Domestic abuse support and information

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust is committed to working with partners to support all those who need help and advice if they are at risk of domestic abuse.

The legal definition of domestic abuse is: 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. It can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

Psychological - such as intimidation, threats, blackmail, threat of suicide.
Physical - such as hitting, kicking, pushing, grabbing, reckless driving.
Sexual - such as rape, sexually derogatory names, unwanted sexual photos.
Financial - such as withholding money, preventing employment, stealing from the victim.
Economic - such as denying access to economic resources such as money, sabotaging economic resources or exploiting them, to create economic instability and prevent a survivor from rebuilding their life safely and independently .
Emotional - such as constant criticism, name calling, isolating victim from friends and family.
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 - 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.”

In addition to the definitions and descriptions detailed above, controlling, and coercive behaviour is a core part of domestic violence and is recognised to include:

Honour-based abuse
Honour-based abuse is a term used by many cultures for justification of abuse and violence. In most honour-based abuse cases there are multiple perpetrators from the immediate family, sometimes the extended family and occasionally the community at large. It is a crime or incident committed in order to protect or defend the family or community ‘honour’.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons; it is internationally recognised as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. Every year in the UK, an average 20,000-24,000 girls are at risk. The average age for FGM is between 4-14 years of age, but can happen prior or after that. Figures from 2016-17 show there were 9,179 attendances to NHS services in which FGM was identified, treatment was given, or a woman with FGM had given birth to a baby girl (FGM Annual Report 2017, NHS Digital).

Forced Marriage
A forced marriage is where one or both people do not (or in cases of people with learning disabilities or reduced capacity, cannot) consent to the marriage as they are pressurised, or abuse is used to force them to do so. It is recognised in the UK as a form of domestic/child abuse and a serious abuse of human rights.

Possible signs of domestic violence or abuse
• Changed behaviour in front of their partner
• Seeming nervous when they are with their partner, as if they are walking on eggshells
• Less confident or frightened – not their usual self
• Partner texts or calls constantly
• Cancelling plans at the last minute, or making excuses not to spend time with family/friends
• Bruises or injuries with unconvincing explanations
• Changes in appearance, for example, dressing more conservatively or stopping wearing makeup
• Taking more time than usual off sick from work

The page was last updated on 17 June 2020 by aburrows.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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