What is Domestic Abuse?

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 defines domestic abuse as:

Behaviour of a person (“A”) towards another person (“B”) is “domestic abuse” if—

  1. A and B are each aged 16 or over and are personally connected to each other, and
  2. the behaviour is abusive

The behaviour is abusive if it consists of any of the following:

(a) physical or sexual abuse;

(b) violent or threatening behaviour;

(c) controlling or coercive behaviour;

(d) economic abuse  

(e) 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 B’s ability to:

(a) acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or

(b) obtain goods or services.

For the purposes of this Act A’s behaviour may be behaviour “towards” B despite the fact that it consists of conduct directed at another person (for example, B’s child)

For the meaning of “personally connected”, see section 2.


Definition of “personally connected”

For the purposes of this Act, two people are “personally connected” to each other if any of the following applies—

(a) they are, or have been, married to each other;

(b) they are, or have been, civil partners of each other;

(c) they have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);

(d) they have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);

(e) they are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other;

(f) they each have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child.

(g) they are relatives.


Children as victims of domestic abuse

This section applies where behaviour of a person (“A”) towards another person (“B”) is domestic abuse.

Any reference in the Domestic Abuse Act to a victim of domestic abuse includes a reference to a child who

(a) sees or hears, or experiences the effects of, the abuse, and

(b) is related to A or B.

A child is related to a person  if—

(a) the person is a parent of, or has parental responsibility for, the child, or

(b) the child and the person are relatives.

In this section— “child” means a person under the age of 18 years; “parental responsibility” has the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989 (see section 3 of that Act); “relative” has the meaning given by section 63(1) of the Family Law Act 1996


Helplines to contact for help 

Domestic abuse:

Are you worried about your partner, an ex or a family members behaviour towards you? Or are you worried about someone in an abusive relationship?

In an emergency call 999, as incidents occur. If you cannot speak, tap 55 when the 999 call connects.

National 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 2000247.

Men's Advice Line - 0808 8010327.

Cheshire West Domestic Abuse Intervention & Prevention Helpline - 0300 123 7047 option 2.

Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub - 0300 123 5101 or text 07771 941 464.

Warrington Domestic Abuse Support - 01925 243359.



If you have care & support needs, require an occupational therapy assessment, are an adult or are worried about an adult who is at risk/is being harmed or abused:

In an emergency call 999, as incidents occur.

Cheshire West Community Access Team 03001237034 out of hours emergency duty team call 01244 977 277.

Cheshire East Adults Teams 0300 123 5010 out of hours emergency duty team call.

Warrington Areas 01925 443322 or out of hours call 01925 444400.



For support with family life or where you have safeguarding concerns for a child or children.

In an emergency call 999, as incidents occur.

CWAC Integrated Access and Referral Team (IART) - 0300 123 7047 option 1 or out of hours call 01244 977 277.

Cheshire East Consultation Service - 0300 123 5012 option 3 or out of hours call 0300 123 5022.

Warrington Areas - 01925 443322 or out of hours call 01925 444400.

Childline (Under 18s) - 0800 1111.

NSPCC - 0808 8005000

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