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Domestic Abuse

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is: Any incident or pattern of incidents 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 gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

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.

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.

Domestic abuse happens across all communities, faiths and cultures. Most often, domestic abuse is committed by men against women, but it also happens in gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender relationships. Sometimes other family members may also be involved.

Waltham Forest Council is committed to working in partnership with statutory, voluntary and community organisations to prevent Domestic abuse and to reduce the harm it causes to individuals, families and the community as a whole.

Types of domestic abuse

Physical abuse               
Physical abuse (violence) can include pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking and using weapons.

Verbal abuse
Verbal abuse is the use of harsh or insulting language directed at a person. You might be called names or constantly put down by your partner.

Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse or coercive control is the act(s) of repeatedly making someone feel bad, intimidated or scared. This can include threatening or controlling behaviour (such as controlling or withholding finances), blackmailing, constantly criticising or checking up on someone, or playing mind games.

Coercive control is now a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015.

Mental abuse
Psychological or mental abuse is when someone is subjected or exposed to a situation that can result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sexual abuse
Sexual abuse is when you’re forced or pressured to have sex without your consent (rape), unwanted sexual activity, touching, groping or being made to watch pornography.

As many as one in four women and one in six men experience some form of domestic abuse at some point in their lives.

It can be hard to admit, even to yourself, that you are a victim of Domestic Abuse. But this is the first step to getting help.

No one has the right to abuse you. You and your children have a right to be safe.

Ignoring violence is dangerous. Violence rarely happens only once. In fact it is more usual for the violence to become more serious the longer it carries on.

Help for victims and witnesses

If you’re in an abusive relationship or have experienced domestic abuse in the past, there are local organisations that we can help you with free and confidential support.

Specially training members of staff will help you think through your options and come up with a plan to put safeguards and support in place for you and your family.

Local Support Services

Waltham Forest Solace Women’s Aid - 07340 683382

Ashiana Network (South Asian, Turkish and Iranian women) - 020 8539 0427

Haven the Survivors of Abuse Network (historic and current sexual abuse) - 020 8520 0755

Kiran Project (women and children from BAMER communities) - 020 8558 1986

Stay Safe East (Disabled people service) - 020 8519 7241 text phone 07587 134 122

IMECE (Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot women) - 020 7354 1359

Rise Mutual - 07535 651784

National/London Support Services

National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0800 2000 247

Men’s Advice Line - 0808 801 0327

Galop (LGB and TQi) - 020 7704 2040

Deaf Hope UK - SMS: 07970 350 366

Ascent Legal Advice line - 020 7608 1137 

Help for perpetrators of domestic abuse

There are services designed to help perpetrators of domestic abuse change their abusive behaviour. The programmes usually involve an individual assessment followed by group work over a set period of time.

If the perpetrator is prosecuted the courts can make an order for the perpetrator to attend a programme run by the Probation Service. There are also some voluntary programmes that are available to men who have not been prosecuted.

These specialist services are governed by a set of national standards set down by Respect – the national association of perpetrator programmes.

Waltham Forest has commissioned RISE Mutual to provide support services to perpetrators residing in Waltham Forest.

For information about other perpetrator programmes in London contact the Respect Phone Line on 0808 802 4040 or visit the Respect Line website.

One stop shop

Are you worried or concerned about your safety? Do you experience physical or verbal abuse? Do you feel intimidated or controlled by others in your life? Domestic abuse is any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members.

Our domestic abuse and sexual violence one stop shop will be running from our children’s centres. The drop in sessions will be a safe, confidential, non-judgemental place for anyone to come in and seek advice in relation to their safety, wellbeing and practical needs.

 Whether you want to get advice, just talk about your concerns or access immediate support, you can meet with one of our specialist workers who can help you get the support and advice that you need. The specialist worker can also help you access other services that you might need. 

 Some of the areas of support that you will be able to explore include:

  • Safety planning
  • Legal matters
  • Housing advice
  • Reporting to the police
  • Advice around benefits and finances
  • Therapeutic interventions for adults and children
  • Specialist support (e.g. drug and alcohol, sexual health)

 There’s no need to book an appointment, just drop in to one of our scheduled sessions.

Chingford Children and Family Centre Hub

5 Oaks Grove, Chingford, E4 6EY. Telephone: 020 8496 1551

  • Mon 15 April (10am to 1pm)
  • Mon 20 May (10am to 1pm)
  • Mon 17th June (10am to 1pm)
  • Mon 15th July (10am to 1pm)
  • Mon 19th August (10am to 1pm)
  • Mon 16th September (10am to 1pm)
  • Mon 21st October (10am to 1pm) 

Leyton Children and Family Centre Hub

215 Queens Road, Leyton, E17 8PJ. Telephone: 020 8496 2442

  • Tues 23 April (10am to 1pm)
  • Tues 28 May (10am to 1pm)
  • Tues 25th June (10am to 1pm)
  • Tues 23rd July  (10am to 1pm)
  • Tues 27th August (10am to 1pm)
  • Tues 24th September (10am to 1pm)
  • Tues 29th October (10am to 1pm) 

Leytonstone Children & Family Centre Hub

The Junction 2-8 Cathall Road Leytonstone, E11 4LF

  • Wed 3 April (10am to 1pm)
  • Wed 1 May (10am to 1pm)
  • Wed 5th June (10am to 1pm)
  • Wed 3rd July  (10am to 1pm)
  • Wed 7th August (10am to 1pm)
  • Wed 4th September (10am to 1pm)
  • Wed 2nd October (10am to 1pm) 

Walthamstow Children and Family Centre Hub

313 Billet Road, Walthamstow, E17 5PX. Telephone: 020 8496 3511

  • Thurs 11 April (1pm to 4pm)
  • Thurs 9 May (1pm to 4pm)
  • Thurs 13th June (1pm to 4pm)
  • Thurs 11th July (1pm to 4pm)
  • Thurs 15th August (1pm to 4pm)
  • Thurs 12th September (1pm to 4pm)
  • Thurs 10th October (1pm to 4pm)

Need more advice ?

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