Domestic Violence and Abuse

Please visit the Bedfordshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Partnership  for further information. 

The new website, which is now also available to access from mobile phones and tablets, offers quicker and easier on-line support for victims of domestic and sexual abuse and is also designed to support professionals by helping them to signpost victims by providing information, practical support and advice.  To further encourage victims and to make them feel even safer to access the website an extra feature has been added - ‘hide my visit’.

Domestic violence and abuse: new definition

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:

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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour

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

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 is not a legal definition.

Please visit the Bedfordshire Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Partnership  for further information on partnership working in Bedfordshire.

The Bedfordshire Domestic and Sexual Abuse Partnership brings together the main statutory and voluntary agencies who are working together to provide and improve services in relation to domestic abuse & sexual abuse across Bedfordshire.  The Partnership is actively implementing Strategies and Action Plans which are available on request.   

What is a domestic abuse MARAC?

MARAC stands for Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. It is a meeting where agencies talk about the risk of serious harm to people experiencing domestic abuse in their area, and make safety plans to support those at most risk. The aim is to increase the safety and well-being of the adults and children involve, and reduce the risk of them becoming repeat victims.

When and how do I refer to a MARAC?

If domestic abuse is disclosed to you, the Risk Indicator checklist (part of the referral forms) should be completed with the client. If this meets with the referral critera it should be referred to the MARAC. There may be cases where the threshold for referral are not met. Professional judgement should be exercised at all times and in cases where there is an absence of full information or based on your experience you believe it should be referred anyway, please contact the MARAC co-ordinator to discuss this.

Central Bedfordshire Council have developed a Domestic Abuse Strategy for the council, to view the strategy please click here

Further information can be found at the links below:

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