RBWM Safeguarding Partnership

Domestic Abuse

Last updated: 01/05/2020

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 www.gov.uk/domestic-violence-and-abuse 

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 https://www.rbwm.gov.uk/home/community-and-living/domestic-abuse 

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)


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: https://thedashcharity.org.uk/pages/4-contact-us

To find the adults referral form please click here

To find the children's referral form please click here