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Domestic Abuse


What is domestic abuse?


Domestic abuse is any kind of violence or other abuse between family members. This can be violent behaviour by a husband, wife, father, mother, son or daughter who lives with you or lives elsewhere.

It may include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse. It can also affect the health and well being of children in the family.

Domestic violence is 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 cover, but is not limited to:

  • Physical Abuse

  • Psychological Abuse

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Emotional Abuse

Controlling behaviour


Controlling behaviour is 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


Coercive behaviour is: 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 the police 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.

No one should have to put up with any kind of violence or abuse. Everyone has the right to personal safety – so if you are worried, then ask for help. If it has happened once, it is likely to happen again. Even if it has been happening for years, it is never too late to seek help.


Who to contact

In an emergency always call 999.

Other organisations who can help

Contact any of the following organisations to get help and advice about domestic abuse:

Newham Domestic Violence One Stop Shop

If you are experiencing domestic or sexual violence there is free and confidential support available. Call the Newham One Stop Shop. The line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  They have experts who speak most languages.

Call 0845 451 2547 

Walthamstow Local Help

English National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 80 10 800

Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland)
0800 917 1414

Scottish Women’s Aid
0800 027 1234
Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327
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