Domestic Abuse

General information

Domestic abuse refers to situations in which a person is subjected to controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner but also by a family member or carer.  Every year, nearly 2 million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse – 1.3 million female victims (8.2% of the population) and 600,000 male victims (4%) and lockdown measures during the Covid-19 pandemic have increased the risk for people in abusive relationships.  Children who see, hear or experience the effects of the abuse are also considered victims of domestic abuse under a new national definition as part of the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

Find out more about Domestic Abuse and how to spot the signs on the Safer Portsmouth Partnership website.

Find out more about domestic abuse support services in Portsmouth

Visit the Stop Domestic Abuse website for more information and support

Resources for professionals

Domestic Abuse Referral Pathway

These pathways are to help professionals make referrals to services for domestic abuse:

Portsmouth Referral pathway

Domestic Abuse Act 2021

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received Royal Assent and became law at the end of April 2021.

The Act includes:

  • Awareness – raising awareness and understanding about the devastating impact of domestic abuse on victims and their families.
  • Criminal justice system – to further improve the effectiveness of the justice system in providing protection for victims of domestic abuse and bringing perpetrators to justice.
  • Support for victims – strengthening the support for victims of abuse by statutory agencies.
  • Statutory definition of domestic abuse:  Statutory definition of domestic abuse factsheet 

Domestic Abuse and Mental Health  

This report aims to highlight areas of improvement that can be made to how we as professionals support people affected by domestic abuse who are also experiencing mental health problems. This PDF includes good practice guidance for multi-agency meetings.

We know that people experiencing mental health problems will face additional barriers; to disclosing, to being believed and to accessing services. As such they form a ‘hidden’ group, whose voices are rarely heard. It is important that we identify the barriers, and examine what both frontline practitioners and those with a strategic role can do, to ensure services are more inclusive and responsive.

Adolescent to Parent Violence

This poster from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner includes support numbers for Portsmouth and other areas in Hampshire.

Actions for Commissioners, Domestic Violence Coordinators and Managers of Specialist and Non-specialist services

This resource from Safe Lives lists the Top Ten Actions for commissioners, domestic violence co-ordinators and managers of specialist and non-specialist services.

Adult safeguarding and domestic abuse: a guide to support practitioners and managers: Second edition

The purpose of this guide from the Local Government Association is to help staff to give better informed and more effective support to people who need an adult safeguarding service because of domestic abuse.

It addresses situations where an adult who has care and support needs is being harmed or abused by an intimate partner or close family member in a way which could also be defined as domestic abuse. It does not seek to replace existing safeguarding procedures and it is anticipated that it be read and used in the context of local procedures and protocols.