Domestic Abuse and
Sexual Violence

If you are a professional and need some additional information to support an individual who may be experiencing DASV, please see the below toolkit.


What is domestic abuse and/or sexual violence?

Domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent 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.

Coercive 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.

For more information about Domestic abuse and sexual violence please click here.


What are the signs of DASV?

There are often tell-tale signs that someone is experiencing DASV:

  • They have become Isolated and distant
  • They become afraid to do anything to anger or upset their partner
  • There have been physical injuries
  • They become anxious when they are running late
  • Been called names, embarrassed or insulted by their partner in front of you
  • Apologised for their partner’s behaviour
  • They are constantly checked up on

For more information to recognise the signs of Domestic abuse and sexual violence contact either the Family Justice Centre here, or alternatively contact the national domestic abuse helpline on: 0808 2000 247


What can I do if I'm worried about a potential victim?

If you are worried about someone experiencing DASV it is important to build a non-judgemental rapport.

Do:

  • Find a safe place to talk
  • Talk, Listen and Believe
  • Empower them to make their own decisions
  • Support and respect their choices. Even if they choose initially to return to the abuser, it is their choice.
  • Provide information about different support services and offer to contact them if they would like.
  • Reassure that this is not their fault and they don’t deserve this treatment.
  • Let them know what the abuser has done is wrong and a crime.
  • Be patient and don’t give up on them

Do not:

  • Judge
  • Suggest that they should ‘try again’ or take them back.
  • React with disbelief, disgust, or anger Question or blame them for the violence.
  • Act on the person’s behalf without their knowledge
  • Expect them to make decisions quickly
  • Make decisions for them or tell them what to do
  • Approach or contact the perpetrator
  • Give information about their whereabouts to the abuser or to others who might pass information on to the abuser
  • Do nothing

If you need additional information to support someone experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual violence please contact the FJC. Click here for the FJC contact details.


What do I do if someone has disclosed they are experiencing DASV and are at immediate risk of harm?

If someone has disclosed to you that they are experiencing DASV, it is most likely to be because, they trust you. They may fear for their safety, they may want reassurance and guidance or they may want to access help.

If you believe someone is at immediate risk of harm:

  • Call the police if it is an emergency
  • Contact the domestic violence helpline on: 0808 2000 247
  • Undertake a Safelives Risk Identification Check list (RIC ) please click here to download the Safelives RIC assessment
  • Contact the FJC on 020 8688 0100 or fjc@croydon.gov.uk (Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, 10a.m. – 4p.m.) for more information on the FJC please click here
  • Consider making a children’s or adults safeguarding referral, please click here to complete a referral.

I have completed the Safelives Risk Identification Checklist form what do I do now?

If you have undertaken a Safelives Risk Identification Checklist and the score is 14 or over it is an immediate Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) referral. For more information about MARAC please click here.

If the score is not 14 but you are still very concerned, you can refer to MARAC on professional judgement, be very clear about your concerns are.

If there have been four or more police call outs this is also grounds for a MARAC referral.

To download a MARAC referral form and refer to Croydon’s MARAC please click here.

What do I do if someone has disclosed they are experiencing DASV but there is not a clear risk of immediate harm?

If someone has disclosed to you but there is no clear risk of immediate harm:

  • It is still important to offer the individual continued support
  • Remember risk and vulnerabilities may change, visit Safelives to establish whether risk has changed
  • If you need help to someone, please contact the domestic violence helpline on: or click here for the family justice centre contact details.

If you need some support as a professional please contact the FJC

The FJC provides support for professionals who are working with clients who are impacted or experiencing DASV through practitioner’s forum and training events. Please click here to see a full range of training available.

If you are working with a young person who is or may be experiencing DASV, the FJC have an experienced young person’s violence advocate who can support both you as a professional and/or the potential victim.

Once someone has left an abusive relationship

Once someone has left an abusive relationship, they may require additional support, encouragement and advice.

Click here for a range of support services, including finances, child contact, restraining orders, housing and no recourse to public funding.

If you are an individual who needs some additional information or are worried about a colleague, friend or family member, please see the below.

What is Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and what are the signs to look out for?

Everyone has arguments or disagreements whether this is with a partner or a family member. In a respectful and equal relationship, both partners feel free to state their opinions, to make their own decisions, to be themselves.

However, in an abusive relationship, one person tries to dominate the other through acts of physical harm, criticisms, demands, threats, or sexual pressure.

Psychological or emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse.

Signs your friend or family member may be in an abusive relationship:

  • They have become Isolated and distant
  • They become afraid to do anything to anger or upset their partner
  • There have been physical injuries
  • They become anxious when they are running late
  • Been called names, embarrassed or insulted by their partner in front of you
  • Apologised for their partner’s behaviour
  • They are constantly checked up on

What can I do if I'm worried about someone?

Many people worry that they will be ‘interfering’ if they get involved, or that it is a ‘private matter’. Your support can make a difference.

Do:

  • Find a safe place to talk
  • Talk, Listen and Believe
  • Empower them to make their own decisions
  • Support and respect their choices. Even if they choose initially to return to the abuser, it is their choice.
  • Provide information about different support services and offer to contact them if they would like.
  • Reassure that this is not their fault and they don’t deserve this treatment.
  • Let them know what the abuser has done is wrong and a crime.
  • Be patient and don’t give up on them

Do not:

  • Judge
  • Suggest that they should ‘try again’ or take them back.
  • React with disbelief, disgust, or anger
  • Question or blame them for the violence.
  • Act on the person’s behalf without their knowledge
  • Expect them to make decisions quickly
  • Make decisions for them or tell them what to do
  • Approach or contact the perpetrator
  • Give information about their whereabouts to the abuser or to others who might pass information on to the abuser
  • Do nothing

Click here for the contact details for the FJC. Alternatively, click here for a full range of support services available.


What can I do if someone tells me they are experiencing DASV and they are in immediate danger?

If you think your friend or family member is in immediate danger call 999 now. If you need to urgently speak with someone please call the domestic abuse helpline on: 0808 2000 247

What can I do if someone tells me they are experiencing DASV but are not in immediate danger?

Leaving an abusive relationship is really difficult, people experiencing abuse need on going support during this time. When someone is ready to leave an abusive relationship there is support available.

For a full range of support services click here

What can I do if I'm worried about a child's safety due to DASV?

If you believe a child is at immediate danger call 999.

If you are worried about a child’s safety but there is not an immediate danger, please contact the MASH team in children’s social care.

  • Safeguarding consultation line: 020 8726 6464
  • MASH helpline or for out of hours calls: 020 8726 6400 (24 Hours)

Always act if you are concerned about a child’s safety.

What can I do if they don't leave the perpetrator?

The most important thing you can do is continue to be supportive, leaving an abusive relationship is never easy.

If you or a friend need support with this, please contact the domestic violence helpline on: 0808 2000 247 or alternatively contact the family justice centre for details please click here.

Alternatively click here for a range of support service, remember not to give up on them and be patient