If you or your family are in immediate danger don't be afraid to call the police on 999. Otherwise please contact Kent Police on the non-emergency telephone number 101 or visit your local police station to speak with an officer in confidence.

Alternatively, you can contact the freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge on 0808 2000 247 or the Mens' Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

1 What is
Domestic Abuse?
2 Keeping
safe
3 Where can I
get help?
Services found in Thanet

Neighbouring districts


Where can I get help
 

Advice and support

There are a range of support services available across Kent and Medway that can provide advice to individuals experiencing domestic abuse. In addition there are a number of national domestic abuse specialist services that offer 24/7 telephone advice.

12 Week Domestic Abuse Programme for Kent and Medway
County Wide Service

Are you worried about your behaviour towards your partner?

This 12 session group programme for men aims to explore and address abusive and controlling behaviour within heterosexual intimate relationships. The group will increase your awareness of the effects of your behaviour on partners and children, whilst developing the skills you need to reduce harm and to maintain respectful relationships.

The first session will be an individual session to introduce you to the programme and the group leaders. You will also have an opportunity to discuss any other questions you have. You will be asked to sign an agreement which sets out the expectations for attending the group.

Provisional Start Dates & Locations:

February 2017 in Maidstone area
June 2017 in Medway area
September 2017 in Thanet area

There is no cost to attend the group, however group members will be expected to attend ALL sessions.

An agency may have told you about this group, however you will need to take the next step yourself and ring the number given below to find out more about the group. You may then be offered a telephone interview to decide if this is the right group for you.

If you are interested in joining the group please ring the number below and leave your name and contact number:

01227 812531

Additional groups and locations may be arranged should there be a demand for this; to register your interest call the number above. Leave a message including your name and contact number so that your call can be returned as soon as possible.



Telephone:
01227 812531

27 Week Domestic Abuse Programme (CDAP)
County Wide Service

The Community Domestic Abuse Programme is a rolling programme of evening sessions. It is designed to help men who feel their behaviour towards their partner has been, or is still, abusive. Kent CDAP challenges that behaviour and shows you how it affects your partner or ex-partner and any children that may be involved.

We know it can be tough facing up to difficult problems. This programme will support you to make the changes you need to develop respectful, non-abusive relationships so that you are safe around your partner and any children

The 27-week evening programme focuses on the intentions, beliefs and effects underpinning domestic abuse, including learning strategies for overcoming abusive and controlling behaviour. Partners of participants are supported throughout the programme.

The first step is to decide if you want to change your behaviour. After that, contact us and we will offer an interview to assess your suitability.

Telephone:
East Kent: 07955 039703
West Kent: 07596 228891

Opening times:
Groups run in the evenings.

Email Address:
kentcdap@gmail.com

Can preventative programmes help?
National Service

BBC Radio 5 Live Podcast episode 179, The Abusers Tale - It tells the story of what preventative programmes can do for perpetrators who want to change.

You can download the podcast for free directly from BBC Radio 5 Live here: Click here

Or you can download this podcast through iTunes using the following link: Click here

Telephone:

Black and Ethnic Minorities

Domestic abuse is not commonly spoken about in general and this problem may be worse in groups suffering from discrimination. You may feel that you will face persecution from within your own family and community if you try to get help. You may believe you have too much to lose by leaving, for example, religious or cultural beliefs may forbid divorce or you may fear your family will disown you.

You may not speak English as your first language so consideration must be given to the range of languages spoken. Agencies should not use family members as translators.

You may fear that you could lose your right to stay in the country if separated from your partner, and may have been threatened with this by the abuser. You may fear the abuser (having links with another country) will take your children abroad without your consent. If this is the case, please seek legal advice.

Children and Young People

Help for Children and young people.

Drugs & Alcohol

KCA (UK) Ashford
County Wide Service

KCA offers support and a range of services to those concerned about their own or someone else's substance misuse and mild to moderate health issues. Drop in or call for advice, information and support

Address:
171 Beaver Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 7SG
View on a map

Telephone:
01233 640040

Website:
http://www.kca.org.uk/

Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.

