthy Relationships

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is The British Crime Survey has recently found that young people are more likely to suffer partner abuse than any other age group, with 12.7% of women and 6.2% of men aged 16-19 having experienced some kind of domestic abuse in the last year.

A survey of teenagers in 2009 by the children’s charity NSPCC found that 75% of girls experienced some form of emotional abuse, 33% of girls experienced some form of sexual abuse and 25% some form of physical abuse. Three-quarters of the girls surveyed who a partner at least two years older than themselves had said they had experienced some form of physical violence.

Warning signs:

  • You believe that you deserve to be hurt & humiliated.
  • You stop seeing your family, to avoid arguments.
  • You stop seeing your friends to avoid arguments.
  • You are scared to express your point of view.
  • You change your behaviour so as not to upset your partner.
  • Feel afraid of your partner a lot of the time.
  • Avoid saying things that may cause your partner to lose their temper.

Please use the Contact Form below if you need information, support or counselling.


01695 50600

Fund Raising

Your support is vital to help us provide and sustain services for the hundreds of men, women and children who have experienced domestic and sexual violence that we support.

One easy way to give is to click on the Donate Now button below and follow few simple instructions;

Just Giving

We recently launched the ‘Don’t Be a Bystander’ campaign along with our partners.

Please consider donating by clicking on the link below.



Give as You Earn: the most cost effective way of donating us. Your donation is made through payroll and is tax-free. It also has 10% added on by the government. Speak to your employer about this.



Raise free donations just by shopping online.  When supporters of charities shop at any one of 4000 retailers listed on the website , a percentage of their completed checkout is donated to their chosen charity. Everyclick or Give as you live is funded by the retailers, allowing them to keep their services free for both the charity and the supporter. Please follow the link http://www.giveasyoulive.com/join/west-lancashire-women-s-refuge/377716/0 and sign up for Refuge – West Lancashire


you can make a one off donation or set up a monthly direct debit via ‘Justgiving’, that will come directly to us.

By post

make your cheque payable to West Lancashire Women’s Refuge.

Donate gifts

Food:We welcome donations of gifts at any time of the year. You can donate new/un-used gifts by passing them into ‘The Liberty Centre’ Park Road Ormskirk.

Gifts of toys, presents & festive fayre are especially welcome at Christmas time and can help ensure Christmas is a magical time for children and young people who will be spending it in the refuge.

Why not ask friends & family to help you to put together ‘Welcome Packs’ for those families coming into the refuge. (Containing New PJ’s, for both women & children/young people, tea, coffee, tin/dried food, toothbrush & paste, comb, hairbrush, deodorants etc.)

Legacy support

This is one of the most valuable ways you can contribute to our vital work. Writing a will is an important decision to make. It can be one of the most important steps in taking care of your family’s welfare. It can also provide you with an opportunity to consider leaving a donation to support the work of your chosen charity and leave a lasting impact.

If you choose to leave a donation to West Lancashire Women’s Refuge your gift can help change the lives of the many women and children we help each year in our work. Donations left in a will to charity are free from inheritance tax. Please contact a solicitor for advice. If you have already made a will, you can add to or change it at any time.

If you would like to help us sustain the vital work that we do, here are some ideas that can be used to raise valuable funds:

  • Donate your old mobile phone to us

Organise an event, here are some ideas:

  • Hold a clothes swap with friends. Ask everyone to bring along their unwanted clothes and accessories. Then, bid against one another to win your friends’ items, and see the pounds add up to a fantastic donation.
  • Dinner party
  • Pub Quiz
  • Car boot sale
  • Cookery event
  • Coffee morning
  • Cheese & Wine Evening
  • A Sporting Event
  • Bring & Buy sale
  • Race Nights
  • Fashion Show

Sponsored events: why not do a sponsored event or activity for us with a group of friends or your workplace colleagues?

  • Sky
  • Dive
  • Abseil
  • Swim
  • Fun run or marathon
  • Set up a free online sponsorship page through Just Giving and ask friends to donate online
  • E-mail the link to everyone you know.

Contact us with your name, address and event and we’ll send you sponsor forms.

Gift Aid It!

Ask UK taxpayers to tick the Gift Aid box which will allow us to reclaim an extra 25p in every £1 – at no cost to you, the donor or us. Please ask for full names and home addresses.
Plan well in advance. Ask family or friends to help. Place on social media & ask friends & family to share & support you. Ask your place of work if they will match what you raise.
Please send us photos that with your permission we could put on our website.
Your efforts will help to support those who have experienced domestic violence & sexual abuse.

Our Fundraising Promise

We are members of The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) self-regulatory scheme. The FRSB works to ensure that organisations raising money for charity from the public do so honestly and properly. As members of the scheme, we follow the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Fundraising Practice and comply with key principles embodied in the Code and in this Promise.

We Are Committed to High Standards

We do all we can to ensure that fundraisers, volunteers and fundraising contractors working with us to raise funds comply with the Code and with this Promise:

  • We comply with the law including those that apply to data protection, health and safety and the environment
  • We Are Honest and Open
  • We tell the truth and do not exaggerate
  • We do what we say we are going to do
  • We answer all reasonable questions about our fundraising activities and costs. Please contact us, visit our website or see our Annual Report if you require further details.
  • We are clear about who we are, what we do and how your gift is used
  • Where we have a promotional agreement with a commercial company, we make clear how much of the purchase price we receive
  • We give a clear explanation of how you can make a gift and amend a regular commitment.
  • We Are Respectful
  • We respect the rights, dignities and privacy of our supporters and beneficiaries
  • We will not put undue pressure on you to make a gift and if you do not want to give or cease
  • giving, we will respect your decision
  • If you tell us that you don’t want us to contact you in a particular way we will not do so
  • We Are Fair and Reasonable
  • We take care not to use any images or words that cause unjustifiable distress or offence
  • We take care not to cause unreasonable nuisance or disruption
  • We Are Accountable
  • If you are unhappy with anything we’ve done whilst fundraising, you can contact us to make a complaint
  • We have a complaints procedure, a copy of which is available on request. If we cannot resolve your complaint, we accept the authority of the FRSB to make a final adjudication

Our Complaints Policy

The Liberty Centre is committed to delivering a high standard of service to anyone who engages with our work. We are keen to hear from anyone who believes we have fallen short of the high standards we set ourselves.

You can provide your feedback by phone on 01695 50600 ext 1 – email liberty@wlwref.org.uk
Alternatively, you can write to the following address:
P.O. Box 16
Glebe Road

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