What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse, or domestic violence, is defined as any incident 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 their gender or sexuality.  

Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents whether directly related, in-laws or step-family. However, this is not an exhaustive list and may also be extended to uncles, aunts and cousins etc. 

What are the types of abuse? 

‘Domestic abuse’ covers a range of types of abuse, including, but not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse. Domestic abuse is used to describe a range of controlling and coercive behaviours, used by one person to maintain control over another with whom they have, or have had, an intimate or family relationship. The definition also includes so-called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.  

Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident and is the cumulative and interlinked types of abuse that have a particularly damaging effect on the victim.  

Men, women and children can all be victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse occurs amongst people of all ethnicities, sexualities, ages, disabilities, immigration status, religions or beliefs, and socio-economic backgrounds.  

Helplines to contact for help 

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What can we do to help?

What can we do to help? 

We can work around your situation and arrange to speak to you when you feel safe, in order to assess your situation and get you the help and or advice you need. Your information will be kept confidential other than to the agencies that you have agreed are necessary to support you. However, as we take safeguarding of our customers seriously, if you or a child is at risk of significant harm, we will share information with the relevant agencies.  

We work closely with other agencies to make sure you and your children get the help you need, including if you need to leave your home or access legal advice. If your home needs securing or you have urgent repairs, we can arrange for the work to be done as a priority. We can also give you advice on applying for benefits and help you fill out the forms. 

You can contact us for advice Monday to Friday 9 - 5 by calling 0300 303 9848 or email safeguarding@wvht.co.uk For urgent repairs such as a lock change, the number is the same out of hours.  

But if you feel in immediate danger, please contact the police by calling 999. 

Domestic Abuse - Housing and Homelessness

Shelter – Housing options for people experiencing domestic abuse 

Get help from the council's homeless team 

You count as homeless if you're at risk of domestic abuse in your home. 

This means you can make a homeless application to the council if you can't stay in your home or need help to deal with domestic abuse. 

From 5 July 2021, you should also have an automatic priority need if you're homeless because of domestic abuse. This means the council must provide emergency housing if you need it. 

You can approach any council you choose and you can't be referred back to an area where you're at risk of domestic abuse. 

  • Cheshire West and Chester Telephone: 0300 123 2442 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9am - 5pm and Wednesday 1pm - 5pm)  or you can ring the Out of Hours number on 0300 123 7035.  

  • Cheshire East  Telephone: 0300 123 5017 Option 2   At weekends and when the office is closed you can call them on 0300 123 502 

You can also obtain help and advice by contacting; 

Legal Advice

Shelter – Court Orders  

Occupation Orders - An occupation order is one of the court's key powers in cases involving domestic abuse. The order controls who lives in a home, and can be used to exclude those who use or threaten violence, as well as perpetrators of sexual or psychological abuse. If a person breaches an occupation order, it is contempt of court. 

Non Molestation Orders - A non-molestation order is aimed at preventing your partner or ex-partner from using or threatening violence against you or your child, or intimidating, harassing or pestering you, in order to ensure the health, safety and well-being of yourself and your children. A Non-Molestation Order normally carries a power of arrest with it. Breaching an order is a criminal offence. This means that if the respondent breaches the order he/she will be arrested and put before the next available court 

Prohibited Steps Order - Prohibited Steps Orders relate to restricting Parental Responsibility. If a parent has parental responsibility, then he or she has the right independently to take decisions about matters such as schooling, medical treatment, and religion. A Prohibited Steps Order can remove a parent´s right to make such decisions about their child´s life. 

To explore any of these orders and your eligibility for them, contact a family law solicitor or one of the numbers below: 

  • National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) - Legal Advice and orders 08009702070 

  • DV Assist – Legal Advice and orders 08001958699 email support@dvassist.org.uk