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Domestic Abuse

Last updated: 03/05/2020

What is Domestic Abuse?

The government definition of domestic abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive (to force someone to do something) or 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. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional 

For a more detailed definition of domestic violence and abuse please see visit 

Domestic abuse can:

  • happen to anyone, regardless of social group, class, age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexuality or gender.
  • occur at any time in a relationship - separation is often the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship.
  • start or get worse during pregnancy, putting a pregnant woman and her unborn child in danger. 

Coercive or controlling behaviour is a core part of domestic violence. Coercive behaviour can include:

  • acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation
  • harming, punishing, or frightening the person
  • isolating the person from sources of support
  • exploitation of resources or money
  • preventing the person from escaping abuse
  • controlling everyday behaviour

All incidents of Domestic Abuse should be reported.

If you think a friend, family member or work colleague is experiencing domestic abuse, there are things you can do to help them: raising the issue, listening, acknowledging the situation, giving support and offering practical help. If you need support services, below are some useful contacts who you are able to talk to.

For more detailed information about who to contact, please visit

Please also see the latest newsletter on Domestic Abuse:

Domestic Abuse Newsletter

Dealing with Domestic Abuse during coronavirus (COVID-19) 

Ensuring the safety of individuals who may be dealing with domestic abuse during the current pandemic can be very challenging. Our domestic abuse co-ordinator has been working with the other Berkshire Local Authority DA leads and partners to put together information for professionals/volunteers who may have the opportunity to speak directly with a victim of domestic abuse during COVID-19.  

Safely asking about domestic abuse during COVID-19

Domestic Abuse Cue Card

Domestic Abuse Alternative Questions

Multi Agency panel meetings

In order to continue making progress to control and manage domestic abuse within the local community, 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. 

Some of the multi-agency panel meetings which are carried out to do this include: 

MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Confrence): 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. 

To find out more information and more meetings which are held, please see the East Berkshire Domestic Abuse Provision Mapping (May 2020)

To download the MATAC referral form - please click here. 

The DASH Charity 

DASH stands for domestic abuse stops here. If you are a professional working with a family affected by domestic abuse, please complete a referral form and the family will be contacted by us within 48 hours. More information can be found on the DASH Charity website:

To find the adults referral form please click here

To find the children's referral form please click here

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on children welfare: Domestic Abuse

Since the introduction of 'stay at home' guidelines by the government at the end of March, the number of contacts to our helpline about children living in homes with domestic abuse rose by 49%.* With restrictions ongoing, more children than ever before will be in need of help to rebuild their lives. 

Between 23 March and 17 May 2020 the NSPCC helpline received 1,500 contacts from adults worried about the impact of domestic abuse on children, and Childline delivered over 500 counselling sessions to children and young people who were worried about domestic abuse. To find out more information from the NSPCC, please download their briefing by visiting their page here. 

BRAVE - Building Resilience and Valuing Emotions

BRAVE provide therapeutic support for people all across East Berkshire who have experienced domestic abuse and who also experience emotional difficulties following this abuse. If you receive support from your GP, this service might be available for you.

Please download the BRAVE (Building Resilience And Valuing Emotions) referral form with some extra prompts in relation to taking client details down to ensure safety when making contact/sending correspondence.

Ask for 'Action Needed Immediately' - ANI

What is Ask for 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 click here.

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 2021-2022.  The sessions are all currently booked to be delivered as a half-day session, virtually, via the Newrow platform.  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 

DA multi agency referral pathway

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Domestic Abuse Forum meets quarterly with representatives from statutory and voluntary agencies across the borough which support anyone affected by domestic abuse. For more information please click here. 


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