Get help for domestic violence

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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, ask for help. If it’s happened once it’s likely to happen again and it’s never too late to seek help, regardless of how long it’s been happening.

Domestic violence is any kind of violence or other abuse between family members or people living in the same household. This can be violent behaviour by a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, partner, ex-partner, father, mother, son or daughter who lives with you or lives elsewhere.

The organisation Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men, but this is not always the case.

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

You may not always know if someone is being domestically abused. Just because someone doesn’t look like a ‘typical victim’, it doesn’t mean they’re not experiencing it. Domestic violence can happen to anyone – and help is available.

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How to recognise domestic abuse

Everyone’s situation is unique and if you are experiencing domestic abuse, you’ll experience it in different ways to someone else. However, there are some common things to look out for to acknowledge domestic abuse – and often this is the first step to being able to prevent and stop the abuse.

The list below can help you recognise if you or someone you know is experiencing abuse.

  • Destructive criticism and verbal abuse

    shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling; verbally threatening.

  • Pressure tactics

    sulking; threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the phone and internet, taking away or destroying your mobile, tablet or laptop, taking the car away, taking the children away; threatening to report you to the police, social services or the mental health team unless you comply with his demands; threatening or attempting self-harm and suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to your friends and family about you; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.

  • Disrespect

    persistently putting you down in front of other people; not listening or responding when you talk; interrupting your telephone calls; taking money from your purse without asking; refusing to help with childcare or housework.

  • Breaking trust

    lying to you; withholding information from you; being jealous; having other relationships; breaking promises and shared agreements.

  • Isolation

    monitoring or blocking your phone calls, e-mails and social media accounts, telling you where you can and cannot go; preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; shutting you in the house.

  • Harassment

    following you; checking up on you; not allowing you any privacy (for example, opening your mail, going through your laptop, tablet or mobile), repeatedly checking to see who has phoned you; embarrassing you in public; accompanying you everywhere you go.

  • Threats

    making angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate; shouting you down; destroying your possessions; breaking things; punching walls; wielding a knife or a gun; threatening to kill or harm you and the children; threatening to kill or harm family pets; threats of suicide.

  • Sexual violence

    using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts; having sex with you when you don’t want it; forcing you to look at pornographic material; constant pressure and harassment into having sex when you don’t want to, forcing you to have sex with other people; any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.

  • Physical violence

    punching; slapping; hitting; biting; pinching; kicking; pulling hair out; pushing; shoving; burning; strangling, pinning you down, holding you by the neck, restraining you.

  • Denial

    saying the abuse doesn’t happen; saying you caused the abuse; saying you wind them up; saying they can’t control their anger; being publicly gentle and patient; crying and begging for forgiveness; saying it will never happen again.

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Am I in an abusive relationship?

Woman’s aid have an online questionnaire to help you determine whether you’re experiencing domestic abuse or not.

Take the questionnaire here.


How to get help

If you need support – there are people you can turn to. Below are the different organisation’s available to support you with your situation.

Emergency help

If you need help urgently, contact emergency services, the police or the community safety unit (specialist unit for domestic violence cases):

  • For emergencies, call 999.
  • For urgent medical help or advice when it’s not a life-threatening situation, call 111.
  • For advice from the police on domestic violence and for help looking into your situation, call the Community Safety Unit on 0300 12301212.

Domestic violence help

For help with domestic violence, you can contact some of the following organisations:

  • Call Havering Women’s Aid on 01708 728759.
  • Call Victim Support on 020 8550 2410.

Help for adults and older people

If you need help as an adult or older person, or know someone who does need help, there are organisations that can help you:

Help for children and young people

If you need help for a child or a young person, or you are child or young person and need help, you can call the free telephone numbers below for help:

  • Call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
  • Call the NSPCC for free on 0800 800 500.

