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Domestic Abuse

Last updated: 03/05/2020

What is Domestic Abuse?

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 provides a statutory definition of domestic abuse, emphasising that domestic abuse is not just physical violence but can also be emotional, controlling, coercive and economic abuse.  For the definition to apply,  both individuals must be aged 16 or over, be ‘personally connected’  and that the behaviour is abusive.

There are a range of abusive behaviours  defined under the Domestic Abuse Act, which include:

  • Physical abuse or sexual abuse
  • Violent or threatening behaviour
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour
  • Economic abuse
  • Psychological, emotional, or other abuse

It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

“Economic abuse” means any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on the victim’s ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services.

“Personally connected” to each other includes if they are, or have been, married to each other; they are, or have been, civil partners of each other; they have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);  they have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated); they are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other; they each have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child; they are relatives.

The Act also recognises that children can be victims of domestic abuse where they see or hear, or experience the effects of, the abuse, and are related to the perpetrator or victim. 

For more detailed information about who to contact, please visit 

Multi-agency panel meetings

We work alongside multi-agency partners to ensure we minimise the risks and ensure we are able to safeguard and focus on improving the welfare of individuals. 

MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference): Monthly multi-agency meeting to discuss high risk domestic abuse cases. Any partner agency can refer a case to the MARAC via the agency's Designated MARAC Officer (DMO) and online system Modus.

MATAC (Multi Agency Tasking And Coordination): Monthly multi-agency meeting to discuss and intervene in cases identified as those perpetrators causing the most harm, through the RFG (Recency, Frequency, Gravity) analytical process. Any partner agency can refer a case to the MATAC by completing a referral form.

The Dash (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) Charity 

The Dash Charity is the local commissioned domestic abuse service, offering support to both adult and child victims of domestic abuse. If you are a professional working with a family affected by domestic abuse, and need to make a referral, please complete a referral form (adult referral form or children's referral form) and the client will be contacted within 48 hours. The Dash Charity also accept self-referrals.

More information can be found on the Dash Charity website.

BRAVE - Building Resilience and Valuing Emotions

BRAVE provides a therapeutic support for people all across Berkshire who have experienced domestic abuse and who also experience emotional difficulties following this abuse. 

To make a referral, please complete the BRAVE (Building Resilience And Valuing Emotions) referral form.

Ask for 'Action Needed Immediately' - ANI

Ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) is a codeword scheme developed by the Home Office to provide a discreet way for victims of domestic abuse to signal that they need emergency help from the safety of their local pharmacy.

To find out more, please visit the Ask for ANI website

Domestic Abuse - Training 

There is a range of training running throughout the year which gives participants an understanding of domestic abuse issues through increasing knowledge and understanding, and how to respond supportively.

Please find below the training flyers for ‘Introduction to Domestic Abuse’, and ‘MARAC & DASH’ in RBWM. The sessions are all currently booked to be delivered as a virtual half-day session.The sessions are available to anyone working in the RBWM area and details of how to book can be found on the relevant flyer.   

Introduction To Domestic Abuse - Training Flyer

MARAC and DASH - Training Flyer 

Other Resources

Domestic Abuse Newsletter

Domestic Abuse Cue Card

Domestic Abuse Alternative Questions

East Berkshire Domestic Abuse Provision Mapping


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