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Report domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is when a person’s behaviour towards another is controlling, forced or threatening. Domestic abuse is defined as between those aged 16 or over, and who are personally connected.

You are ‘personally connected’ to someone if they are a current or ex-partner, family member or share parental responsibility for a child with you.

Everyone has the right to live free from abuse. You are not to blame and you are not alone.

Domestic abuse covers different types of behaviour, including:

  • Emotional and psychological – making degrading comments, judging or manipulating you
  • Controlling or coercive – commenting or monitoring on what you do, who you see and where you go
  • Financial or economical – monitoring or controlling your money, employment, education, transport or food and clothing
  • Physical – biting, hitting, strangling, restraining or injuring you in any way
  • Sexual – using force, threats or intimidation to make you engage in sexual acts
  • Stalking and harassment – following you or making continued unwanted contact
  • Violent or threatening – making threats towards you, your family or themselves, angry gestures, destroying your possessions

Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality or social background. It also includes honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

Report domestic abuse to the police

If you are a victim of domestic abuse or know someone who is, report it to us:

You will be believed and listened to, and we will do everything we can to support and help keep you safe.

Immediate danger

Call 999 if you are in immediate danger.

Making a silent 999 call
If you are not able to talk during a 999 call, you may be asked to cough or press a button on your phone, so the operator knows you are listening.

The call handler will then ask you to press 55. This lets them know it is an emergency and you will be put through to the police.

Do not call 999 and press 55 immediately as it might not be registered as an emergency call. Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow the police to track your location.

What happens next and support for victims

What happens after a report has been made

Your report will be risk assessed to ensure it is dealt with by the most appropriate team.

  • We will contact you to get a better understanding of what has happened. The method of contact and how soon will depend on the risk to you and others.
  • We will ask you questions which will help us complete a risk assessment form, known as Domestic Abuse, Stalking and harassment and Honour Based Abuse (DASH). The DASH helps us assess the risks to you and how best we and other agencies can support in keeping you safe.
  • We will take necessary action to keep you and any other individuals, such as children, at risk of harm safe.

If a criminal offence has occurred:

  • You will be referred to our Lighthouse Safeguarding Unit, who will contact you to understand your needs as a victim and offer referrals to specialist support services.
  • The case will be investigated by a designated officer, who will ask for a statement from you and keep you updated on the investigation.
Support for victims

You are not to blame for what is happening and you are not alone. There are local and national organisations who can help and support you.

Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as Clare’s Law)

Under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as Clare’s Law, the police can disclose information about someone’s history of domestic violence or violent acts.

Find out how to make a DVDS request.

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