Help for women

If you’re a women experiencing domestic violence, you can contact some of the following organisations:

  • Call Havering Women’s Aid on 01708 728759.
  • Call National Women’s Aid on their 24 hour refuge helpline on 0808200024.
  • Victim Support can offer victims of crime advice and support, help with legal remedies, assistance with housing, and benefits advice. Call Victim Support on 020 8550 2410.
  • Women in Prison offers advice and support to women affected by the criminal justice system. Call 0800 953 0125 for assistance.

Help for men

Domestic violence can affect both men and women. For help if you’re a man experiencing domestic violence, you can contact some of the following organisations:

  • The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members). Call on 0808 801 0327.
  • Victim Support can offer victims of crime advice and support, help with legal remedies, assistance with housing, and benefits advice. Call on 020 8550 2410.

Help if you’re disabled

Help for the LGBT community

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How to delete your browsing history

If you’re concerned over someone seeing that you’ve visited this page, you can delete your history so that no one can see that you’ve visited this website.

  1. Open the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.
  2. Click Tools in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Select Internet Options from the drop-down menu.
  4. On the General tab, in the Browsing history section, click the Delete button.
  5. Check the boxes of the data you’d like to clear.
  6. Click Delete.

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Get help to stop abusing your partner

Are you hurting the one you love? Choose to stop. There’s help available for you if you want to stop being violent or abusive and there are people that can support you to stop. Visit the Respect Phoneline website or call them to talk about your situation on 0808 802 4040.

Information for professionals

Become a domestic violence and abuse supporter champion in Havering

Research tell us that victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) can go to as many as 5 different agencies before they find appropriate help, advice and support. By having Domestic Violence and Abuse Champions with increased awareness of the problems and of local services, the aim is to dramatically reduce this number and ensure early intervention.

Champions will be able to advise their colleagues on management of individual cases and ensure that they are aware of (and have access to) local resources and support.

Agencies have strategic and operational obligations towards DVA and safeguarding victims. Having a Champion within your organistion or service is vital in supporting these obligations.

What is the Champion’s role?​

By training as a Domestic Violence and Abuse Champion you will be:

  • ​the DVA contact for your organisation or service area
  • able to identify victims of DVA and refer them to local resources and support
  • the link between your organisation or service area and the other Champions
  • able to attend DVA networking meetings, allowing you to meet other Champions from other professions, share your knowledge and best practices
  • up to date on DVA issues, allowing you to cascade these to your colleagues

Who can sign up?

The DVA Champions Network currently has representatives from dozens of agencies such as:

  • nurses and health visitors
  • DVA outreach workers
  • sommunity safety officers
  • substance misuse workers
  • social workers
  • police officers/PCSOs
  • relationship therapists
  • early help officers
  • sexual health workers

We are always looking for new Champions from diverse professions and service areas to sign up, become a Champion and bring further perspectives and experiences to the network.

Make an application

Apply to become a domestic violence and abuse champion.

Make a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) referral

If you identify someone as at high risk of serious harm or homicide, you can refer them to the MARAC. The MARAC is a meeting made up of multiple agencies including the police, health, child protection, housing, independent domestic violence advisors (IDVA’s), probation, mental health, substance misuse and other specialists from the statutory and voluntary sectors.

How can the MARAC support

The MARAC will aim to support those referred by:

  • sharing relevant information amongst each other to increase the safety, health and well-being of victims, adults and their children
  • making links with other public protection services in relation to children, perpetrators and vulnerable adults
  • determining whether the perpetrator poses a significant risk to any particular individual or to the general community
  • constructing jointly and implementing a risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm
  • reducing repeat victimisation
  • improving agency accountability
  • improving support for and the safety of staff involved in high risk domestic abuse cases

Who can make a referral

Any agency can make a referral to the MARAC and we’d advise that you read the guidance notes before completing this form.

Make a referral

Complete the online referral form to refer someone to the MARAC.

Get in touch with us on: 01708 776770 (Select Option 2) or via online forms