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Domestic Abuse and Violence

Domestic abuse is defined as “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, co-ercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Domestic abuse can also include forced marriage and so-called “honour crimes”.

Covid-19 crisis update

The local refuges are still open, although all support is now being delivered remotely via video call or phone with one member of staff attending each refuge daily to complete health & safety checks to avoid staff having contact with each other. Please use the usual referral process and the police are reinforcing that victims should continue to phone 999 if they, or anyone else, are in danger (see poster if you wish to display in your organisation).

We are working with all domestic abuse commissioners and providers across Hampshire. To assist with updates Hampshire CC is hosting a dedicated central page with updates. Please feel free to add this link to your own website and let know if there is any updated information to be added.  

For counselling services for victims of sexual violence, abuse or exploitation please contact PARCS –

For an ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) to provide key work support to help look after the needs of victims following an experience of sexual violence, abuse or exploitation please contact Yellow Door

For anyone who needs refuge provision please contact the police in an emergency or Stop Domestic Abuse as refuge provider. If there is no refuge provision available then please encourage victims to access housing needs and support via phone (023 92834989) who continue to offer support including support for alternative safe accommodation options if there is no refuge provision available.

Stop Domestic Abuse has started to offer a virtual drop in service for victims who cannot access a phone. Victims can contact a support worker via messenger on 09:30 to 11:30am, 3pm to 5pm and 6pm to 8pm Monday to Friday. Facebook:

 Aurora New Dawn is offering a 24 hour telephone support service during the Covid-19 lockdown. Victims can call on 02394 216816

Yellow Door continue to accept referrals for victims of sexual violence via telephone/video link support. Contact details (secure) or

Support for victims of domestic abuse continues. Referrals can be made in the normal way ( and support to help victims develop safety plans is offered virtually.

Stop Domestic Abuse:

Email: or or call 023 9206 5494

Victim Care Service:

Email or call 0808 1781641

MASH Children and Families Services:

Email or call 0845 6710271 or 023 9268 8793 (out-of-hours service on 0300 5551373)

 For advice, help & support out of hours or for specific needs:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline Freephone 24hr 0808 2000 247. Online support:  

Rape Crisis National Helpline 0808 802 9999 12.00 -14.30 and 19.00 – 21.30 every day.  Online support:

LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 999 5428

Men’s Advice Line for male victims of domestic abuse: 0808 801 0327 or

The Mix, free remote counselling and help for under 25’s: 0808 808 4994

Rights of Women legal advice lines:

For domestic abuse perpetrators and those supporting them Respect Phone line provides a confidential helpline, email and webchat service: 0808 8024040 or

Childline – call 0800 1111 or access online:   

Support is also available for older people from the Age UK Advice line

Controlling and co-ercive behaviour

Domestic abuse is often thought of as physical, such as hitting, slapping or beating, but it can also be controlling or co-ercive behaviour. This is important as what might look like an isolated incident of violent abuse could be taking place in a context of controlling or co-ercive behaviour.

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or independent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Co-ercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

We know that the first incident reported to the police or other agencies is rarely the first incident to occur; often people have been subject to violence and abuse on multiple occasions before they seek help.

Safeguarding children exposed to domestic abuse

Children who live in families where there is domestic abuse can suffer serious long-term emotional and psychological effects. Even if they are not physically harmed or do not witness acts of violence, they can pick up on the tensions and harmful interactions between adults. Children of any age are affected by domestic violence and abuse. At no age will they be unaffected by what is happening, even when they are in the womb.

The physical, psychological and emotional effects of domestic abuse on children can be severe and long-lasting. Some children may become withdrawn and find it difficult to communicate. Others may act out the aggression they have witnessed, or blame themselves for the abuse. All children living with abuse are under stress.

Professionals should:

  • Consider the presence of domestic abuse as an indicator of the need to assess a child’s need for support and protection
  • Make sure the child’s experiences and views are captured and included. In contexts where the safety of the adult victim is seen as the main priority this can dominate people’s immediate thinking and action, and children’s voices can be lost.  The Lets Talk toolkit will help capture the voice of the child.

Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse:

Adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA) may also be known as Adolescent to Parent Violence (APV) or Child to Parent Violence (CPV). There is currently no legal definition of APVA however, it is increasingly recognised as a form of domestic violence and abuse and, depending on the age of the child, it may fall under the government’s official definition of domestic violence and abuse. For further information and guidance for professionals on how to respond please see the Home Office information guide.

How to refer victims of domestic violence and abuse:

Referring agencies need to identify the level of risk, using the DASH or providing evidence of professional judgement and refer to the appropriate service. Please see the referral process flowchart for referral details.

  • Victim care provides support to victims assessed as standard risk.  Please use this form
  • Stop Domestic Abuse provides support to those assessed at medium risk, provide the refuge provision, group work and dedicated support for children and young people
  • High risk victims need to be referred to MARAC

For further information

See the Domestic Violence information in our HIPS procedures website


Support services for information

Services to Support Families in Portsmouth Affected by Domestic Abuse

UP2U Leaflet