Domestic Abuse

Report Domestic Abuse

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

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. 



Three Rivers District Council has a Domestic Abuse Caseworker (DAC) who works with medium to low-risk victims of domestic abuse. This service provides free support without judgement and can help people explore their options and take actions at a pace that is right for them. Residents of Three Rivers can self-refer into this service.

You can self-refer to a DAC online at Domestic Abuse or contact them on 01923 727141. Herts Mind Domestic Abuse Leaflet (pdf)


Three Rivers also has an Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) who supports high-risk victims of Domestic Abuse living within the Three Rivers District. The IDVA works with clients who are referred from other services or self-referred to support them with personal safety, security, housing, civil remedies and criminal law. This service is independent and therefore the Police do not have to be involved. The service is free, confidential and non-judgmental.

You can self-refer to an IDVA by e-mail to or The main office can be contacted on 0300 790 6772 or the IDVA directly on 01923 727231. If they are not available please contact the central office listed above. 

You may also find some useful information and contact numbers listed below.

Other sources of support

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.

Three Rivers Domestic Abuse Leaflet 2016 (pdf) 


Domestic Abuse contacts (pdf)

Police support

If you have been the victim of abuse call 999 in an emergency. If it is not an emergency you can call the police on 101. You will be referred to a specialist Domestic Abuse Officer. You can also make a report to them online at

Housing support

If you are looking for emergency housing in order to escape from domestic abuse you can contact our Housing Needs Team on 01923 776611 or e-mail:  

Alternative support organisations

There are also a number of websites and helplines available:

See our short video about what domestic abuse is:

See our video about consent:


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