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Domestic Abuse

What is domestic abuse and violence?

The government definition of domestic violence and abuse 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.

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.

Specialist Counselling Services – New to Harlow and Epping  South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (SERICC) is now offering specialist sexual violence counselling services in Epping and Harlow. The service is available to young people between the ages of 12 and 24 years old, and adult women, who have experienced any form of sexual violence (including childhood sexual abuse, rape, sexual exploitation and sexual assault) at any stage in their lives, regardless of statutory interventions.  Survivors can self refer, or workers can refer them, using the referral form available on www.sericc.org.uk 

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC)
Those involved in MARAC can find out more information on the process and access appropriate forms here.


Essex County Council, the PCC and Essex Police have launched a new campaign in partnership with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and Thurrock Council to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the support available for victims. The #TogetherWeCan campaign aims to encourage people to talk about domestic abuse and to direct victims to Essex Victims Gateway, where they can receive advice and help.

There’s lots of information on the Victim’s Gateway website about domestic abuse and how Essex Police and our partners can help victims who are in an abusive relationships. 

To get involved in the campaign, follow @Essex_CC , @EssexPoliceUKl on Twitter or find out more on the Essex Police website. If you think that you or someone you know is being subjected to domestic abuse then please go to our page www.essexvictimsgateway.org for advice and support.

How to get help

To make a disclosure of domestic violence either for yourself or someone else contact Essex Police’s Domestic Abuse Central Referral Unit by calling us on 101 extension 180340 or call Essex Police's dedicated domestic abuse non-emergency number 0800 358 0351.

Further information: Essex Police Website - Reporting Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse officers are always available to help. For other ways of contacting them see the Essex Police website.

The impact of domestic violence and abuse

Survivors/victims may be affected by domestic abuse in a number of ways:

  • Loss of opportunity
  • Isolation from family/friends
  • Loss of income or work
  • Homelessness
  • Emotional/psychological effects such as experiences of anxiety
  • Depression or lowered sense of self-worth
  • Poor health
  • Physical injury or ongoing impairment
  • Death

The effects of domestic abuse on survivors/victims include the direct effects on them and their relationships with other people, particularly their children. There are a number of local and national organisations who can offer help and support .

Join the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Reference Group

Membership of this group is open to representatives of all organisations who work with survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse, or work to address the impacts of domestic abuse.

The group meets quarterly and provides a forum for partners to engage with the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board, who design and drive implementation for the region’s domestic abuse strategy.

As a member of the group you have an opportunity to inform how Essex, Southend, and Thurrock co-ordinates its approach to domestic abuse and collaborates to provide services. You will also have the opportunity to join separate groups responsible for working on specific areas of the domestic abuse strategy.

To enquire about joining email Domestic.AbuseEssex@essex.gov.uk