What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is defined as any incident 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 their gender or sexuality.
What are the types of abuse?
Domestic abuse covers a range of types of abuse, including but not limited to:
- Emotional abuse
- Coercive control
In an emergency
Please call the police on 999.
In danger, need the police, but can't speak?
- Dial 999
- Listen to the questions from the operator
- Respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can
- If prompted, press 55 (this lets them know that it's a genuine emergency and you'll be put through to the police).
If you're experiencing domestic abuse, get in touch with us. We'll handle all information confidentially and sensitively, and agree a communication plan with you, so we only speak when it's safe to do so.
Emergency accommodation - If you're facing a serious threat of violence and are fearful of returning to your home, contact Buckinghamshire Council who have a statutory responsibility to consider homeless applications.
Ending a tenancy – Whilst we do not encourage this, we would strongly recommend you seek independent legal advice from a solicitor or local Citizens Advice before doing so.
Priority move application – In case of domestic abuse where there is serious risk of physical and/or mental harm, the case owner may consider submitting a priority move application to our housing adaptations and lettings panel for consideration, subject to:
- The criteria for the priority move being met
- Supporting evidence being provided by partner agencies such as the police and other support agencies
Other housing options may also apply, such as registering on Bucks Home Choice mutual exchange (subject to the criteria being met).
For additional housing or emergency accommodation support please contact Buckinghamshire Council:
- email: email@example.com
- phone (office hours): 01494 421212
- phone (emergency/out of hours): 0800 999 7677
You can request disclosure in certain circumstances under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) or Clare's law.
If you're experiencing domestic abuse, then we urge you to seek help from one of the following support groups:
TSB Emergency Flee Fund
The rising cost of living is making it harder for domestic abuse victims to leave their abuser. TSB Bank are now offering an ‘Emergency flee fund’ payment of £50 to £500 to support customers who need to escape an abusive relationship. If you need access to this fund, visit TSB in Church Street, High Wycombe (or find a branch closer to you) and talk to a member of their staff. They have received specialist training to support victims of domestic abuse and will be able to help you.
All TSB branches are Safe Spaces offering support to anyone experiencing domestic abuse.
Ask for ANI
Victims of domesic abuse can use a codeword scheme to help them signal for help from the safety of a pharmacy. Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) has been developed by the Home Office to allow domestic abuse sufferers to signal they need emergency help to a chemist.
You can use the codeword ANI in participating pharmacies (including all Boots stores and participating independent pharmacies) to let staff know you require an emergency police response or help contacting a helpline or specialist support service.
Pharmacies taking part will display posters to let customers know that they can approach their staff to seek help. Any information shared will be treated confidentially. When someone uses the codeword or asks for help, the member of staff will ask them to accompany them to the consultation room. They will then check whether they are in danger and want the police to be called. If so, the staff member will offer the use of a phone to dial 999, or make the call on their behalf. If they are not in an emergency situation, the staff member will support them to contact a national domestic abuse helpline or local support service. They may also contact the police via 101.
For a map and list of participating pharmacies, visit the Thames Valley Police website
Bucks Domestic Abuse Partnership
Bucks Domestic Abuse Partnership aims to provide a one-stop shop of information, including how to access support if you think you might be experiencing domestic abuse.
National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline
The National Domestic Violence Helpline is run in partnership by Refuge and Women's Aid and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Call: 0808 2000 247
If you've been affected by crime, Victim Support can give you the support you need to move forward. Their services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened.
Call: 0808 1689 111
Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge.
Call: 0808 2000 247
HESTIA provide support in 21 refuges across 10 London boroughs.
Karma Nirvana is a specialist charity for victims and survivors of Honour Based Abuse in the UK, supporting, empowering and educating those impacted, so they can live a life free of abuse.
Call: 0800 5999 247
Men's Advice Line
The Men's Advice Line provides advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
Call: 0808 801 0327
Information and advice for children and young people. Whatever your worry, Childline is there for you.
Call: 0800 11 11
Forced Marriage Unit
Contact the Forced Marriage Unit if you're trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you've been forced into.
Call: 020 7008 0151
Honour-based violence support
The Crown Prosecution Service describes honour-based violence as an incident or crime 'which has, or may have, been committed to protect or defend the 'honour' of the family and or the community.' Honour can be the motivation, excuse or justification behind a range of violent acts against women and girls.
Honour-based violence may include:
- Forced marriage
- Domestic violence (physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse)
- Sexual harassment and sexual violence (rape and sexual assault or threat of rape and sexual assault)
- Threats to kill
- Social ostracism or rejection and emotional pressure
- Denial of access to children
- Pressure to go or move abroad
- House arrest and excessive restrictions of freedom
- Denial of access to the telephone, internet, or passport/key documentation
- Isolation from friends and own family
If you're a victim of 'Honour' based violence or forced marriage please contact the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Are you hurting someone that you love? Choose to stop.
Call: 0808 802 4040
Refuge is a national charity for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
Call: 0808 2000 247
UK SAYS NO MORE is working with pharmacies including Boots and Superdrug and HSBC and TSB banks to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse. Find out more.
Rights of Women
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Free support and legal advice for female victims.
Website: Rights of Women
Specialist information and support for all those affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and all other forms of sexual violence and abuse in England and Wales.
Call: 0808 802 9999
Website: Rape Crisis
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
Operated by Galop, the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity
Call: 0800 999 5428
Female Genital Mutilation Helpline
Operating 24/7, staffed by specially trained members of the public and professionals
Call: 0800 028 2550
UK Sign language service to help deaf women and children who are victims of domestic abuse
Call: 020 3947 2600
National Stalking Helpline
Call: 0808 802 0300
Website: National Stalking Helpline
Confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence, operating weekdays from 10am to 4pm
Call: 01823 334244