Domestic abuse or violence
You have the right to feel safe in your home and so we take any report of domestic abuse or violence extremely seriously. We can help find you emergency accommodation or provide extra security measures if needed.
As your landlord, we’ll help and support you, and take any action possible against an abuser, including working with the police, local councils, charities and voluntary organisations.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse often involves violence and physical abuse, but can also involve forms of emotional, psychological, financial and sexual abuse. It can include sexual assault, threats, humiliation, or any behaviour used to intimidate, harm, punish, or frighten.
Identifying abusive behaviour
You are being abused if you feel you have to alter your behaviour because you’re frightened of how someone will react or treat you.
Abuse can be a single incident, or a pattern of behaviour that continues over a period of time.
Domestic abuse doesn’t always involve violence or physical abuse and often starts with other types of abuse, such as:
- manipulative, coercive, intimidating or threatening behaviour
- controlling your money
- restricting your contact with friends
- criticising or putting you down
- making you scared to say no.
Domestic abuse most often occurs between people aged 16 or over who are family members or partners, or have been in the past.It also includes inter-generational abuse between adults and elderly parents;so-called “honour” crimes;female genital mutilation; and forced marriage.
As such, any adult can be a victim of domestic abuse regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, wealth, sexuality or background.
Phone 999 in an emergency
Important: if you feel in immediate danger, phone the police on 999.
How to report domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is a crime. If you’re being abused – or suspect someone else is being abused – you should phone the police on 999 when it’s safe to do so.
You can also report abuse to us online, or by phoning our customer services team on 0300 500 8000. Our trained officers are experienced in handling these kinds of situations and one of them will get back to you within one working day using your preferred method of contact.
Will everything I say be kept confidential?
Every report of domestic violence or abuse we receive is treated with the utmost confidence. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible, so we’ll ask you to tell us the safest ways to contact you. Any interviews or conversations will be carried out in private and, if we need to meet you, we’ll agree a safe location.
We take our safeguarding responsibilities very seriously. If we’re worried about your immediate safety or welfare, or that of any children or vulnerable adults living with you, we'll ask your permission to alert social services or the police. Please also note that we do have the right to report our concerns without your permission.
How we help and support you
If you’re at immediate risk, we can help you find emergency accommodation, or help you get in touch with a refuge. In the longer term, we can support you to remove the abuser from your home, or help you move to a different home.
If you’re able to stay in your home after your abuser has left, we can provide additional security measures such as:
- personal alarms
- extra locks
- extra lighting
- a phone with a direct dial number to the police.
We can also refer you to local and national support organisations that can provide you with specialist practical and emotional support.
Other help and support services
As well as the police, you can get help from your local council services, charities and voluntary organisations.
We also work in partnership with experienced agencies such as Refuge and Women’s Aid. These partnerships mean you can benefit from additional advice, powers and resources which can further support you in becoming safe and bringing an end to abuse.
Find your local support services
Enter your postcode to find support services in your area.
Domestic abuse: did you know?
Over two million people each year experience domestic abuse in England and Wales (Office for National Statistics).
Two women are murdered each week by a current or former partner (Office for National Statistics).
Domestic abuse will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetimes.
Domestic violence accounts for almost 25% of all reported violent crime (Office National Statistics)
The coronavirus lockdowns have increased the risk for victims of abuse and made access to vital support services even harder to reach.
From March-July 2020, Kent Police saw a 12% increase crimes related to domestic abuse compared to the same period in 2019.
20% of employed women take time off work because of domestic violence and 2% lose their jobs as a direct result of abuse (Equality and Human Rights Commission).