Myth: A relationship is only abusive if it involves physical violence
Myth: All people who become involved in abusive relationships grew up in abusive families
Myth: Victims who don’t leave an abusive relationship right away must have something wrong with them
What is domestic abuse?
The legal definition:
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:
You are not alone
- 30% of domestic violence starts in pregnancy
- Two women are killed each week in England and Wales by a current or former partner
- On average a woman will be assaulted by a partner 35 times before reporting it to the police
How do our staff respond to women who they may feel are victims of Domestic abuse?
As it is estimated that a third of domestic violence starts or escalates during pregnancy, all health professionals working with pregnant women have had training to understand what the needs of those at risk of experiencing domestic abuse are.
It is important for midwives to provide a supportive and enabling environment, where the issue of abuse is raised with every pregnant woman during your antenatal check ups. Your midwife will be able to provide information about specialist agencies. If you feel unable to tell your midwife then there is information below about who you can talk to.
Children are also at risk of harm if there is domestic abuse within a family, our professionals have to follow local and national safeguarding guidance.
1. The Children Act (1989 & 2004) places duties on the Local Authority in relation to children in need and children at risk of harm.
2. The Adoption & Children Act (2002) has amended the definition of ‘harm’ within the Children Act (1989) to include: “…impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill treatment of another.” i.e. witnessing domestic violence/abuse.
What to do if you feel you may be experiencing domestic abuse?
- Call police on 999, if in immediate danger.
- If its a non-emergency the number to call is 101
- Call your midwife for support.
- Call your local domestic abuse service (details below)
Local Helpline number:
Kingston: The DV Hub 020 8547 6046 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm)
The Kingston Domestic Violence Hub (DV Hub) is home to a team of independent domestic violence caseworkers and domestic and sexual violence advocates who can help you work out what is the best next step for you.
DV Hub workers support all victims of domestic violence. Whatever your age, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, race or disability, they will either directly support you or link you with the service most appropriate for your needs.
The hub is not a drop-in service, but if you wish, a domestic violence worker will arrange to meet with you and talk to you face to face.
The DV Hub phone line is open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. If you need support outside of these hours, please call the free 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
Richmond: Refuge IDVA and Outreach Service, 020 8943 8188
Sutton: tel: 020 78011777
Surrey: yourSanctuary Surrey 24 hour helpline: 01483 776822
National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
One Stop Shops
If the situation is not urgent (you are not in immediate danger) then attending your local One Stop Shop can be really helpful and supportive; the idea of the One Stop Shop is to offer all the advice and support needed under one roof, this is an example of what the Kingston One Stop Shop offers:
“ victims of violence often have limited time in which to access support, so this service brings together various professionals who may be able to help you; there are independent domestic violence specialists providing advocacy and advice, solicitors offering advice and support on injunctions and housing issues, health visitors who can talk to you about any concerns that you might have for your child, drug and alcohol services and mental health support workers”
Local One Stop Shops/Services:
Opening times: every Monday from 9.30am to 12.30pm
Venue: Kingsgate Church, 161a Clarence Street, Kingston, KT1 1QT.
The entrance can be found around the side of Barcadia
Every Thursday at St John the Divine Church Hall, Kew Road, Richmond TW9 2NA,
a short walk from Richmond train station, from 10am to 1pm.
Mondays from 9.30am – 12.00 noon at Morden Baptist Church, Crown Lane, Morden, Surrey SM4 5BL (closed on bank holiday Mondays)
For more information call 020 7801 1777
The drop-in service is every Wednesday, 9.30am – 11.30am at the Sutton Baptist Church, 21 Cheam Road, Sutton, SM1 1SN
Day: Every Monday (except Bank Holidays)
Time: 10am to 12.30pm
Address: St. Mark’s, Battersea Rise, SW11 1EJ.
A phone line will be available during opening hours: 07884 340117.
yourSanctuary Surrey 24 hour helpline: 01483 776822
East Surrey Outreach: 01737 771350
Serving Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley and Tandridge
including Salfords, Dorking, Leatherhead and Oxted
yourSanctuary Outreach: 01483 776822
Serving Woking, Runnymede and Surrey Heath
including Chertsey, Addlestone, Egham and Byfleet
North Surrey Outreach: 01932 260690
Serving Epsom and Ewell, Elmbridge and Spelthorne
including Cobham, Oxshott, Staines and Ashford
South West Surrey Outreach: 01483 577392
Serving Guildford and Waverley
including Godalming, Farnham and Merrow