Domestic abuse is “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive 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 and emotional.” (Home Office, 2013)
Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. (Home Office, 2015)
The definition of domestic violence and abuse now includes young people aged 16 – 17 and aims to increase awareness that young people in this age group do experience domestic violence and abuse.
Domestic abuse and violence impacts on children and young people and where there is domestic violence and abuse, the wellbeing of the children in the household must be promoted and all assessments must consider the need to safeguard the children, including unborn child/ren.
WSCB has developed a Domestic Violence and Abuse and its impact on children Factsheet to support professionals.
Where to get help – useful links for professionalsMulti Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): Tel 0300 456 0108 Early Help (single point of contact): Tel 01225 718230 Speak out Wiltshire provides advice and guidance and details of services available in Wiltshire Splitz Support Service (for victims, perpetrators and children) Splitz Wiltshire or Tel 01225 777724 NSPCC domestic abuse Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or go to www.thehideout.org.uk for advice and guidance On Your Mind signposts children and young people in Wiltshire to sources of support for good mental health and emotional well being, including free online support and counselling from kooth.com Guidance: Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship Department for Health – Responding to Domestic Abuse (a resource for health professionals)