What is it?
Domestic abuse is defined as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between persons who are 16 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. Domestic abuse can affect both women and men and can occur in same sex relationships. It can be psychological in nature, physical, sexual, financial or emotional and can be repeated, random or habitual and is used to control a partner. Controlling and coercive behaviour and financial abuse are both distinctive forms of domestic abuse, as explained in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. This act also introduced a legal definition of domestic abuse which recognises children as victims in their own right. No-one needs to accept this type of behaviour which can have devastating consequences for you and other family members. Help and support is available.
See the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 Statutory Guidance for more information- Domestic Abuse Statutory Guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)
What should I do?
Victims of domestic abuse are particularly vulnerable and often frightened about seeking help but you do not need to face this abuse alone – there is help and protection available. If you are experiencing abuse of any kind please report it. If you are unsure whether or not you are being abused, you could talk to someone, such as a doctor, the police, someone you trust, a member of your family or a work colleague. Whatever your situation, there are a number of organisations who can support you and provide practical help to ensure your safety and recovery. You can always get advice from these specialists.
Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN)
A DVPN is an emergency non-molestation and eviction notice which can be issued by the police, when attending to a domestic abuse incident, to a perpetrator. Because the DVPN is a police-issued notice, it is effective from the time of issue, thereby giving the victim the immediate support they require in such a situation. Within 48 hours of the DVPN being served on the perpetrator, an application for a DVPO may then be made by the police to the magistrates’ court.
Domestic Violence Protection Order (DVPO)
A DVPO can prevent the perpetrator from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days. This allows the victim a degree of breathing space to consider their options with the help of a support agency. Both the DVPN and DVPO contain a condition prohibiting the perpetrator from bothering the victim.
Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA)
The main purpose of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) is to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm. They serve as a victim’s primary point of contact, and normally work with victims from the point of crisis to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans. IDVA’s are pro-active in implementing the plans, which address immediate safety, including practical steps to protect themselves and their children, as well as longer-term solutions. These plans will include actions from the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference as well as sanctions and remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, housing options and services available through other organisations.
Clare’s Law (Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme)
If you are worried that your partner poses a risk of domestic abuse, you have a right to ask the police through the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare’s law. The scheme also allows a member of the public to make an enquiry into the partner of a close friend or family member.
Police forces are allowed to disclose information to a potential victim and have a duty to protect members of the public from domestic abuse.
For more information or to utilise Clare’s law, visit Derbyshire Constabulary’s website.
How to report it?
In an emergency situation, always dial 999 for help. If you want to report an incident of domestic violence or ongoing abuse involving you or someone close to you call the non-urgent police number on 101. There are people specifically trained to help protect you and your family. Alternatively you can access any of the organisations listed below without needing to report to the police.
Where to get help?
There are a multitude of organisations and helplines in Derbyshire and nationally to help victims of domestic violence including women, men and children. Many organisations both locally and nationally offer refuge for those affected by domestic abuse, if you would like to know about these services please click here to visit our Shelter and Accommodation page.
The Police and Crime Commissioner funds organisations that provide support services for victims and witnesses in Derbyshire. These are free of charge and are available to anyone who lives in Derbyshire. For Domestic Abuse these support services are provided by Refuge, Glow and the Elm Foundation.
Refuge provides services to people experiencing domestic violence in Derby city. The service provides free confidential, non-judgemental and independent support and advice for both men and women living in Derby City. Referrals to this service can be made by yourself, friends, family and professionals as long as they have your consent. Refuge also offers refuge, outreach and resettlement support to women and children who have experienced domestic violence, stalking, honour-based violence, trafficking, forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation. For further information about this service please see the contact details below.
Glow delivers the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) Service in both Derby City and Derbyshire.
The IDVA Service is independent of any agency and the role of the specialist service is to provide effective, dedicated support to males and females aged 16 and over, who are at high risk of domestic-related homicide or serious harm. The IDVA will support high-risk victims through the civil and criminal justice system and assist in accessing service provision such as housing, health, and finance. They will liaise with agencies from the statutory and voluntary sector to ensure that a multi-agency approach is taken to ensure the victim’s safety. As part of this service there are dedicated IDVA’s who work within the criminal and family courts, the BAME communities and those victims accessing Derby Royal and Chesterfield Royal hospitals.
Referrals to the service will come via referrals to MARAC from statutory agencies, criminal justice system and third-sector support services in the usual way.
Please note that this service is for high-risk/MARAC victims only.
The Elm Foundation – Domestic Abuse Helpline
The Elm Foundation provides a helpline service to anyone experiencing domestic violence in the Derbyshire county area. The Derbyshire Domestic Abuse helpline can put you in touch with the the right services to support you, provided by a number of different local organisations. These organisations offer a personalised support service, which can help with safety plans, the court process, refuges, counselling, and Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVAs). For more information please see the contact details below.
For hard of hearing/deaf text 07534 617252
Below are a list of other organisations that may be able to provide advice and support:
Ask for ANI
If you are suffering domestic abuse, you can also get help by going to a local pharmacy participating in the Ask for ANI (Assistance Needed Immediately) initiative.
Enter the pharmacy, approach the counter and ask for ANI. The staff member will then check with you that you wish to speak to ANI, and escort you to a private area to give you space to access support services or report the abuse. You can make this call yourself, or you can ask the staff member to make a call on your behalf.
You can look out for the ask for ANI poster in the pharmacy window, which will indicate their participation. For more information about the initiative, visit the government website.
The group is Derbyshire’s only LGBT-specific support service for anyone who is LGBT or anyone who is having issues with their sexual identity or gender identity. They also provide services for Child Sexual Exploitation and Domestic Abuse.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Refuge provides a national service supporting women experiencing domestic abuse. It can be accessed by the victim or by their friends, family, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
Our confidential helpline is available for all men across the UK suffering from domestic violence or domestic abuse by their current or former wife or partner (including same-sex partner). The site provides both emotional support and practical information to both victims and family and friends.
National Centre of Domestic Violence
The National Centre of Domestic Violence was established to help survivors of domestic violence obtain protection against an abuser, as well as offering services to the police, probation service, domestic abuse agency workers, the legal profession and judiciary. The organisation provides free, fast and effective legal support to survivors of domestic abuse.
Refuge offer a range of services including refuge, outreach and resettlement support to women and children who have experienced domestic abuse, stalking, honour based violence, trafficking, forced marriage and Female Genital Mutilation.
The Elm Foundation
The Elm Foundation offers a safe, non-judgmental place for people who need it the most. Their services are available to anyone that has been affected by Domestic Abuse, offering a range of services to help and support men, women and children.
This site provides information about domestic abuse and allows you to find support in your area.
Women’s Work provides group support, drop-in centre, outreach, one-to-one support and training for other organisations. The organisation also provides respite and advice and support to females who may have suffered domestic abuse, and substance misuse and had an involvement in street work.
Derbyshire Domestic Abuse Helpline
If you are suffering from domestic violence and wish to speak to someone in the Derbyshire area please contact the domestic violence helpline, provided by the Elm Foundation.
Respect is an organisation that offers support for a range of victims suffering from domestic abuse.