The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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.’ The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
- 'honour' based abuse
- female genital mutilation
- online or digital abuse, also known as revenge porn
- coercive and controlling behaviour.
Coercive Control is a criminal offence. It is defined by Women's Aid as:
“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."
Stalking is defined by Paladin & the College of Policing as:
“A pattern of unwanted, fixated and obsessive behaviour which is intrusive and causes fear of violence or serious alarm or distress.”
Anyone can experience domestic abuse regardless of ethnicity, age, sexuality, disability, religion or class. The effects of abuse are complex and difficult for many to understand, our role is to ensure the victim and their children feel supported and we work together to increase their safety. There are many reasons why people don't leave an abusive relationship; adults with care or support needs may face additional barriers to seeking help.
Domestic abuse can happen between:
- Intimate partners – may be living together, dating, married
- Same – sex partners
- Young people – 16 and 17 year olds
- Family members
- Family carers.
Perpetrators of Domestic Abuse aged 18 and over can be referred to the Change Project.
Practitioners can find support to work with perpetrators from The Perpetrator Outreach Service by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Domestic abuse happens mostly to women, but men are also victims of domestic abuse, in same sex and heterosexual relationships.
Stalking is a criminal offence and can happen to anyone. The stalker may be:
- an ex-partner
- work colleague or ex work colleague
- an acquaintance.
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling that the abuse is their fault, when it is not
- Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
- Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
- Fear of outside intervention
- Damage to home or property
- Isolation – not seeing friends and family
- Limited access to money
Coercive and controlling behaviour is a range of acts that humiliate, degrade, isolate and control an individual with the use of, or the threat of violence or sexual violence.
Coercive or controlling behaviour is a core part of domestic violence and became an offence in December 2015. Coercive behaviour can include:
- Acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation
- Harming, punishing, or frightening the person
- Isolating the person from sources of support
- Exploitation of resources or money
- Preventing the person from escaping abuse
- Regulating everyday behaviour.
Domestic abuse also includes:
Female Genital Mutilation
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (World Health Organisation). FGM is illegal in the U.K. It is also known as female circumcision or female cutting, as well as other terms such as sunna, gudniin, halalays, tahur, megrez and khitan, among others.
For further information please contact:
NSPCC FGM Helpline – +44 (0)800 028 3550
Honour based violence
Honour based violence and abuse can take many forms, e.g. threatening behaviour, assault, rape, kidnap, abduction, forced abortion, threats to kill and false imprisonment committed due to so called ‘honour’. The honour code is decided upon by male relatives, and women are killed or abused if it is perceived that they have behaved in a way that is immoral and brings shame on the family or community.
For further information, contact:
Halo Project – 01642 683 045
One or both people do not want to get married (consent), or in the case of people with a learning disability, they cannot consent to marriage. Pressure or abuse is used to make them go ahead with the marriage.
Further information please contact
Forced Marriage Unit – +44 (0) 20 7008 0151
If you are worried that you or an adult you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse report it now, call 01375 511000
If the person is immediate danger, dial 999 and ask for the police
Freephone 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
Children witnessing Domestic Abuse is child abuse – if you are concerned about a child report it now, call 01375 652 802
Outside of office hours call: 01375 372 468
Professionals working with victims of Domestic Abuse, Stalking or so called Honour Based Abuse should complete the DASH 2009. This will help to guide your next steps in supporting the adult, whether it be a referral to MARAC, COMPASS, Changing Pathways and other more practical support to do with housing, therapeutic support, sexual health etc.
MARAC: Referrals to Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) should use the MARAC Referral Form and be sent to ThurrockMARAC@thurrock.gov.uk
PERPETRATOR SUPPORT: The perpetrator Outreach Service offers support to perpetrators of domestic abuse whether male or female. You can send a referral form to email@example.com or call 01245 258680
The Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board (SET DAB) has a lot of useful information about support for perpetrators, victims and professionals. Visit their website at www.setdab.org
- COMPASS Essex Domestic Abuse Helpline – 24 hours a day – 0330 333 7 444 or www.essexcompass.org.uk supporting victims of Domestic Abuse across Southend, Essex and Thurrock
- Domestic Abuse – Support for Victims
- Honour Based Abuse – Support for Victims
- Women’s Aid
- Changing Pathways
- National Stalking Helpline on 0808 802 0300 run by Suzy Lamplugh Trust
- Paladin, the National Stalking Advisory Service on 020 3866 4107
- Revenge Porn helpline – 03456 000 459 – support with image based abuse, also known as revenge porn
- The Change Project – change programme for perpetrators, call 07568432146
- The Transform Toolkit – Improving Support for People With Learning Difficulties Experiencing Abuse
Stalking is a crime. If you are in immediate danger dial 999.
- Online abuse
- Criminal damage
- Leaving signs
- Following, tracking and finding you
- Using your kids to get to you
- Bombarding you with texts
- Obsessive calls
- Unwanted gifts
- Threats to injure/kill, including sexual violence.
Stalkers have different reasons to stalk their victim, but the behaviour is similar. They all tend to be obsessed, fixated and have no regard for other opinions.
For support with stalking you can contact Changing Pathways at www.changingpathways.org or call 0300 333 7444