Domestic violence, also called domestic abuse, is a crime and a major social problem affecting many families.

In 90% of reported domestic violence incidents, children have either been present in the same or a nearby room.

What is domestic violence

The definition of domestic abuse used by the government, since April 2013, is:

“any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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."  

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate 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”.

Many people find it difficult to understand why people remain in or return to abusive violent situations.  A combination of fear, love, the risk of homelessness and financial issues can make it very difficult for partners with children to leave and some may not want to.

What you can do about domestic violence

Domestic violence is a crime. Never hesitate to call the Police who have specialist domestic violence officers trained to help and put you in touch with other agencies who can help you with safety planning, housing issues or drug and alcohol problems.

If you are reluctant to speak to the Police, please contact the Specialist Abuse Service Peterborough (SASP) for advice and support for victims of any age or gender. You can speak to them in the strictest confidence about your problems and they can offer you practical and emotional support or help with finding emergency refuge accommodation.

Domestic Homicide reviews

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Training opportunities

There are E-learning courses available on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence website.

Further advice about training is available on the Local Safeguarding Board’s website.

Useful contacts

Further information