Domestic Violence & Abuse – resources for all

Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is the abuse of someone within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control another person – usually a partner, ex-partner or other family member. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or step family

Abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual, or a combination of these. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they’re frightened of someone’s reaction is being abused.

For more information and advice about the help available in Manchester visit the City Council’s website at

The MSP policy ‘Working Together to Safeguard adults & children from Domestic Violence & Abuse‘ and DVA Assessment Referral Form are available to view and download below.


Domestic Abuse and Covid 19

We know that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone – but particularly so for adults and children living with domestic abuse, and the professionals working hard to support them. On this page we will be sharing resources to help support you through this time, and will be adding more as things progress. As always, if you or someone else is in immediate danger please call 999 and ask for the police.

For people experiencing domestic abuse

It’s important to know that you are not alone. Even if you are unable to leave your home at the moment, you can still access support through one of the helplines.

Read our guide for staying safe during COVID-19for victims and survivors.





CSP and MCC UPDATE BULLETIN 17.07.20 (1)

Surviving Economic Abuse have produced guidanceon economic abuse while self-isolating, as well as practical issues including benefits and sick pay. The guidance is updated regularly as the situation changes

Online support

Support is available from Women’s Aid’s online chat service, open from 10am-12pm Monday-Friday.

Chayn provides online tools, information, courses and support for people experiencing abuse, all free to access. Their Soul Medicine courses provide bitesized support, delivered in disguised emails at a time that you choose. They are also launching a secure Telegram channel to provide particular support during this time.

If you need to secure your devices or clear your browsing history after accessing support, take a look at Chayn’s DIY online safety guide.

Making your voice heard

We want to ensure that your voice is being heard by us, policymakers and the wider world. If you can spare a couple of minutes, please complete this very short survey to tell the Government what people experiencing abuse need. Your response will be completely anonymous.

Resources for parents and children

Domestic abuse impacts the whole family, particularly when schools are closed and children are at home. West Sussex Connect service have kindly provided this Parent Pack, full of useful ideas for activities to do with children, links to educational resources, and helpful advice for helping children to talk about their worries.

Rights of Women have produced guidance on COVID-19 and child contact arrangements.

Feeling connected and looking after your wellbeing

To read uplifting and empowering words from other survivors, sign up to Voices Together – our newsletter written by and for survivors of domestic abuse.

Podcast: Rachel Williams, survivor and SafeLives Pioneer, talks to Jo Silver about how survivors may be feeling at the moment, and shares tips and advice to let you know you’re not alone.

For professionals

If you’re a domestic abuse professional, part of a Marac or work around domestic abuse in any other capacity, please join the free SafeLives Community. Here you can connect with other professionals and access the latest guidance from SafeLives. We will keep adding new COVID-19 guidance to the Community as things continue to change.

View guidance for multi-agency forums (including Maracs) on responding to the challenges of COVID-19.

Complete our practitioner survey if you manage a frontline service. Your reflections on the current pressure on the domestic abuse sector due to COVID-19 will help us provide evidence to Government and make the case for dedicated support packages.

DVA Policy and guidance

Practitioners should consult the Working Together to Safeguard Adults and Children from Domestic Abuse Multi-agency Procedures 

Where children or young people are involved, this policy should be read alongside the relevant GMSP procedures

The MCC Multi agency Domestic Abuse toolkit can be found on the HSM website at

DVA Referral Form

Practitioners should use the MSB Domestic Violence & Abuse Assessment & Referral Form to make referrals in relation to domestic violence & abuse.


The MCC Multi agency Domestic Abuse toolkit can be found on the HSM website at

Domestic abuse helplines

Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline
Tele: 0161 636 7525 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm excluding Bank Holidays) or visit their website at

24 Hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline
Tele: 0808 2000 247 or visit their website at

For more information and advice and details of local support go to the Manchester City Council website at


Definitions of abuse include:

  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • forced marriage
  • so called ‘honour’ based violence
  • prostitution and trafficking
  • sexual violence, including rape
  • sexual exploitation
  • sexual harassment
  • stalking.

Domestic violence & abuse includes:

  • psychological abuse
  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • emotional abuse.

The cross-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.

Coercive 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.

Definition of domestic violence and abuse: guide for local areas
To help local areas consider the consider how the extension to the definition of domestic violence and abuse may impact on their services, the Home Office, in partnership with Against Violence and Abuse (AVA) has produced a guide for local areas available from the Home Office website at

Domestic violence and abuse and young people – Operation Encompass

The changes to the definition of domestic raise awareness that young people in the 16 to 17 age group can also be victims of domestic violence and abuse.

By including this age group the government hopes to encourage young people to come forward and get the support they need, through a helpline or specialist service such as:

Operation Encompass is a Police and Education early intervention safeguarding partnership which supports children and young people exposed to domestic abuse and is being rolled out across Manchester schools. Find out more in our Schools and Early Years resource.

The DVA Forum and Strategy Group have recommended a BBC news item which highlights Operation Encompass and can be viewed at

Guidance for when a victim withdraws/denies or retracts an allegation outside of the criminal justice system

First and foremost when a disclosure is made a Manchester Multi Agency Domestic Violence and Assessment form should be completed (aka DASH/RIC). The referral pathway for all levels of risk is on the front page of the referral form.

Reassure the victim that support is available if they want help. Try to establish the reason for the withdrawal/denial/retraction and consider: coercion and controlling behaviour, fear of consequences, witness intimidation and any cultural or physical barriers to accessing support.

Agencies can refer to MARAC on professional judgement without consent but a rationale for this should be explained clearly in the referral and management authorisation should be sought.

If the MARAC threshold is not met then discuss a referral to Manchester Women’s Aid, Saheli or Victim Support. If the victim declines a referral then provide them if safe to do so the number of the confidential domestic abuse helpline on 0161 636 7525.

