What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those who are 'personally connected' to one another, and aged 16 or over.
Types of abuse
People are personally connected if they are:
- Married or have been married to each other
- Civil partners of each other (or previously entered into a civil partnership arrangement)
- Engaged or previously engaged
- Currently or previously in an intimate relationship with each other
- Sharing or have previously shared a parental relationship in relation to the same child/children
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 also recognises that children can be victims of domestic abuse in their own right if they "see, hear, or experience the effects of the abuse" and they are "related to" the person/persons being abused or the person/persons acting abusively.
How to access support
If there is an immediate risk or emergency please contact the Police by:
- By dialling 999 on a phone
- Text to 999 (you will need to text ‘register’ to 999 first)
- By dialling 18000 on a textphone
If you are not at immediate risk of harm, contact Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline.
For advice, or if you are unsure of what support you need, contact Refuge Hertfordshire Independent Domestic Violence Advocacy (IDVA) Service
If you need to flee or access refuge, contact Safer Places.
If you are concerned about your own behaviour, or that of someone you know
We understand that it may be difficult to acknowledge or recognise if you, or someone you know is acting, or has acted abusively. We have put together the following checklist to help you recognise abusive behaviours:
If you are concerned about your own behaviour, or that of someone close to you, we would encourage you to make contact with a suitable support service, such as Respect.
How we can support you
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, we can help you to access the support you need, and to resolve any housing-related concerns.
Contact us by calling 01442 228000 (open 8.45am to 5.15pm Monday to Thursday, and 8.45am to 4.45pm on Friday) to discuss how we can support you.
If you are a Dacorum Borough Council tenant, please ask to speak with your Tenancy Management Officer, or Supported Housing Officer if you are a tenant in one of our Supported Housing schemes.
If you need to access emergency housing to escape domestic abuse, please ask to speak to our Homelessness Prevention and Assessment Team. If you need to access this outside of working hours, call 0800 018 6050.
Specialist domestic abuse support
We recognise that some victims of domestic abuse may benefit from additional support from ‘by and for’ services, particularly if their experience of domestic abuse is impacted by their characteristics.
‘By and for’ services are created and run by the communities or those with similar lived experiences as those they intend to support - for example, Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME), LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual and more), Gypsy, Romany and Traveller.
We have included ‘by and for’ services within our more detailed directory of the specialist domestic abuse victim support services. Where local provision of ‘by and for’ services are not available or are limited within Dacorum, we have tried to include details of services that are available outside of the borough or at a national level.
For more information, please view our Domestic Abuse Victim Support Services Directory (PDF 318KB).
Our Domestic Abuse Policy for Residents, Tenants, Leaseholders and Members explains how we can support you if you are a victim of domestic abuse, and how we will respond if you have acted abusively.
The policy and appendices are available through the following links:
We also published an internal policy, in line with the standards recommended by the Employer's Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA), which outlines how we will support our employees who have experienced domestic abuse, and how we will respond to those who have acted abusively.
Our ongoing commitment to improving our domestic abuse response
We are working towards achieving Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) accreditation - the benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse in the UK.
We have signed the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Make a Stand pledge (PDF 42KB), and we are accredited by White Ribbon, which means we have met a standard in supporting ending male violence against women.