Domestic violence and abuse is the abuse of someone within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a person, meaning the abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s/ family member’s reaction is being abused.
The terms ‘domestic violence’ and ‘domestic abuse’ are often used interchangeably, so here we have ‘joined them together as it is felt to be a more inclusive way to describe a range of behaviours, which include violence as well as all other forms of abuse.
While there is no specific offence of domestic violence or abuse under criminal law, many forms of domestic violence and abuse are crimes.
Tackling domestic violence and abuse is a priority for the police and partner agencies in Warwickshire and the Commissioner has made it an objective of the Police and Crime Plan to ensure that there are the right services in place to help victims and their families, as well as programmes to assist perpetrators to change their behaviour.
My Police and Crime Plan has key objectives of putting victims and survivors first and protecting people from harm, so ensuring that services offering help, support and protection for victims and survivors of domestic violence and domestic abuse are in place across the county is absolutely vital.
– PCC Philip Seccombe
Domestic violence and abuse affects over 9,000 males and females in Warwickshire. Support and accommodation for victims is vital and a key objective within our strategy to end violence and protect people from harm.
To meet this challenge, Warwickshire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have co-commissioned the charity Refuge – one of the largest providers of domestic violence and abuse support services nationally – to provide specialist support for victims in Warwickshire.
Since April 2017, Refuge has delivered a combined community-based support and accommodation service in Warwickshire offering:
- 24 units of accommodation in locations across Warwickshire and associated support for females aged 16 and over and their dependent children, including provision of a children’s worker.
- A single point of contact and specialist helpline.
- Outreach support, specialist advocacy for high risk victims and specialist support for male, BME and LGBT victims.
- Support to Warwickshire’s GP practices under the Identification and Referral to Improve Safety (IRIS) programme.
- Management of the Sanctuary Scheme.
- Coordination of Warwickshire’s Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) and support to the Warwickshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH).
Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse
The aim of Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse is to tackle domestic abuse by increasing the information and support available to victims, their friends and family, young people and to abusers.
If you or somebody you know needs confidential help or advice, call the Warwickshire Against Domestic Abuse Helpline:
0800 408 1552 or visit www.talk2someone.org.uk
Calls from most landlines to the Warwickshire Domestic Abuse Helpline are free and not itemised on bills. If in doubt, or you are calling from a mobile, please check with your telephone provider.
Help is also available from the following organisations which can be accessed via the links below:
- National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) – providing legal assistance to obtain civil orders/injunctions
- GALOP – supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people experiencing domestic violence and abuse
- Mankind – supporting male victims of domestic violence and abuse
- Karma Nirvana – aiming to stop forced marriage and honour based violence
- Women’s Aid – national charity for Women and children working to end domestic abuse
- Refuge – a national domestic violence charity which provides specialist support to women and children who experience domestic violence. In Warwickshire Refuge provides support in four different locations.
- Domestic Abuse Counselling Service (DACS) – provides counselling services for both female and male victims of abuse in Nuneaton, North Warwickshire and Stratford upon Avon and perpetrators of abuse from its Nuneaton office.