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Information and Advice - West Berkshire

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 DVA champion 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 West Berkshire.

We also have local information pages for Buckinghamshire, HaveringOxfordshire and Wokingham as appropriate.

Information and Advice in West Berkshire

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.

Follow the links to the left of this page for more specific information and advice on particular topics.

West Berks DA Directory 2015 (pdf format, 526Kb)

This useful publication lists all relevant services available for professionals dealing with DA in the area.

Support Services and their contact numbers

(for national numbers, see the support numbers page)

West Berkshire Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 731 0055 (Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm)

The West Berkshire Domestic Abuse Service provides the following services for women and men who are experiencing domestic abuse:

  • Refuge placements
  • Outreach one to one support (women and men)
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) and Young Persons IDVA (works with high risk victims of both genders. This service is now available for all young people who experience abuse)
  • Group work (Freedom Programme/Recovery Toolkit). A programme of support for survivors of domestic abuse.

If you need support outside of these hours call 0808 2000 247 (24 hours). Both numbers are free and will not show on your home telephone bill but may appear on an itemised mobile phone bill.

Helpline email referral (agencies only): oxfordshiredomestic@a2dominion.co.uk which is checked twice a day.

Professionals can refer victims to support services using the Referral form (doc format, 891Kb).

To report abuse or if someone is experiencing abuse call Thames Valley Police999 or 101 (24 hour non emergency number)

West Berkshire Adult Safeguarding: If you have concerns about an adult call 01635 503050

West Berkshire Children’s Services: If you have concerns about a child call 01635 503190

West Berkshire Housing/Safer Spaces: For housing advice and assistance to make your home more secure call 01635 519530

Bounce Back 4 Kids: Providing support for children affected by Domestic Abuse

Creating Changes: A programme designed for perpetrators of domestic abuse who are at significant risk of repeating this behaviour. Referrals will be accepted for women and those in same sex relationships. Refer by calling 01635 503090, or email: helpforfamilies@westberks.gov.uk

Trust House: Support victims of sexual abuse or assault: Confidential Helpline 01189 584033, or email: support@trusthousereading.org

Talking Therapies: For free counselling and support call 0118 9769121

Swanswell: For support with alcohol or drug problems call 0300 003 7025

Free online domestic abuse training: To access the package go to: www.kwango.com (username: WBPVISector, password: WestBerks3)

If you need further information or guidance about West Berks approach to dealing with domestic abuse please contact Jim Boden – 07795 224387

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