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Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Find out how to recognise the signs and where to get help.

Please visit our Practitioners Library for domestic abuse related policies, guidance and toolkits. 


Signs of domestic abuse, coercion and control 

There are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about having power and control over you.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship.

Emotional abuse

Does your partner ever:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or downplay it?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?
  • monitor your social media profiles, share photos or videos of you without your consent or use GPS locators to know where you are?

Threats and intimidation

Does your partner ever:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?

Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.

Does your partner ever:

  • slap, hit or punch you?
  • push or shove you?
  • bite or kick you?
  • burn you?
  • choke you or hold you down?
  • throw things?

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone.

Does your partner ever:

  • touch you in a way you do not want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?

If your partner has sex with you when you do not want to, this is rape.

Have you ever felt afraid of your partner?

Have you ever changed your behaviour because you're afraid of what your partner might do?

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, there are lots of people who can help you.

1 in 3 cases of domestic violence and abuse against women starts during pregnancy. If the relationship is already abusive, it can get worse.

Find out more about domestic abuse in pregnancy.

Economic Abuse

Financial or economic abuse is controlling access to money or resources, including putting someone into debt, preventing them from working or taking their wages.

People commonly use the terms economic abuse and financial abuse interchangeably, since they involve similar behaviours. It can be helpful to think of financial abuse as a subcategory of economic abuse.


Helping a friend if they're being abused

If you're worried a friend is being abused, let them know you've noticed something is wrong.

They might not be ready to talk, but try to find quiet times when they can talk if they choose to.

If someone confides in you that they're suffering domestic abuse:

  • listen, and take care not to blame them
  • acknowledge it takes strength to talk to someone about experiencing abuse
  • give them time to talk, but do not push them to talk if they do not want to
  • acknowledge they're in a frightening and difficult situation
  • tell them nobody deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what the abuser has said
  • support them as a friend, encourage them to express their feelings, and allow them to make their own decisions
  • do not tell them to leave the relationship if they're not ready – that's their decision
  • ask if they have suffered physical harm and if they have, offer to go with them to a hospital or GP
  • help them report the assault to the police if they choose to
  • be ready to provide information about organisations that offer help for people experiencing domestic abuse


Worried about someone?

If you are concerned about someone you know report it.

In an emergency always call 999. If it is not an emergency, and you would prefer to remain anonymous, you can contact Crimestoppers online, or on the phone by calling 0800 555 111 with 100 per cent anonymity guaranteed.

If you have a safeguarding concern, please report to Bromley Council here.

Advice and support

For professionals

Domestic Abuse Professional’s Service Directory is a service guide for organisations and professionals in Bromley providing support to victims and survivors, and perpetrators of Domestic Abuse. 

The Domestic Abuse Services and Referral Pathways in Bromley shows the local domestic abuse referral pathways available in Bromley. 

London Borough of Bromley Sanctuary Scheme - March 2023 - Any Bromley residents that are experiencing violence or abuse would qualify to be considered for a referral into the Sanctuary Scheme. The Sanctuary scheme, by providing professionally installed security measures, allows families to remain in their own environment whist they are experiencing the problems that arise as a result of domestic abuse. 

To refer a client to the Sanctuary scheme send the completed referral form to LBB.SanctuaryScheme@bromley.gov.uk. Referrals will be forwarded to the Safe Partnership who will make contact with the client to arrange a suitable appointment time.

Safe Partnership’s aim is to make the homes of victims and survivors of violence and abuse safe and secure so that they and their families can remain in their own homes, alleviating the disruption of relocating and allows them to retain the support of professional services, their family and the community when they are at their most vulnerable.

For the referral process document click here.
For the referral form click here.

Any questions please contact LBB.SanctuaryScheme@bromley.gov.uk


Operation Hydrant Factsheet Victim Reporting 


Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

The primary focus of a MARAC is to safeguard adult victims of domestic abuse and to protect families. The MARAC is an information sharing panel with key services who support the creation of an action plan of high risk, high harm cases, including making appropriate referrals to safeguard the family.

MARAC: SafeLives Toolkit for Adult Social Care - This provides background information MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference), the legal framework and the process when making referrals. 

MARAC South Area Referral Form Reviewed (June 2023) - MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) is a meeting where information is shared on the highest risk domestic abuse cases between representatives of local police, health, child protection, housing practitioners, Independent Domestic & Sexual Violence Advocates (IDSVA’s) and other specialists. Information shared at the MARAC is confidential and is only used for the purpose of reducing the risk of harm to those at risk.


Domestic Abuse 2021-24 Strategy

This is a strategy document about how we want to develop and improve our services over the next few years.


Senior Metropolitan Police Officer shares her story of how her relationship turned into one of controlling behaviour and social isolation. Watch the video to hear more about Sharon's story.


Domestic Abuse Professional's Service Directory

A service guide for organisations & professionals in Bromley providing support to victims, survivors & perpetrators of domestic abuse. 

Domestic Abuse Professional’s Service Directory - Bromley Parenting Hub


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