Domestic violence

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence can be:

  • threatening behaviour
  • violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) that takes place in intimate or family-type relationships 

It happens across all ages, social class, race, gender, sexualities and disability. Women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence but men can be victims too. 

Children and domestic violence

In 90 per cent of domestic violence incidents, children or young people are in the same or next room.  

All children or young people witnessing domestic violence are being emotionally abused.  

If you hear domestic violence

If you hear domestic violence taking place next door, you should report it to the Police immediately. 

There are many signs of domestic violence including: verbal abuse, pressure tactics, disrespect, breaking trust, isolation, harassment, threats, sexual violence and physical violence. The abuser will often deny the abuse is happening.    

Are you at high risk or serious harm?

If any of the following are happening to you, you could be at risk of serious harm we strongly encourage you to seek support and protection from the Police or another domestic violence service: 

  • violence is getting worse or you have been seriously hurt
  • you have been threatened
  • you have recently separated, or told your partner you are going to leave
  • the perpetrator has access to weapons
  • the perpetrator has raped or sexually assaulted you
  • the perpetrator is harassing or stalking you after you have left
  • the perpetrator is extremely jealous, possessive and controlling
  • you are pregnant or have recently given birth
  • you are socially or culturally isolated by the perpetrator
  • there is extended family involvement and collusion with the abuse
  • the perpetrator is misusing drugs or alcohol
  • the perpetrator is abusive, aggressive or threatening towards your children
  • the perpetrator has a history of ignoring or breaking injunctions or other court orders. 

If you are in a violent relationship, what can you do?

  • recognise that what is happening to you is domestic violence, and that it is unacceptable
  • accept that you are not to blame
  • contact the Police or one of the specialist domestic violence services 

Support for people in abusive relationships

  •  The Survivor's HandbookWomen’s Aid, provides practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse, with simple guidance on every aspect of support. This website has a button which allows you to exit it at any time. Please visit website: www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/
  • 24-hour National Domestic Violence This is run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge. Freephone Helpline 0808 2000 247  

For male victims of domestic violence

  • Men’s Advice Line website for help and support visit website: www.mensadviceline.org.uk/ Or call 0808 801 0327 Monday - Friday 9am-5pm

 Reporting a concern about domestic abuse 

You may want to report a concern if you: 

  • are concerned about the safety or wellbeing of an adult
  • suspect they are being neglected or abused
  • would like to report an incident

If you believe someone is in immediate danger, dial 999

If you are not sure whether it's serious, call contact the Local Authority Safeguarding Adults Team. They are best placed to decide whether it warrants further investigation.You can also use the following links for further information:

Domestic abuse in LBBD – Barking and Dagenham
Please see website: www.lbbd.gov.uk/domestic-abuse-and-sexual-violence
If you're experiencing domestic abuse and need help, you can contact them by calling 020 8591 3498 or emailing bdadvocacyreferrals@victimsupport.org.uk

Domestic abuse in London Borough of Redbridge
Please see website: www.redbridge.gov.uk/crime-and-public-safety/domestic-violence/

Domestic abuse in London Borough of Havering
Please see website: www.havering.gov.uk/info/20096/community/550/domestic_violence

Emergency Refuge

If you are in need of emergency refuge please call the National Domestic Violence helpline; 0808 2000247 

Sexual violence

If you are a victim of sexual violence contact the East London Rape Crisis Centre for free confidential advice and support on 020 7683 1210. 

LGBT victims 

LGBT victims of domestic violence can contact GALOP domestic abuse project for specialist support on 020 7704 2040. 

Deaf victims of domestic violence

Deaf victims of domestic violence can receive advocacy and outreach support from Deaf Hope by telephoning 020 8772 3241 or email: deafhope@signhealth.org.uk 

Stopping being violent and abusive to your partner

If you want to stop being violent and abusive to your partner contact Respect on 0808 802 4040.

Women in Prison

Women in Prison offers advice and support to women affected by the criminal justice system. Contact 0800 953 0125 for assistance.

London Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

The London Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Consortium is made up of 29 organisations working in partnership to deliver comprehensive, cost effective, high quality services to all communities across London. This innovative partnership strengthens referral pathways across organisations and identifies trends and emerging need.

Page last updated 15 May 2019