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. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
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.
This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography.
Whatever form it takes, domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Typically the abuse involves a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, which tends to get worse over time. The abuse can begin at any time, in the first year, or after many years of life together. It may begin, continue, or escalate after a couple have separated and may take place not only in the home but also in a public place.
Asking for support and advice is often a very difficult thing to do if you are feeling isolated or low in yourself. You may not even feel that you deserve to have support.
It is important to know that there are services out there that can provide advice at the right level for you, your children, family and friends.
Often the first step to breaking the cycle of abuse is sharing your problem with another person whether that is through the helpline, outreach worker or a support group.
Follow the links on this page for more specific information and advice on particular topics.
Domestic abuse information and advice that's relevant throughout England and Wales (much of it also applicable in other areas of the UK) can be accessed through the links on the left.
Below you will find additional information that's specifically relevant to Buckinghamshire.
In Buckinghamshire, thousands of people are affected by domestic abuse every year. The Buckinghamshire Community Safety Partnership is dedicated to helping victims and preventing abuse and will continue in their task to make the county and its residents as safe as possible.
Support Numbers for Buckinghamshire
(for national numbers, see the support numbers page)
Aylesbury Women's Aid:
01296 436827 / 01296 437777
Aylesbury Women’s Aid covers Aylesbury Vale and The Chilterns and exists for the benefit of all women and their children who are or have experienced physical, mental, emotional, financial or sexual abuse in their relationships and to offer support, information, advice, access to temporary safe accommodation and aftercare. It works from a feminist perspective and is committed to the principle of self-help and encourages women to determine their own futures by making information available in an accessible way and supporting women to make their own choices.
Aylesbury Rape Crisis: 01296 392468
Aylesbury Vale Rape Crisis serves the Aylesbury Vale area and supports women affected by abuse with the aim of enabling survivors to live fulfilling lives.
Wycombe Women's Aid:
Wycombe Women’s Aid covers Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks. It provides support to women and children experiencing the effects of domestic violence by offering safe, temporary and emergency accommodation as well as practical and emotional support within the refuge and through Outreach in the local community.
Wycombe Rape Crisis:
Wycombe Rape Crisis covers Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks. It supports adult female survivors of any form of sexual violence and offers befriending, counselling face-to-face or on the phone, telephone support, support when going to the police/court/health appointments/form filling, weekly self-help groups, support to non-abusing friends and family of survivor, talks/training, support to other organisations, a part-time youth out-reach worker and a part-time Asian out-reach worker.
Apart from initial support over the phone, WRC does not offer services to men and people under 16, but its volunteers will direct them to an appropriate alternative service.
SMART IDVA Service:
SMART has an IDVA Service for domestic abuse with complex needs.
Contact the IDVA Service at SMART on 07943 295851 8am-7pm Monday-Friday or email IDVA@smartcjs.org.uk
The Dash Charity:
The Dash Charity (formerly East Berkshire Women's Aid) covers East Berkshire. It provides temporary emergency crisis accommodation, advocacy, outreach and resettlement support to women, men and children fleeing domestic abuse.
0845 450 3883
Victim Support exists to help anyone affected by crime, including domestic abuse. You can talk to them whether or not you reported the crime to the police.
Asian Women Helpline:
Thames Valley Police Buckinghamshire Domestic Abuse Unit
The local Domestic Abuse Unit can be contacted via the 24-hour Thames Valley Police non-emergency number (101). In an emergency always call 999.
Housing and homelessness services
Aylesbury Vale: 01296 585197
Wycombe: 01494 421212 (or 01494 675802 emergency out of hours)
Chiltern: 01494 732013 (or 0207 093 6443 emergency out of hours)
South Bucks: 01494 732013 (or 01895 837200 emergency out of hours)
Housing departments have a duty to house anyone fleeing domestic abuse - not only council tenants.
In Buckinghamshire we take LGBT Domestic Violence and Abuse very seriously and will do our upmost to make sure victims are identified, supported, protected and empowered.
Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers are available specifically to help LGBT victims in Buckinghamshire. Call 101 and request a "LAGLO".
For more information on how to know you are in an abusive LGBT relationship, how to safety plan and what help is available for LGBT victims in Buckinghamshire, open our leaflet (239 KB, pdf format). Also, for further advice and information visit the LGBT area of this site.
