Information and Advice - Oxfordshire

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:

  • 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.

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.

Find out more about the DA Champions' Network

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 Oxfordshire.

We also have local information pages for Buckinghamshire, Havering, West Berkshire and Wokingham as appropriate.

Support Numbers for Oxfordshire

(for national numbers, see the support numbers page)

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 731 0055
(Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm)
This is free and will not show on your home telephone bill but may appear on an itemised mobile phone bill.

The Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline can provide emotional support and practical information for adults affected by domestic abuse. It works with victims to empower them to make decisions regarding their relationship, irrespective of whether they wish to leave or not. The helpline can help with any enquiries that you may have and provide access to support services.

If it's not urgent, professionals can also contact the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse by email: oxfordshiredomestic@a2dominion.co.uk which is checked twice a day. Victims and family members should use the helpline telephone number and not the email address. Professionals can refer victims to support services using the Referral form (doc format, 829Kb).

Relate: 01865 242960
Can offer counselling to individuals who are in or have left a violent relationship.

Oxford Friend: 01865 726893
Free and completely confidential information, support and counselling services for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people.

Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre: 01865 726295
Support and information for women who have suffered sexual abuse.

Oxford Parent Infant Project (OXPIP): 01865 778034
Works with parents to help understand their relationships to their baby and supports parents who are uncertain about their parenting.

Oxford Family Information Service: 08452 262636
Providing information and support for children, young people and families in Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire Children and Families Assessment Team
South: 01865 897983
North: 01865 816670
Central: 01865 323048
Emergency Out of Hours: 0800 833408

Witness Services
Crown Court /Magistrates Court: 01865 727753
Provides support at court.

Children's Services in Oxfordshire

Bounce Back for Kids (BB4K)

BB4K is a therapeutic group for children from 5 – 12 years of age who have experienced living within a family where domestic abuse has occurred. This often leads to behavioural issues and or physical, emotional and academic delay in the children.

Website: pactcharity.org/community-projects/bounce-back-4-kids

If you want to know more details or find out where courses are running, email bb4k@pactcharity.org. There is also a referral form, leaflet and intro letter.

Oxme.info - website for young people

Website: www.oxme.info

Safe! Project

Website: www.safeproject.org.uk

Main phone number: 01865 582495. Freephone client line: 0800 1337938.

Postal address: Unit 9 - Standingford House, 26 Cave Street, St Clements, Oxford OX4 1BA

Risk Assessment for Children in Oxfordshire

Child on Parent Violence in Oxfordshire

In Oxfordshire a bespoke programme, ‘Building Respectful Families’, has been developed, using the Break4Change model which has had a proven record in Brighton and Hove. There has been much interest in the programme and it is hoped that it will be developed across Oxfordshire, following the successful completion of the pilot.

For more information please contact

Ruth Donaldson
Oxfordshire Child on Parent Violence Project Development Manager
Building Respectful Families Programme
Tel: 01865 203829|Mob: 07419374271

or to read about the background to the project, please see

Abuse of Vulnerable Adults in Oxfordshire

In Oxfordshire, the criteria for being defined as a “vulnerable adult” are someone who is:

  • aged 18 or over
  • receiving or in need of care. e.g. help with washing or dressing
  • unable to take care of themselves, or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or exploitation

Further information on policies and procedures in Oxfordshire is available in the following resources:

Practical information, advice and support is also available from Oxfordshire Social and Community Services
Tel: 0845 050 7666
Out of hours emergency number: 0800 833 408
Email: access@oxfordshire.gov.uk

For more information please go to the Oxfordshire Safe From Harm website.

Oxfordshire's independent domestic violence adviser service

The Oxfordshire Domestic Violence Advisor Service was established in January 2008 and has the leading role, on behalf of the Oxfordshire Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC), to work with victims at high risk and coordinate safety plans around them. The Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) are trained specialists whose goal is the safety of survivors of domestic violence, ultimately to help them and their children move safely towards living violence free lives.

The IDVA service works with clients of both sexes who have been identified as high risk and referred from a multi agency risk assessment conference (MARAC).

