Domestic Abuse

Report Domestic Abuse

In this section:

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic Abuse is defined as 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 definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour-based violence’, female genital mutilation and forced marriage. It is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group. 

Domestic Abuse can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • sexual
  • emotional
  • physical
  • financial
  • coercive control
  • stalking and harassment

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. 

A coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or another abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim. 

Research shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience Domestic Abuse at some point in their life. Domestic Abuse is much more widespread than many people realise and anyone from any background can suffer. Sometimes it is a one-off incident of violence or abuse, but more often it is a pattern of persistent abusive behaviour. 

Herts Sunflower J9 - "Community Champions" for Domestic Abuse

J9 is an initiative being run through Herts Sunflower to establish a network of “Community Champions”. This is a community initiative to create safe spaces within local businesses for people who are experiencing domestic abuse. A logo on a window will indicate that the business/service is a safe place to receive information on the support available to them and to take the time to go through and process this information and use the telephone.

An organisation can become a “Community Champion” by contacting and attending training. This will allow staff to have a better understanding of what domestic abuse is and be able to provide information. People attending this training are not expected to provide advice/guidance/support on domestic abuse.



See Hert's Police video about consent:


Pioneering work on tech abuse featured on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: 

Below is a leaflet that has been produced to help raise awareness of the local help which is available for those experiencing Domestic Abuse. The leaflet contains a list of useful contact numbers.

Please contact the Community Safety Team for hard copies

Three Rivers Domestic Abuse leaflet 2019 (pdf)