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Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

The Government defines domestic abuse as:


‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’


This incorporates issues such as so called honour based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.


Following a Government consultation on the definition above from March 2013 the definition will also include those aged 16-17 and wording to reflect coercive control. The title of the definition will be changed to domestic violence and abuse.


Please note: Essex Police already include young people aged 15 and over in this definition. All forms of domestic abuse - psychological, economic, emotional and physical - come from the abuser's desire for power and control over other family members or intimate partners. Although every situation is unique, there are common factors involved.  


Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse and it happens in all communities to people from all backgrounds. 


The impact of domestic abuse survivors/victims may be affected by domestic abuse in a number of ways:

  1. Loss of opportunity 
  2. Isolation from family/friends    
  3. Loss of income or work    
  4. Homelessness    
  5. Emotional/psychological effects such as experiences of anxiety,    
  6. Depression or lowered sense of self-worth    
  7. Poor health    
  8. Physical injury or ongoing impairment     
  9. Death


The effects of domestic abuse on survivors/victims include the direct effects on them and their relationships with other people, particularly their children. 


For more information about Domestic Abuse visit the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse website.


Working with Perpetrators

New services aimed at breaking the cycle of domestic abuse are now available. They will help people to reflect on their behaviour and the damage this can cause and what they can do to change. Find out more on this flyer.


Agency referral VAWG perpetrator pathway - this needs to be completed and sent to


For further information this video has an overview of the services you can refer into.


Join the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Reference Group

Membership of this group is open to representatives of all organisations who work with survivors and perpetrators of domestic abuse, or work to address the impacts of domestic abuse. The group meets quarterly and provides a forum for partners to engage with the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board, who design and drive implementation for the region’s domestic abuse strategy.


As a member of the group you have an opportunity to inform how Essex, Southend, and Thurrock co-ordinates its approach to domestic abuse and collaborates to provide services. You will also have the opportunity to join separate groups responsible for working on specific areas of the domestic abuse strategy.


To enquire about joining email