The support is intended to be a short/medium term service put in place to reduce the risk of further domestic violence and the emotional effects caused by it.

A risk assessment needs to be carried out so an appropriate safety plan can be formed. IDVAs can assist with issues arising as a result of domestic abuse, such as support through the court process and advocacy with housing issues.

IDVAs are independent from all agencies to ensure the best possible support and advice is offered to each survivor. All clients are treated with respect, dignity and sensitivity. IDVAs respect the diversity of all communities and work to ensure all survivors have access to the services they need.

In order to provide the best possible help they may need to share information with other agencies, but this is only on a need to know basis to achieve the best outcome for the victim.

For more information and to access the IDVA service please contact the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 731 0055.

The Freedom Programme in Oxfordshire

  • this is a rolling 12-week programme for women only
  • suitable to join at any point during the programme
  • there is a free creche
  • groups run across Oxfordshire
  • For more information on where courses are running or to book a place on a group please contact

Housing departments within Oxfordshire

Oxford City: 01865 252858
Cherwell: 01295 252535
South Oxfordshire: 01235 540359
Vale of the White Horse: 01235 540359
West Oxfordshire: 01993 861010
Housing departments have a duty to house anyone fleeing domestic abuse - not only council tenants.

Social & Community Services: 0845 050 7666
Out of hours: 0800 833408

Cherwell housing policy (pdf format, 723Kb)

Oxfordshire Witness Service

If an individual is going to court as a witness or victim of crime, the Witness Service can provide free and confidential support to help them cope. The family and friends who are attending court can get help too and the Witness Service supports witnesses for both the prosecution and defence. The Witness Service can also provide support to children at court.

The Witness Service can give the individual:

  • someone to talk to confidentially, about how they feel before a trial
  • information about what to expect in court, including a chance to see the court beforehand and learn about court procedures
  • a quiet place to wait before the individual is called to give evidence
  • someone to go with the witness into the courtroom if they want, to help them feel more at-ease
  • practical help (for example with claiming expenses)
  • easier access to people, such as court staff, who can answer specific questions about the case
  • a chance to talk over the case when it has ended and to get more help or information.

The Witness Service is free and independent of the police or courts.

Address: Oxford Crown Court, St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1TL
Tel: 01865 240957

MARAC in Oxfordshire

To make a referral, use MODUS or email the county MARAc administrator for guidance.

Risk assessment and MARAC awareness are delivered as part of the Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Strategy. More information can be found in the training area for Champions web page.

Oxfordshire solicitors who can help with injunctions


Oxford Law Group
No. 3 Frewin Chambers
Frewin Court
Oxford OX1 3HZ
Tel: 01865 297300
Email: enquiries@oxfordlawgroup.co.uk

Eden House
2 St Aldate's Courtyard
38 St Aldate's
Oxford OX1 1BN
Tel: 01865 722383
Email: info@truemans.org.uk

Turpin & Miller
1 Agnes Court
Oxford Road
Oxford OX4 2EW
Tel: 01865 770111
Contact Turpin and Miller


Whetter Duckworth Fowler
95 High Street
Oxford OX33 1XP
Tel: 01865 872206
Email: wheatley@wdfsolicitors.co.uk


Whetter Duckworth Fowler
Sterling House
19-23 High Street
Oxford OX5 2DH
Tel: 01865 842100
Email: kidlington@wdfsolicitors.co.uk


Strathmore House
Waterperry Court
Middleton Road
OX16 4QD
Tel: 01295 270999
Email: enquiries@brethertons.co.uk

Johnson & Gaunt
47 North Bar
OX16 0TJ
Tel: 01295 759400
Email: mail@johnsongaunt.co.uk


Scott Dixon Reilly Wilkes
37 High Street
OX28 6HP
Tel: 01993 702721

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Training Brochure

The training programme we offer aims to increase participants' knowledge and skills in the field of Domestic Abuse. Please look at www.reducingtherisk.org.uk and www.oscb.org.uk for updates throughout the year.


E-Learning Domestic Abuse

Aim: This online training package is a basic level introduction to domestic abuse and is intended to raise awareness.