Where possible still discuss basic safety planning and as a minimum to ring 999 if they feel they are in danger. Further safety planning guidance is available from Women’s Aid at

If a victim does not consent or declines a referral and there are still concerns then agencies should seek advice from their safeguarding lead. Agencies should always follow relevant safeguarding children and adult at risk policy guidelines and consider all other information available and include this if making a referral.

Referrals for adults or children can be made to Contact Manchester on 0161 234 5001 or by email to

Agencies can also call any of the Domestic Violence and Abuse specialist services for advice:

  • Independent Domestic Violence Advice Service tele: 0161 234 5393
  • Women’s Aid tele: 0611 6607999
  • Saheli (South Asian Women’s project) tele: 0161 945 4187
  • Victim Support tele: 0808 16 89 111
  • Confidential Domestic Abuse helpline tele: 0161 636 7525

Adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA)

The Home Office has worked with third sector partners, academics and other government departments to develop and disseminate information for practitioners working with children and families on how to identify and address the risks posed by adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA).

APVA is a hidden form of domestic violence and abuse that is often not spoken about. It is hoped that by raising awareness around this issue, we can provide better protection to victims and apply an appropriate safeguarding approach – the Home Office guidance  can be read on the website at and find further guidance on the website

Male victims of domestic and sexual violence

Male victims of domestic violence can and are frequently victims of abuse in the home, either at the hands of their female or, in the case of same-sex relationships, their male partner.

Abuse is a control issue – abusers believe they have the right to manipulate, control and humiliate another person, and this belief is not only held by some men but also by some women.

Male victims of abuse can get help and advice from the Men’s Advice Line website at or contact them on tele: 0808 801 0327 or find out more on the Hidden Hurt website at

Domestic violence disclosure scheme

From 8 March 2014, the domestic violence disclosure scheme was implemented across England and Wales. This follows the successful conclusion of a 1 year pilot in the Greater Manchester and other police force areas.

Right to ask – Clare’s Law
Under the scheme an individual can ask police to check whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. This is the ‘right to ask’. If records show that an individual may be at risk of domestic violence from a partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so. For more information see our Clare’s Law resource.

Right to know
This enables an agency to apply for a disclosure if the agency believes that an individual is at risk of domestic violence from their partner. Again, the police can release information if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.

Further information visit the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme guidance on the government website at

Domestic violence protection notices and orders
The creation of DVPOs filled a gap in providing protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates to put in place protection in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident. Domestic violence protection orders (DVPOs) have been implemented across England and Wales from March 2014.

With DVPOs, a perpetrator can be banned with immediate effect from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim time to consider their options and get the support they need.

Before the scheme, there was a gap in protection, because police couldn’t charge the perpetrator for lack of evidence and so provide protection to a victim through bail conditions, and because the process of granting injunctions took time.

Further information on DVPOs can be found on the government website at   and the GMP website at

Independent domestic violence advisers (IDVA)

IDVAs help keep victims and their children safe from harm from violent partners or family.

Serving as a victim’s primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis, to assess the level of risk  and they will:

  • discuss the range of suitable options
  • develop plans for immediate safety – including practical steps for victims to protect themselves and their children
  • develop plans for longer-term safety
  • represent their clients at the MARAC
  • help apply sanctions and remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, including housing options.

These plans address immediate safety, including practical steps for victims to protect themselves and their children, as well as longer-term solutions.

Multi-Agency Risk assessment Conference (MARAC)
The role of MARAC coordinators and administrators is to:

  • help to establish communication between all parties
  • give information to partner agencies about the MARAC process, where appropriate
  • work with the chair to identify agency gaps
  • establish links with these agencies to enable them to take part in the MARAC.

For more information see our MARAC resource.

Domestic violence victims without indefinite leave to remain

If a relationship with a British citizen or someone settled in the UK has broken down because of domestic violence, the victim may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain (permission to stay in the UK permanently).

The ‘no recourse to public funds’ policy is a general rule for most people who apply to come to the UK. The policy is based on the principle that people without a permanent right to remain in the UK should not have the same access to benefits as British citizens.

Immigration policy is clear that migrants coming to the UK should be able to provide for themselves financially without relying on benefits from the state. However, the government is aware of the difficulties victims of domestic violence face, in particular those who can’t access public funds.

Because of this, the government provides help to these victims who have been admitted to the UK with leave as spouses, unmarried partners or civil partners of a British citizen, or of a non-citizen who is settled in the UK.

This allows domestic violence victims to apply for indefinite leave to remain in their own right, if they have been victims of domestic violence.

For further information about how to apply for settlement as a victim of DVA visit the website at

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR)

When someone has been killed as a result of domestic violence (domestic homicide) a review should be carried out. Professionals need to understand what happened in each homicide and to identify what needs to change to reduce the risk of future tragedies.

For more information see our Domestic Homicide Review resource.


The MCC Multi agency Domestic Abuse toolkit can be found on the HSM website at

The Home Office website at  contains lots of useful resources. Find out about domestic violence and abuse, coercive control, disclosure scheme, protection notices, domestic homicide reviews and advisers.

Three steps to escaping domestic violence
The leaflet ‘Three steps to escaping domestic violence‘ was produced by the Home Office with Southall Black Sisters and is aimed specifically at women in black and minority ethnic communities. It can be downloaded from the government website at  and is available in 12 languages.

It covers advice on the three steps to escaping violence and abuse:

  • report the abuse
  • how to take actions
  • how to keep safe from abuse.

The leaflet brings together  issues such as ’honour’-based violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, dowry abuse, domestic and sexual abuse, and having no recourse to public funds.

Local Government Association
Useful adult safeguarding and domestic abuse resources can be found on the LGA website at

Downloads on this page:


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