Domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

The current national definition of domestic 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 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.

This is not a legal definition.

Where to get help

You can obtain help or advice with a personal domestic abuse-related issue at the borough’s One Stop Shop(pdf, 204KB) near Richmond station.

Victims of rape or sexual assault should look at for information on the choices available if they feel unsure about reporting to the Police.

White Ribbon is a campaign around reducing the level of violence toward women.

There is also a range of other domestic abuse services(pdf, 308KB) available to borough residents, including some services tailored to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people(pdf, 324KB).

See the domestic abuse support page for further information and/or the page on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender domestic abuse.

There is also a page of advice about rape and sexual assault(pdf, 46KB) and human trafficking(pdf, 86KB).

Information for practitioners

If you are a practitioner, there is information for agencies about how domestic abuse is tackled in the borough, and pages about the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference, Domestic Abuse Forum and Domestic Abuse Operations Group and on working with perpetrators.

Contact us

For more information about domestic abuse in Richmond upon Thames contact:

Michael Allen
Domestic Abuse & Hate Crime Coordinator
Community Safety Partnership
3rd Floor,
44 York Street

Telephone: 020 8831 6198 or 020 8891 7777
Email: or

Please note that the Domestic Abuse Coordinator does not provide services directly to members of the public experiencing domestic abuse.

If you or any of your family are at immediate risk from domestic abuse, dial 999.

Updated: 1 July 2014