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.
Support Numbers and services for Milton Keynes
(for national numbers, see the support numbers page)
0344 375 4307 (Monday – Friday 09.00 – 17.00)
MK Act is a charity in Milton Keynes which works with over 100 families every day to help them move on from fear and abuse. We have been providing safe emergency accommodation in Milton Keynes for women and their children escaping domestic violence for over 30 years.
MK Act offers:
- Accommodation and Follow-up Services
- Emergency refuge accommodation for 28 families
- Specialist support for children in the accommodation service
- Volunteer counseling service in the refuge
- Crisis Intervention Service: a single point of referral which ensure clients tell their story only once.
- Specialist advisors offer information as well as emotional support, access to health, housing and legal advice and further support from other parts of the service.
- IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) Service offers specialist court support.
Police Domestic Abuse Unit
The police in Milton Keynes have a dedicated team of officers, working closely with partners, to tackle domestic abuse.
The Domestic Abuse Unit is part of the Public Protection Unit currently based at Bletchley police station. It consists of specially-trained officers who understand the unique issues around the reporting of domestic abuse incidents and the needs of the victims involved. Their priority is ensuring the safety of victims and stopping the offenders from committing any more harm.
The police work closely with a number of agencies in Milton Keynes to help victims of domestic abuse including Milton Keynes Council, the Crown Prosecution Service, specialist domestic abuse courts, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, and MK ACT.
Detective Inspector Neil Dodds, head of the Domestic Abuse Unit in Milton Keynes, said:
In any domestic abuse case, the best outcome has to be one that ensures the safety of the victim and brings the offender to justice. The Domestic Abuse Unit works closely with officers and police community support officers (PCSOs) across Milton Keynes to make sure that we provide the right support to any victim who contacts us.
By working in partnership and using specially-trained people who understand the issues and complexities of a domestic abuse case, we can offer victims the extra support that they need.
Milton Keynes Housing Options Team
01908 253481 (outside normal office hours call 01908 692882)
For help with emergency temporary accommodation (or go through MK Act, above).
Milton Keynes' Strengthening Families Programme aims to support families who are experiencing difficulties, including domestic abuse, and help them to turn their lives around. As part of the overall programme, the Healthy Relationships Project offers access to a range of courses including the Freedom Programme and the Recovery Toolkit.