Domestic abuse

1/6/2021 8:41:13 AM

6. Guidance for professionals

Domestic violence or abuse (DVA) is defined as 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 or emotional (Home Office 2006).

This definition includes so-called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Whilst this is not a legal definition, it helps to give a clear message to victims about what constitutes domestic violence and abuse and that a relationship does not have to involve violence to be abusive.


Buckinghamshire’s Domestic Violence and Abuse Strategy

In Buckinghamshire the vision is to promote a zero tolerance and coordinated response to people at risk of domestic violence or abuse and to ensure that those who are affected are identified, supported, protected and empowered.

We have set out what agencies should be working towards within Buckinghamshire around domestic violence and abuse in our Buckinghamshire Domestic Violence and Abuse Strategy 2018 to 2021.


Buckinghamshire Champions Network

As a domestic abuse champion you will be able to proactively help draw your agency and others together. Multi agency working is the key to providing an effective, consistent and comprehensive service for those suffering from domestic abuse. It increases identification of domestic abuse and reduces both the proportion of repeat incidents and the impact on those experiencing domestic abuse

Being part of the Buckinghamshire Champions Network ensures we give the best possible support to those suffering from DVA in Buckinghamshire. To find out more information about the network and the free training we provide, please download our printable Champion’s  leaflet. 


Advice and support information 

Anyone in immediate danger should phone 999


  • If they are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, they can dial 999 from their mobile and press 55 - The Silent Solution transfers the call to the police, who will assist without the caller having to speak.
  • You will find information and advice about the signs of domestic violence and abuse, local and national services that can help and support regarding; forced marriage, honour based abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM), disability and domestic abuse, LGBT+ victims, victims, children and young people, housing and injunctions on the Reducing the Risk website.
  • The DASH risk checklist is used to give professionals a consistent approach to risk assessing victims of domestic abuse - this tool helps to identify the risk level of victims into standard, medium and high to help professionals signposting them to the correct level of support and identifies the cases that require a referral to Marac (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference)   
  • If you are concerned about risk to a child, you should make a referral to the First Response Team. If you are unsure about the need to make a referral you can also find a referral flowchart and a Threshold Document for guidance on this page. If you are unsure about the need to make a referral, the Buckinghamshire referral flowchart and thresholds document offers guidance.
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) provides confidential crisis support and information to high and medium risk DVA sufferers living in Buckinghamshire who have been referred to the MARAC:
  • The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS, also known as “Clare’s Law”) enables the police to disclose information to a victim or potential victim of domestic abuse about their partner’s or ex-partner’s previous abusive or violent offending - members of the public can also make enquiries into the partner of a close friend or family member by sending an application to the Thames Valley Police.
  • There are apps that victims can download to provide support, protection and evidence recording:
    • The Bright Sky app provides support for those experiencing domestic abuse as well as those concerned about friends and family member
    • The Holliguard app is a useful tool for those experiencing DVA or those who have left an abusive relationship.
  • Anybody worried about causing harm to the ones they love can get help by contacting Respect Phoneline 0808 802 4040.
    • Men can ring the Male Advice Line for support.
    • Mankind offers specialist advice for male victims of domestic violence and abuse.

For more support services, please visit our support for victims webpage.

Print entire guide

Last updated: 6 January 2021

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