This page contains information on how we can help our residents who experience domestic violence in our general needs properties. If you are looking for information on our women's refuges visit our care services section.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic violence and abuse is any behaviour which is controlling, coercive, threatening, violent or abusive and takes place between people aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
Am I suffering domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse can take place in all sorts of relationships including partnerships, marriages and between close family members. This takes many forms including financial control, sexual abuse, constant criticism, hitting, slapping, bullying, threatening and/or belittling. This can continue after a relationship has ended.
Victims in abusive relationships are often isolated from family and friends and those who are not, often feel unable to tell anyone what is happening to them. Abusive relationships frequently get worse over time. They can become more physically violent as well as emotionally harmful.
There are also warning signs that you can look out for that might give you an idea about whether a relationship is becoming abusive. These include:
- Your partner being jealous or over possessive
- You feeling nervous about how your partner might react if you tell them something difficult
- Your partner blaming you for when they get angry
- You being frightened to see certain friends or family members because of your partners views of them
- Your partner embarrassing you in front of family or friends
- You feeling out of control
- Your partner never praising you for your achievements
- Feeling that you can’t do anything right most of the time
- Your partner keeping you away from friends and family
How we deal with domestic abuse
Your domestic abuse report will be dealt with by your housing manager. They will talk to you about the problems you are experiencing. They assess each case individually and will provide you with advice on the options available to you.
They will give you information about other agencies that offer further advice and support (on tenancy issues, legal advice and so on), and, with your permission, refer you for help. These agencies could include an independent advocacy service that will be able to give you specialist help and advice.
Unfortunately East Thames does not provide emergency accommodation. We can refer you to the local authority’s homeless persons unit if you need emergency temporary accommodation or you can approach them yourself. This can also involve you being referred to a refuge through the free phone National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 2000 247.
Agree action plan and risk assessment
The housing manager will contact you to agree a clear action plan which will be used to show how we will manage your case and support you. Please be aware that we take part in multi-agency working and so are likely to be working with other agency’s to support you during this difficult time.
The housing manager will treat all reports sensitively. They will not provide details to anyone else without your permission. However, if there are serious concerns for you or your family’s safety we have a legal responsibility to share information with relevant agencies for example Police, social services, adult safeguarding, child safeguarding, etc.
Keeping you updated
The housing manager will be the person who will provide you with updates on your case and will be the person you speak to if you have any questions. We will ensure that a safe way of contacting you is agreed to help us keep in touch with you without putting you at risk.
Please let us know if you would prefer to discuss your case with an officer of the same gender as you. We will be happy to make arrangements for this as we understand the sensitive nature of being a victim of domestic abuse.
What you can do:
Taking the first step
We are here to help you so take the first step and report any abuse to us. We will not be judgmental and will speak with you in a sensitive way.
We encourage you to report any domestic abuse to the police as many forms of domestic abuse are criminal offences. The police can advise you on the options available to you, which can be taken to protect and support you.
Unless it is an emergency, you should call 101
In the event of a crime happening, someone is injured or your life is in danger 999
You may require advice about your housing situation if: you have a joint tenancy, including leasehold and shared ownership, with the person who is abusing you. We recommend that you get your own legal advice in these matters.
Contact your local authority
Most local authorities have a dedicated service for domestic abuse. You can visit your local authority’s website for more information by searching for ‘domestic abuse’.
What do I do if I witness domestic abuse
If you witness any form of domestic abuse it is extremely important to report it immediately to the police by calling 999. You should provide names of any other witnesses and as much detail as possible. Please also report the incident to us directly by calling 0300 303 7333.