Early help for domestic abuse

Domestic abuse (also called domestic violence or relationship abuse) is a pattern of behaviours used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship.

Domestic violence does not discriminate. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender can be a victim – or perpetrator – of domestic violence. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating. It affects people of all backgrounds and education levels.

Domestic violence includes behaviours that physically harm, arouse fear, prevent a partner from doing what they wish or force them to behave in ways they do not want. It includes the use of physical and sexual violence, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse and economic deprivation. Many of these different forms of domestic violence/abuse can be occurring at any one time within the same intimate relationship.

Organisations who can help


Women's Aid

Victim Support

Men's Advice Line 

Further information

What are my legal rights?

How to get legal aid

Myth busting: will my children be taken away if I report my partner of domestic abuse?

Is domestic abuse in teenage relationships taken seriously enough? 

My fearful life: growing up with domestic violence 

If you work at Barking and Dagenham council you can get up to 10 days paid leave to help you deal with a domestic abuse situation. 

For further information please refer to our domestic abuse page.