Objectives: By the end of the course participants will be aware of:

  • the definition of domestic abuse
  • facts and figures
  • dynamics of domestic abuse
  • services and support available
  • further training and information
  • Who is the training for?

This training package is for all front line staff across Oxfordshire.

How long does the training take?

The training takes approximately 30 minutes to complete but you can log in and out and complete the training at a time that suits you.

How much does the course cost?

This course is free.

How do I book onto this course?

Just request the E-learning course through your Learner Dashboard via www.oscb.org.uk/booking-training

Domestic Abuse Champion Training

The Oxfordshire Champions network are trained, supported and resourced practitioners across a range of agencies who are committed to helping victims of domestic abuse. The following Champion training courses and meetings are delivered throughout the year:

  • Schools Domestic Abuse Champion Training
  • Community Domestic Abuse Champion Training
  • Community Champion Refresher Training
  • Domestic Abuse Network Meetings

Community Domestic Abuse Champions training – 2 days

Aim: To raise awareness of domestic abuse and train individuals for their ‘champion' role to support those experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse.

Objectives: By the end of the course participants will be aware of:

  • the role of a Domestic Abuse Champion
  • the prevalence of domestic abuse
  • an understanding of definitions of domestic abuse and vulnerable adults
  • the types of domestic abuse and its impact on others
  • reasons why people abuse
  • difficulties in leaving an abusive situation
  • appropriate support, intervention and services
  • risk assessments and processes
  • an understanding core element of safety planning with victims/children/young people
  • understanding information sharing responsibilities.

Who is the course for?
Professionals from statutory or voluntary sector organisations and teams who work with people who experience or are at risk of Domestic Abuse.

How long does the training take?
2 days. It is recommended you complete the OSCB E-learning Domestic Abuse course prior to attending.

How much does the course cost?
This course is free, however there will be charges for late cancellations and/or failure(s) to attend.

When and where is this course running?

Please see Champions' Training and Network Meetings page, or look on drop down menu within the online form below.

How do I book onto this course?

For more information or to book a place on this course please complete the online form. This form can be found on www.reducingtherisk.org.uk in the Champions tab.

Community Domestic Abuse Champion Refresher Training – 1 day

Sessions for Community Champions who have been previously trained as a Champion and require a refresher session.

Please see reducing the risk website 'registered users' section, (using login details provided at the Champion training).

Email: contact@reducingtherisk.org.uk to find out further information and to book a place.

Domestic Abuse Champion Network Meetings

All trained Domestic Abuse Champions commit to attending regular Network meetings to:

  • increase their knowledge

  • develop professional and personal relationships

  • discuss and develop expertise in risk assessment and case-work.

When and where are these meetings happening?

Confirmed venues and specific details will be displayed on the reducing the risk website ( www.reducingtherisk.org.uk ), within the ‘registered users' section, when confirmed (use login details provided at the Champion training).
To register your attendance prior to a Network meeting, email: reducingtherisk@oxfordshire.gov.uk

OSCB Domestic Abuse Awareness

A 1 day course serving as an introduction to Domestic Abuse increasing awareness within this field. A course particularly relevant for those new to the Domestic Abuse sector and/or for professionals who may not be from the Domestic Abuse sector but who may be working/volunteering with children/young people and/or their families who could be affected by Domestic Abuse.

When and where is this course happening?
To be confirmed

For more information, dates or to book a place on this course please visit www.oscb.org.uk/booking-training.

OSCB Domestic Abuse and Children

A 1 day course looking at the effects of Domestic Abuse on Children, including awareness on how to recognise and manage safeguarding concerns.

Aim: To raise awareness of Domestic Abuse and Children
Objectives: By the end of the course participants will be able to:

• identify the spectrum of domestic abuse and its impact on others
• identify and link appropriate support/intervention services
• know how to undertake a domestic abuse risk indicator matrix
• understand core element of safety planning with victims/children/young people
• understanding information sharing responsibilities

Who is the course for?

