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Domestic Abuse

Last updated: 01/05/2020

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.

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.

BRAVE: Emotional Support for those affected by Domestic abuse

BRAVE, provide therapeutic support for people of all genders across Berkshire who have experienced domestic abuse and who also experience emotional difficulties following this abuse.

If you are registered with a GP in Berkshire and do not use a Community Mental Health Team’s services, BRAVE is available for you.

RBWM and Bracknell Forest Domestic Abuse Forums

RBWM DAPlease find the latest domestic abuse forum newsletter here


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