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Keeping crime down

Crime and victims

Domestic violence

Whether it occurs in public or in private, violence is unacceptable and we are determined to do all we can to prevent it.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members. It can affect anybody, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

The violence can be psychological, physical, sexual or emotional. It can include honour based violence, female genital mutilation, and forced marriage.

Do you need help?

If you're in a violent or abusive relationship, or if you're supporting somebody in that situation, help is available.

Download our leaflet on domestic violence, which contains information that could help.

You can also find more information on the Direct.gov website, (new window) and on websites of support groups such as Refuge (new window) and Women's Aid (new window).

At the bottom of this web page there's a list of helplines that can offer help.

Note: If you suspect your partner is monitoring your internet usage you can hide your internet history. (new window)

Whatever form it takes, domestic violence is rarely a one-off incident. Usually it's a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which an abuser seeks power over their family member or partner.

Domestic violence occurs across all of society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth or geography. Women are more likely than men to be victims of domestic violence, and children are also affected - they can be traumatised by what they've seen, and there is a strong connection between domestic violence and child abuse.  


If you are a victim of domestic violence, did you know that banks can help?

They can:

  • discuss personal and sensitive financial matters in private
  • accept forms identification that you might have, including a letter from a Refuge manager, if you want to open a new account
  • update your personal details when provided with proof of a new address or name
  • send important documents (such as bank statements) to an alternative address 

What we're doing about domestic violence

Domestic Violence: A national report sets out our progress so far in tackling the crime. It also details the national action plan proposals to further improve support for victims and bring more perpetrators to justice.

Key points:

Supporting victims and dealing with their abusers

We are committed to increasing the number of independent domestic violence advisers and independent sexual violence advisers across the country, so that all victims of domestic violence get the right help and advice.

These advisers work closely with specialist domestic violence courts, and specialise in prosecuting cases of domestic violence.

Training and education is also being offered to abusers and potential abusers after arrest. Domestic violence programmes are underway in the probation service (new window) in all 42 probation areas in England and Wales.

In addition, seven prisons now have a 'healthy relationships programme', and plans are in place to expand that programme further.


English National Domestic Violence: 0808 2000 247

Northern Ireland Women's Aid: 0800 917 1414

Scottish Domestic Abuse: 0800 027 1234

Wales Domestic Abuse: 0808 80 10 800

Male Advice & Enquiry: 0808 801 0327

Dyn Wales/Dyn Cymru: 0808 801 0321

Forced Marriages Unit: 0207 088 0151

Respect (for domestic violence perpetrators): 0845 122 8609

Broken Rainbow (for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender victims): 0300 999 5428
Opening hours for this helpline are:
Mon 2pm - 8pm
Wed 10am - 1pm
Thur 2pm - 8pm

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Related documents

Home Office websites