Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 provides a cross-government statutory definition of domestic abuse:

Part 1 – definition of “Domestic Abuse”

  • Behaviour of a person toward another person is “domestic abuse” if they are each aged 16 or over and are ‘personally connected’ to each other and the behaviour is abuse ie consists of any of the following:
    • Physical or sexual abuse
    • violent or threatening behaviour
    • controlling or coercive behaviour
    • economic abuse
    • psychological, emotional or other abuse

It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

*Economic Abuse means any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on (the victim’s) ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services.

Part 2 – definition of ‘Personally Connected’

  • Two people are “personally connected to each other if any of the following apply:
    • They are or have been any of the following with each other: married, civil partners, in an intimate personal relationship
    • They have agreed to marry one another (even if the agreement has been terminated)
    • Have or have had a parental relationship in relation to the same child (this include being a parent of the child or having a parental responsibility for the child)
    • They are relatives

Part 3 – Children as victims of domestic abuse

  • Applies where the behaviour of a person towards another person is domestic abuse.
  • Any reference to a victim of domestic abuse included reference to a child who sees, hears, or experiences the effects of, the abuse and is related to either person.

For the full definition, see: Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (

Coercive and Controlling 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

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

Local Approach to Tackling Domestic Abuse

The North East Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Strategy 21-24, developed with input from key stakeholders, sets out the key aims of the council and its partners in tackling domestic abuse across the borough.

Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 introduced a new duty to provide support to victims of domestic abuse and their children within refuges and other safe accommodation. To help meet the requirements of this new duty, an assessment of local need for domestic abuse services was undertaken and Executive Summary has been published.

A North East Lincolnshire Safer Accommodation Strategy 22 was developed based on the findings of the needs assessment, which is designed to sit alongside the wider strategy.

All three documents can be found in the ‘Related Document’ section on the right-hand side of this page.

Safety planning

Safety planning is a way of helping you to protect yourself and your children. A personal safety plan is a tool to assist in identifying options and can help you plan in advance for the possibility of future violence and abuse. It also helps you to think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship, or if you decide to leave.

There is no right or wrong way to develop a safety plan, but it is important that it is easier to remember. If you have difficulty in remembering things, ask if your friends or family can keep a copy of the plan. Whether it is safe or not to write the plan down, it is still important to make and think about one.

Please see the advice of Women’s Aid  for more information and support.

Legal advice

A Domestic Violent Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) will give individuals an opportunity to make enquiries about someone who they’re in a relationship in with, or who is in a relationship with someone they know, where there is a concern that the person may be violent.

Anybody any can an enquiry, but information will only be given to someone at risk or a person a position to safeguard the victim. The intention is to give potential victims information about the history of their partner, so they can make an informed decision about the relationship.

Members of the public who wish to make an application under the DVDS are asked to call Humberside Police on 101 or for more information you can visit GOV.UK – Domestic violence disclosure scheme: guidance .

The Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO) allow senior police officers to act instantly to safeguard families they consider to be under threat from perpetrators of domestic abuse. The police have the power to protect victims of domestic abuse by removing violent partners from the family home. These powers give victims of domestic abuse the time, space and support to plan a safer future, by keeping the perpetrator away. If abusers breach the Order, it could then lead to a prison sentence. As part of the scheme, victims will also be offered help and advice by caseworkers on the options open to them – including securing a longer-term injunction.

For more information you can visit GOV.UK – Domestic violence protection orders .

There are two types of injunctions:

  • Non-Molestation Order is put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself and your children from a partner, ex-partner or someone you are or have lived with.
  • Occupation Order is put in place to regulate who can live in the family home and also restrict the abuser from entering the surrounding area.

Both of these orders can be granted for 6 – 12 months.

For more information you can visit Women’s Aid – Getting an injunction .

The Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence (DASH) Risk Assessment (for Practitioners)

Practitioners who receive a disclosure of domestic abuse from an adult or child will need to complete the below DASH Risk Assessment to determine the level of risk of domestic abuse. They should seek further advice from their Designated Safeguarding Lead on the next steps. NEL DASH Risk Indicator Check List

Further guidance on how to complete the DASH Risk Assessment is also available from SafeLives, however please note that the local threshold for high-risk is currently 16 ‘ticks’. SafeLives DASH Risk Checklist – Quick Start Guidance

Supporting employees who are experiencing domestic abuse

Following the recent pandemic, ways of working have changed for many organisations and their employees, with many still working from home either fully or partly. This may mean that employers are not seeing staff face-to-face on a regular basis, therefore it may be more difficult to spot some of the usual signs of domestic abuse.

One thing that managers can do is check in staff members regularly via phone or video call. Be aware that others could be listening – stick to general welfare questions and make a note of any concerns to avoid putting the employee at further risk. Try and arrange to see then in person, in private, if possible.

If you are an employee, remember that your employer has a duty of care towards you. Don’t be afraid to confide in a trusted colleague if you are experiencing domestic abuse, if it is safe to do so.

Business in the Community and PHE has published a domestic abuse toolkit  providing guidance on how employers can support those affected by it.

Related Documents

Appropriate Language – Guidance for Professionals (Word, 122KB)

NEL Domestic Abuse Safer Accommodation Strategy 2022 (Word, 243KB)

NEL Domestic Abuse Strategy 2021-2024 (Word, 826KB)

Domestic Abuse needs assessment 2023/2024 Refresh (PDF, 407KB)

Related content

Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)

Related websites

National Domestic Violence helpline

The Samaritans

National Centre for Domestic Violence


Women’s Aid

Domestic Abuse: how to get help – GOV.UK

The Blue Door Domestic and Sexual Abuse Service

Mankind – Support for Male Victims of Domestic Abuse

Galop – LGBT+ anti-abuse charity

Karma Nirvana – National Honour Based Abuse Helpline

Supporting agencies

Humberside Police Non-emergency – 101

North East Lincolnshire Women’s Aid (supporting men and women) – 01472 575757

National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247

The Samaritans – Freephone 116 123 or Local 01472 353111

Police Domestic Violence Officer (9am – 5pm) – 01472 721224 / 721227

Housing advice – 01472 326296 option 1

NELC Children’s Integrated Front Door – 01472 326292 option 2

Victim Support – 01472 250251 or 356549

Citizens Advice Bureau – 0344 411 1444

National Centre for Domestic Violence – 0800 970 2070

Respect – 08088024040

Men’s Advice Line – 0808 801 0327