Independent Choices

Independent Choices was founded in 1978 as an organisation run by women, for women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse. Through our Helpline services we can offer advice, information, telephone counselling and support to any woman (age 16 and over)  who is being abused, has been abused or is in fear of being forced into marriage by someone they are having a relationship with, or have formerly had a relationship with. This includes partners, husband, ex-partners and family members, and women in same sex relationships.


Women’s Domestic Abuse Helpline

Call: 0161 636 7525

The Helpline is confidential and you do not have to give your name. Remember that someone else may have access to your telephone bills that may be itemised. If you don’t want people at home to know you have rung the Helpline, ring from a friend’s house or a phone box, we will always phone you back.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday, 10am – 4 pm excluding bank holidays.

24 Hour Emergency Helplines

Community Helpline Language Service

Languages available: Urdu and Punjabi

Opening Hours: Monday and Tuesday 10am – 1pm, Wednesday 1pm – 4pm

Community Helpline Language Service

Non-urgent Email Advice Service

We will respond to your email within three working days. We can only offer limited information by email, if you require an urgent response or need in-depth support please call the Helpline on 0161 636 7525.

When you email us it’s very important that you specify when and if it’s safe to respond, and to which email address. Your safety is our main concern.

If you are in danger and need urgent assistance then phone the police on 999.

What is Domestic Abuse?

Being assaulted physically or sexually by someone you are having a relationship with or have previously had a relationship with is as much a crime as being assaulted by a stranger. Emotional abuse, put downs, name calling, threats, harassment are classed as domestic abuse. Women can also experience abuse from close family members or be forced/threatened to take actions against their will. This can also include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’.

Read more on Domestic Abuse

What is Economic Abuse?

Economic financial abuse can have serious and long term effects on women and children experiencing it. Women and children can become trapped in a cycle of poverty, they can experience physical and psychological ill health, isolation and feeling that they cant escape from the abusive relationship. See safety plan for links to help on financial issues.

Read more on Economic Abuse

What is Forced Marriage?

In a forced marriage you are coerced into marrying someone against your will. You may be physically threatened or emotionally blackmailed to do so. It is an abuse of human rights and cannot be justified on any religious or cultural basis. It’s not the same as an arranged marriage where you have a choice as to whether to accept the arrangement or not. The tradition of arranged marriages has operated successfully within many communities and countries for a very long time. Forced marriage is a form of domestic abuse.

Read more on Forced Marriage