What's domestic violence and abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse (DVA) is defined by the government as:

"Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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."

DVA can include, but is not limited to any of the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

DVA also includes so called 'honour' based violence such as female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Who does it affect?

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and abuse - regardless of their gender, age, race, social group, disability, or sexuality. It can start at any time in a relationship and happen once every so often or on a regular basis.

How do I report domestic violence and abuse?

L&Q encourages residents to get in touch if they are affected by domestic violence and abuse so that they can receive the right help, support and advice. There are also a number of independent organisations that can offer appropriate advice and support - you'll find some of these listed below.

To report incidents of DVA to L&Q you can contact L&Q Direct. To help understand the situation better, we might ask for some of the following information:

  • What is happening?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Where is it happening?
  • How often does it happen?
  • Why do you think it is happening?
  • Has it been reported to the police? (If so, what is the crime reference number?)
  • Have you reported a related incident to L&Q before?

In an emergency you should always dial 999 and ask for the police. You can also call 101 if the issue is not an emergency but you'd still like to talk to the police.

What can I expect from L&Q?

L&Q will always put the victim first and we'll believe customers who report DVA to us and make sure their safety is the priority regardless of evidence.

We'll treat all reports confidentially wherever possible and protect the anonymity of both victims and witnesses. Exceptions to this may be where we believe someone is at a serious risk of harm, or we have concerns for the welfare of a child.

We'll offer victims an interview at a location they choose to discuss the individual circumstances of their case. This would be conducted by a trained L&Q officer of the same sex and translation services can be provided if necessary.

We also have LGBT domestic violence champions available to provide specialist support and advice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans residents experiencing DVA. 

We will assess cases within one full working day and produce a plan of action within seven working days. This will include being given a named case owner.

Where else can I get help and support?

If you are in immediate danger always dial 999.

National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 200 0247
Free 24-hour national domestic violence helpline, run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge providing support for people experiencing domestic abuse and people who are concerned that others may be.

Respect
Helpline for people concerned about their behaviour - 0808 802 4040
Helpline for men experiencing domestic abuse – 0808 801 0327

Respect is the UK membership organisation for work with domestic violence perpetrators, male victims of domestic violence and young people’s violence in close relationships.

Galop
London LGBT+ Advice Line - 020 7704 2040 
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 999 5428  

Support for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people experiencing hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse or who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.

Southall Black Sisters - 020 8571 0800
Information, advice, advocacy, practical help, counselling and support to Asian, African and Caribbean women and children experiencing domestic or sexual violence. The helpline is open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Men's Advice Line - 0800 801 0327
Confidential advice and support for men in abusive relationships. Lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Karma Nirvana - 0800 599 9247
Support to people affected by issues related to forced marriage or 'honour' crimes. Lines are open from 9.30am to 5pm

Local and specialist services

Information about local services is easy to find online. You can use the Women’s Aid Domestic Abuse Directory to locate local and specialist domestic abuse support services.