Please check out our new resources which will tell you more about the specific indicators of abuse in an LGBT relationship and how you can seek help in Buckinghamshire.
LAGLO Awareness Video
Domestic Abuse affects all parts of the community in Buckinghamshire, but for a variety of reasons abuse within the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community is under-reported. In this short film, PC Brydon from Aylesbury Police Station talks to us about the signs of abuse within LGBT relationships and how Thames Valley Police can help.
The Dudley LGBT Video
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Domestic Abuse will not be tolerated in Buckinghamshire. There is an abundance of support available in Buckinghamshire and you will be taken seriously. There is no excuse for Domestic Abuse towards any person and in any relationship at any time. Watch the YouTube video to find out more about LGBT Domestic Violence and the signs of abuse. Local support agencies are listed if you need help.
LGBT Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme in Buckinghamshire
A new domestic abuse disclosure scheme is being trialled for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community of Wycombe, Chiltern and South Bucks districts.
LGBT clients using the existing Terrence Higgins Trust service to access the HIV and sexual health drop in for information and advice will at the same time be able to disclose domestic abuse to the HIV and Sexual Health Practitioners in order to gain the support they need.
In the event of a disclosure of domestic abuse, staff will engage with the victim and assist them in booking an appointment with Wycombe Women’s Aid (for female victims) or SMART IDVA Service (for male victims) who will then meet the client at the Terrence Higgins drop in centre or an alternative safe location at a time convenient and safe for the client. In addition, a Police LAGLO (Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officer) can be available at the drop in via an appointment basis regarding domestic abuse or other issues.
This service is available every Monday from 9.30-12.30 and clients can either pop in to the drop in centre: Terrence Higgins Trust, Oasis House, George Street, High Wycombe, Bucks, HP11 2RZ, or call Terrence Higgins staff on 01494 520436.
Buckinghamshire County Council (in association with Thames Valley Police, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Chiltern District Council, South Bucks District Council and Wycombe District Council) runs an awareness campaign focusing on the domestic abuse of people with a physical disability. People with a disability may be additionally vulnerable because they rely on their abuser to help with mobility or undertaking everyday tasks such as preparing food. The abuser may in addition be able to isolate the person by limiting their access to means of communication and, using their position as a carer, by being present if health or social care professionals visit the home.
Resources include a poster and leaflet which you can download here:
We also have two audio adverts to raise awareness -- you may catch them on the radio, or you can listen to them here:
Freedom Programme in Buckinghamshire
- The Freedom Programme is free and confidential.
- A rolling 12-week programme (during term time) for women only
- Suitable to join at any point during the programme
- Each group has two facilitators who are fully trained and have a deep understanding of the issues surrounding domestic abuse.
- The course runs in Aylesbury, Chesham and High Wycombe at various venues
- Some venues have a free creche
- Any woman or any agency can refer themselves. If you would like to discuss the programme in confidence then please contact 01296 437777 (Aylesbury Women’s Aid Outreach) or 07890456907 (Wycombe Women’s Aid Outreach).
Services for Perpetrators in Buckinghamshire
Fresh Start delivers a programme of integrated individual sessions in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Milton Keynes which enables people who have used domestic abuse in intimate partner relationships to engage in addressing their unacceptable behaviour. The programme also provides support to the partners and ex partners of the clients.
The emphasis is on safety and making a more constructive contribution to relationships both within the family and the community as a whole.
It is offered to people who have carried out acts of domestic abuse and are not currently awaiting the outcome of a criminal justice process. People will only be accepted on the programme if they have a genuine desire to look at and change their future behaviour.
Bob Sherrington, Programme Co-ordinator Bob@mk-act.org
Tel: 01908 295739
Sarah Waller, Programme Co-ordinator Sarah@mk-act.org
Tel: 07722 974043, 01908 295740
Buckinghamshire Domestic Abuse Training
The training programme we offer aims to increase participants' knowledge and skills in the field of Domestic Abuse.
Payment must be made prior to attending a course and ALL cancellations and non-attendance will be charged at the full amount. The charge to DV Champions for training is £35 for half a day and £60 for a full day (no charge for MARAC training). Your place on a training course is booked once your application form has been received and acknowledged.