What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is “the behaviour of a person towards another person where they are each aged 16 or over and personally connected to each other and the behaviour is abusive. The behaviour can consist of a single incident or a course of conduct.”
Personally connected means: intimate partners, ex-partners, family members or individuals who share parental responsibility for a child. There is no requirement for the victim and perpetrator to live in the same household. As part of this definition, children are explicitly recognised as victims if they see, hear, or otherwise experience the effects of the abuse. Behaviours could include:
Psychological: isolation from family and friends, intimidation, degradation, harassment
Physical: pushing, slapping, hitting, punching, biting, strangling, murder
Sexual: indecent assault, rape, unwanted sexual activity
Economic: keeping all the money, not allowing their partner to earn their own money, making their partner beg
Emotional: name calling, bullying, threats, constant criticism, blaming
Help and Support
If you are in danger, please call the emergency services on 999
If you are unable to speak, listen to the operator and follow the guidance – from a mobile, you will be put through to the silent solution system, which will play a 20 second automated message and ask you to press 55 to confirm it’s not safe to speak, allowing you to be put through to the police.
If you need immediate, non-emergency support, you can contact your local police by phoning 101.
For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there are a number of local and national services offering help and support. Guidance is also available to help perpetrators change their behaviour.
A2 Dominion Domestic Abuse Services
The Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline provides emotional support and practical information for adults affected by domestic abuse.
Free helpline: 0800 731 0055 (Mon – Fri 10am – 7pm)
The phone number will not show on a landline phone bill but may appear on an itemised mobile phone bill.
UK Government Domestic Abuse Information
The UK Government has pages dedicated to national domestic abuse service on their website. Please visit there for more places to find support and advice around domestic abuse.
Website: gov.uk/report domestic abuse
The Hourglass confidential services provide information and support to older persons, or anyone concerned about older persons who are at risk of, experiencing or recovering from any form of abuse or neglect.
Helpline: 0808 808 8141
Reducing the Risk
Reducing the Risk is dedicated to the safety of adults and children at risk of domestic abuse and to the empowerment of the professionals and volunteers who support them.
Clare’s Law – Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
Clare’s Law enables members of the public to have a “Right to ask” police if their current partner poses a risk to them in terms of their history of domestic abuse. The scheme also enables professionals to raise a “Right to know” request through the police. It applies where they feel someone may be at risk of domestic abuse and they have some reasonable concern or knowledge about the individual’s past. A right to ask can also be made by a third person, for example a parent, relative or friend who is concerned. In these cases, if a disclosure is to be made, it will only be made to the potential victim of abuse.