Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is a form of violence or abuse which often involves coercive behaviours.  It is most often experienced by women by current or former male partners but recent domestic homicides in Surrey have involved male victims. 

Domestic violence and abuse can take place between any members of a family group or intimate partners of all sexual orientation, regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, disability or lifestyle, sometimes involving children. Domestic violence is frequently repeated and can escalate over time. Children may experience significant adverse impact as a result of such abuse within the family or family home.

In April the Government implemented section 9 of The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims act (2004) - This means that local agencies are expected to undertake a multi- agency review following a domestic homicide.

Stalking became a criminal offence on November 25th 2012. It is different form harassment as it involves fixated or obsessive behaviour.

What is Domestic Abuse?

The new definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:
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 can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • 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 definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Such behaviour may include:

Destructive verbal abuse such as mocking, insulting, shouting, name calling and threatening, ignoring the victim or putting them down in front of others.

Putting on pressure by sulking, (being jealous and suspicious) self -harm, lying to others about the victim, and to the victim themselves, using the children, withholding money, preventing use of telephone car or things within the home.

Isolation – checking on phone calls to and from the victim, deciding where and when the victim can go out and who they see, stopping contact from other friends and relatives.

Harrassment - embarrassment in public, following the victim and opening mail or not allowing privacy.

Threats to cause harm to the victim, their personal possessions, the home, the children, using gestures which cause fear, with or without weapons (guns, knives, sticks, etc), parts of body such as feet, fists etc.



Outreach Services: 

East Surrey

01737 771350 - covers Reigate and Banstead, Mole Valley and Tandridge

North West Surrey

01483 776822 - covers Woking, Runnymede and Surrey Heath

North West Surrey

01932 260690 – covers Epsom and Ewell, Elmbridge and Spelthorne

South West Surrey

 01483 577392 – covers Guildford and Waverley


Other sources of help:

Surrey-wide Helpline: 01483 776822
National 24hr Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Male Advice Line 0845 064 6800

SADA (Surrey Against Domestic Abuse)

Surrey and Borders is part of SADA, a multi agency partnership made up of organisations that deal, either directly or indirectly, with the effects of domestic abuse. Other organisations in the partnership include Surrey Police, Crimestoppers, Surrey County Council and the various borough councils in the region.

Please visit their website at for information about what to do and who contact if you suspect that you or someone you know is being abused.

Trust Policies and Guidance

SABP Policy – Domestic Abuse (Support for Staff)

Information Sources

Woman’s Aid Website
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Service
Surrey County Council Domestic Abuse, includes training 
Foreign and Commonwealth Office - advice on forced marriage 
Leaflet from Safer North Hants ( on domestic abuse