Domestic Violence

Domestic violence (also called Domestic Abuse) is a crime and a major social problem affecting many families. In 90% of reported domestic violence incidents, children have either been present in the same or a nearby room.

What is Domestic Abuse

The Government current definition of domestic violence and 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. 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.'

The Government 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.

Family members includes mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or stepfamily.

How does it affect children?

  • Domestic violence may teach children to use violence
  • Violence can affect children in serious and long-lasting ways
  • Where there is domestic violence there is often child abuse
  • Children will often blame themselves for domestic violence
  • Alcohol misuse is very common contributing factor when violence occurs in families
  • Pregnant women are more vulnerable to domestic violence

Children, who witness, intervene or hear incidents are affected in many ways. What can be guaranteed is that children do hear, they do see and they are aware of abuse in the family. Children will learn how to behave from examples parents set for them. Domestic violence teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people. For instance:

  • It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict
  • They learn how to keep secrets.
  • They learn to mistrust those close to them and that children are responsible and to blame for violence, especially if violence erupts after an argument about the children.

Many people find it difficult to understand why people remain in or return to abusive violent situations. A combination of fear, love, the risk of homelessness and financial issues can make it very difficult for partners with children to leave and some may not want to.

Effects upon children:

Children are affected in many ways by abuse, even after a short time. These effects include: feeling frightened, becoming withdrawn, bedwetting, running away, aggressiveness, behavioural difficulties, problems with school, poor concentration and emotional turmoil.

What can I do?

In case of an emergency, call or text 999.

Other Useful Services

National services

Call or text:

999 in an emergency if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or there is a risk of serious damage to property.

Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for support, help and information over the telephone for women only, wherever you might be in the country. All calls are completely confidential. Translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available.

NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000; Textphone: 0800 056 0566

Family Lives Helpline 0808 800 2222

ChildLine 0800 1111

MALE helpline on 0808 801 0327 (free from landlines and most mobile phones) for practical advice and information about accessing specialist help for heterosexual, gay and bisexual men. Monday - Friday 9am-5pm

National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Domestic Violence Helpline on 0300 999 5428 for confidential support to all members of the LGBT communities, their family, friends, and agencies supporting them.

Deaf Hope 07970 350366 for deaf women.

Local services in Hounslow:

Face-to-face advice and support from a variety of agencies at Hounslow One Stop Shop, a free weekly drop-in service for anyone experiencing gender-based violence. You don’t need to make an appointment and can get information on issues including safety, accommodation, legal and childcare matters at one convenient location.


Wednesdays, 10am – 12noon

Route 36
36 Bath Road
Hounslow TW3 3FF

All victims (this includes men and LGBT) of domestic and sexual violence that reside in Hounslow borough:

Hounslow Police Community Safety Unit on 020 8247 6185 (non-emergency)

Hounslow Domestic and Sexual Violence Outreach Service 0208 247 6163

Victim Support 0845 450 3936

EACH 020 8577 6059

Women only

Refuge Domestic Violence Floating Support Service 020 8742 7745

Women and Girls Network 0808 801 0660 (freephone)

Southall Black Sisters - for black and minority ethnic women - 020 8571 0800


Galop - for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people affected by domestic abuse in London - 020 7704 2040

Leaving a Violent Home -

EACH Domestic Violence outreach Service -

Southall Black Sisters -