Domestic Abuse

WHAT IS DOMESTIC ABUSE?

Domestic abuse is a largely hidden crime which affects the quality of life of those suffering abuse. Anyone can suffer domestic abuse regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexuality or background.

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviour in a relationship to maintain power and control, usually over a current or former partner, someone from within the abuser's family or someone that they have a close relationship with. It can take many forms, ranging from violent, physical harm to coercive and threatening behaviours intended to provoke fear and guilt to gain control over a person.

Most domestic abuse falls into one of the following categories:

  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Violent or threatening behaviour, assaults and threats*
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour
  • Financial and Economic abuse
  • Psychological or emotional abuse

*Violent or threatening behaviour, assaults and threats are criminal offences. If you are concerned about your own or someone else’s wellbeing then you must report this to the Police by calling 999.


SUPPORTING ACCENT RESIDENTS

Your safety is our priority
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, in an emergency, please call the Police on 999.

Or, to speak to a member of the Accent team, please call us on 0345 678 0555. Our lines are open from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday. 

What happens after you contact us?
Once your call has been logged, a member of staff will be in touch within one working day. We will arrange a private, confidential interview so that we can assess your current situation and create an action plan with you offering advice, assistance, and support. We can help you to prepare to leave and find a refuge, or we can help you secure your home so you can stay there safely.

We can advise you on tenancy issues
To ensure we get you the right support we will work in partnership with agencies such as Women’s Aid, Refuge, Victim Support, the Police, and local authorities. Where appropriate, we may also call a Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), which brings together agencies who may be working with you. Sharing information with these agencies will mean that a more effective action plan can be put into place.

Our commitment to you
We are committed to acting quickly, effectively and sympathetically to anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse and we will:

  • React quickly and effectively to make sure you are safe
  • Give you practical help, support and advice via our Customer Partners
  • Be sensitive and understanding when we discuss your housing options
  • Work with other statutory and voluntary agencies to provide you with support
  • Pursue, where appropriate, relevant action against those responsible for domestic abuse using the terms of our Tenancy Agreement

Your housing options

Your Customer Partner will provide you with support and advice.

We can talk to you about your housing options including staying in your home (and keeping you safe there), and safe accommodation options including finding a Women's Refuge if you need to be rehoused away from the person who is abusing you.

If you cannot return home, we will engage with the Police and ask them to accompany you to collect your personal belongings from your home.

Your safety is our main concern. We will never inform the person responsible that we have spoken to you, and we will not take any action against the person without consulting you first.


RAISING CONCERNS ABOUT OTHERS

If you think someone is in immediate danger, call the Police on 999. Do not confront the abuser.

If you have concerns about the welfare of the children, call the NSPCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

If you have witnessed or suspect someone to be the victim of domestic abuse, there are a number of things you can do:

  • Try talking to the victim directly. Listen, believe and support them.
  • Call the National Domestic Abuse helpline on 0808 2000 247 for guidance.
  • Contact Accent on 0345 678 0555. Our lines are open from 8 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday.* 

*If you do contact Accent about any concerns that you have about the well-being of your neighbours, any information you provide will remain confidential unless we are legally required to report it to the Police. If you would like to remain anonymous, please provide us with as much information as possible as we will be unable to contact you for more information.


ORGANISATIONS AND USEFUL INFORMATION

There are many organisations that can provide support to people experiencing or perpetrating domestic abuse:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Women’s Aid: offering free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day.

Refuge for Women: Support for women and children, survivors of domestic abuse

Independent Domestic Violence Advisory (IDVA) Service: providing emotional and practical advice, guidance and support.

Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse (CARA): 

Respect: organisation working with perpetrators, male victims and young people who use violence.

Men’s Advice Line: helpline for male victims of domestic abuse

ManKind Initiative: helping men escape domestic abuse

Galop: LGBT anti-abuse charity with a helpline

Karma Nirvana: support victims of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

Southall Black Sisters: providing advice & support primarily for Asian, African and African-Caribbean women

Samaritans: providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide.

The Bobby scheme: Home security improvements.

Domestic Abuse Act 2021: Government factsheet summarising the key points of this important act

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