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Domestic abuse - how libraries can help

Surrey libraries have reopened

Surrey County Council has reopened thirteen libraries as part of a programme to gradually reopen across the county from 6 July, in line with Government guidance. The first libraries to reopen were Camberley, Dorking, Egham, Epsom, Farnham, Godalming, Guildford, Horley, Oxted, Redhill, Staines, Weybridge and Woking.

We're working hard to start reopening services in other libraries and further updates will be posted on our Coronavirus information page, which also includes information about what services are available, which services are paused, and the safety measures in place.

'Seen something? Say something!'

If you are at risk or suspect someone is at risk ...please say something!

In an emergency, dial 999 for the police or contact Adult Social Care. Outside of office hours (5pm–9am), contact our Emergency Duty Team

Alternatively, phone the 24 hour Surrey domestic abuse helpline, 01483 776822, for support and advice.

Surrey libraries have joined in partnership with Surrey Against Domestic Abuse to help reduce domestic abuse in Surrey.

Domestic abuse is a very real problem. There are over 1000 reports of domestic abuse to Surrey Police each month – 16% of their work. Nationally, 84 women and 30 men die annually in a domestic abuse related incident.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is about power and control and can take many forms:

  • Physical – including being hit, slapped, kicked or attacked
  • Sexual – being forced or coerced into sexual acts which make you uncomfortable or scared
  • Emotional – being ridiculed, constantly criticised, made to feel bad or threatened
  • Financial – when someone takes or controls your money
  • Isolation – when someone controls who you see, talk to and when you go out

Domestic abuse occurs regardless of sex, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, religion or physical or mental ability.

How can Surrey libraries help?

We are committed to providing help and support through libraries. We want to support victims of domestic abuse by providing the information and the resources needed in a safe environment.

Libraries Change Lives video explores the work that Surrey libraries' have been doing over the past two years and will continue to do in the future.

Use a library computer

If someone is controlling or frightening you then it may be difficult for you to find out about your options or where to find help. Your abuser can monitor your online activity through checking your computer's history or with spy software, making it impossible to completely cover your online tracks.

A library computer can't be monitored: by using one you will have access to all the information you need, and it is free and safe.

Reading list

Our reading list brings together a selection of books about domestic abuse, and contain self-help and memoir titles recommended by professionals.

If you would like further information about health issues caused by domestic abuse, why not try our Reading Well collection.


Expressing emotions through writing or drawing can help those experiencing domestic abuse and give insight to those who are less aware. "Healing Words" and "Moving Forward" are e-books produced as part of our continued partnership work with Surrey's domestic abuse outreach services. They feature writing and artwork contributed during recent workshops with local survivors.

Files available to download

  • Healing words (1.7 MB)
    Healing Words (updated June 2013) - domestic abuse ebook
  • Moving on (298.5 KB)
    A collection of writing by women at HMP Downview who have completed the Freedom Programme

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