This training is targeted at professionals working within and/or new to the Domestic Abuse sector and/or those who could be working with clients affected by Domestic Abuse whether children/young people and/or parents/carers. It is also useful for those professional who work with children and have completed the Domestic Abuse Champions training.

How long does the training take?

It is a 1 day course which can be accessed as such however, it is recommended you complete the 1 day Domestic Abuse Awareness course prior to attending this course.

How much does the course cost?

This course is free however the OSCB Training Project will charge for late cancellations and/or failure(s) to attend.

How do I book onto this course?

For more information, dates or to book a place on this course please visit www.oscb.org.uk/booking-training.

Risk Assessment Training Safe Lives (formerly CAADA) - DASH ( Domestic Abuse, Stalking & Harrassment, Honour Based Violence)

The introduction of the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour Based Violence (DASH 2009) Risk Identification, Assessment and Management Model means that all police services and a large number of partner agencies across the UK will be using a common checklist for identifying and assessing risk, which will save lives.
Aim: To raise awareness and provide training of the Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harrasment and Honour Based Violence (DASH) risk assessment tool and referal to the Multi Agencey Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC).


By the end of the course participants will be aware of:
DASH risk assessment tool and how to undertake a risk assessment
MARAC process and referral
understanding information sharing responsibilities
links to their organisation designated MARAC officer


17 September 9.30 – 12.30

13 January - 9.30 – 12.30

Unipart house, Garsington Rd, Oxford

Who is the course for?

For frontline professionals working within and/or new to the Domestic Abuse sector and/or those who could be working with clients affected by Domestic Abuse whether children/young people and/or parents/carers.

How long does the training take?
This is a 1/2 day course which can be accessed as such. It is recommended you complete either the Domestic Abuse Awareness course or the Domestic Abuse Champions course prior to attending this course.

How much does the course cost?

This course is free however there will be charges for late cancellations and/or failure(s) to attend.

How do I book onto this course?

Apply online via https://learningzone.hants.gov.uk/

Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding

This is a continual professional development event for Adult Social Care professionals with safeguarding responsibilities.

The event is a facilitated workshop with expert speakers, providing the opportunity for discussions, case study work and questions.

The aim of the session is to:

  • Look at the links between domestic abuse and safeguarding vulnerable adults

  • Understand resources for supporting victims of domestic abuse

  • Know where and when to signpost to other services

How do I book onto this course?

Book this course through Oxfordshire County Council's eBooking system.

Stalking & Harassment Awareness Training

West Berkshire Domestic Abuse Service are offering a free 3 hour training session on stalking and harassment to front-line professionals to assist them in improving their response to victims and offenders. The session will include:

  • The difference between stalking and harassment
  • Stalking and Harassment laws
  • Prevalence and impact of all types of stalking and harassment
  • Stalker typologies
  • Risk assessment and management including supplementary questions
  • Safety planning and support services

Contact Liz Jones

Bespoke domestic abuse training

Training packages, including a 2 hour introduction to Honour Based Violence, to meet the specific requirements of practitioners/teams around a range of issues related to domestic abuse can be developed.

Please contact:
County – Michelle Plaisted-Kerr
City – Liz Jones

The Recovery Toolkit

Recovery toolkit facilitators training. This 2 day course will equip practitioners with the skill to run their own programmes. Please contact Michelle Plaisted-Kerr.

Please follow link to view more information about the recovery toolkit.

Cancellations Policy

The following policy is relevant to those courses organised by Oxfordshire County Council, including Reducing the Risk

All delegates are expected to avoid cancellations if possible but where there is no alternative, the following procedure will be applied.

Cancellation by Delegates
If a delegate becomes unable to attend the event , in advance of the start of such activity it may be appropriate for a substitute within the team *(this will not apply to any champion training including refresher) or service to take the available space. Should a delegate decide to withdraw from a course, a financial penalty will be incurred proportionate to the amount of notice given, the ability to fill the space with a waiting list candidate and the reason for the withdrawal.
If a cancellation be received from the delegate, or a representative of the delegate, with less than 10 working days notice or the delegate fails to attend the training, s/he will be charged £100.

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