In the United Kingdom there was a review of the Female Circumcision Prohibition Act 1985 resulting in the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. This Act strengthened the 1985 Act by making it illegal to take girls or women who are UK citizen or nationals for FGM to another country (even if the procedure is not illegal in that country) to carry out FGM (it is illegal to carry out FGM within UK) and increased the penalty term in prison from five to fourteen. There is also an integrated legal approach to deal with the practice of female genital mutilation, which was considered a form of child abuse and could be used as the basis for intervention to safeguard a child's welfare.

Gypsy and Travellers

As Gypsies and Travellers live on the whole in a closed community, there is a tendency to try to resolve disputes within the extended family. For many issues this is an effective way of dealing with problems " not so for domestic abuse.

Cultural expectations can also make it difficult for domestic abuse to be challenged, for example, belief that many men are violent and a woman has to accept such behaviour. Taboos also exist against interfering between spouses where abuse occurs and there are expectations that marriage is for life - women who leave marriage may be ostracised from their community.

The difficulties of Gypsies and Travellers living with domestic abuse can be made worse by attitudes and reactions of people outside their communities, Gypsy and Travellers may feel unable to contact the police or other agencies for support.

However there are a few specialist national organisations that can offer support alongside all the other general services that can support people affected by domestic abuse within Kent and Medway.

Honour based violence / Forced marriage

There is a clear distinction between a forced marriage and an arranged marriage. In arranged marriages, the families of both spouses take a leading role in arranging the marriage but the choice whether or not to accept the arrangement remains with the prospective spouses.

In forced marriage, one or both spouses do not (or, in the case of some adults with disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. "Duress" can include physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional pressure.

Parents who force their children to marry often justify their behaviour as protecting their children, building stronger families and preserving cultural or religious traditions. They often do not see anything wrong in their actions. Forced marriage cannot be justified on religious grounds; every major faith condemns it and freely given consent to a marriage is a prerequisite of all religions.

The terms "honour crime" or "honour-based violence" or "izzat" embrace a variety of crimes of violence (mainly but not exclusively against women), including assault, imprisonment and murder, where the person is being punished by their family or their community. They are being punished for actually, or allegedly, undermining what the family or community believes to be the correct code of behaviour. In break this correct code of behaviour, the person shows that they have not been properly controlled to conform by their family and this is to the "shame" or "dishonour" of the family.

Housing advice

You have a right to temporary accommodation away from your home in the event you are forced to leave through domestic abuse. Read more about keeping a roof over your head.

Council housing departments

Every Local Authority (council) housing department has a legal duty to provide you with advice about your housing options if you are in danger of losing your home because of domestic abuse. They should also provide temporary accommodation for you if you are unable to stay in your home because of a risk of violence or abuse and may also eventually provide permanent accommodation. Read more about council housing departments.

In Touch (Part of Family Mosaic)
County Wide Service

In Touch provide a range of services for people with support needs across Kent & Medway. We offer Housing Related Floating Support Services and specialised accommodation based services including, Learning Disabilities, Mental Health, Older People and Young Persons with a baby scheme.

Address:
Empire House, Sunderland Quay, Culpeper Close, Rochester, Kent ME2 4HN
View on a map

Telephone:
0845 601 5471

Email Address:
Maria.bassett@familymosaic.co.uk

Floating support

Supporting People is a Government programme to provide housing-related support services, like homeless hostels, women's refuges and sheltered housing, to help vulnerable people live independently. Housing related support is help you can get to find, or stay in, your own home.

In Kent the county council is responsible for Supporting People services.

Independent Domestic Violence Adviser (IDVA)

IDVAs are trained specialists who provide a service to victims who are at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members, with the aim of securing their safety and the safety of their children. Serving as a victim's primary point of contact, IDVAs normally work with their clients from the point of crisis, to assess the level of risk, discuss the range of suitable options and develop safety plans. IDVAs will represent their clients at the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) and help implement safety plans and advise on remedies available through the criminal and civil courts, housing options and services available through other organisations. IDVAs support and work over the short- to medium-term to put victims on the path to long-term safety.

Legal issues

Once you have thought about the practical things you need to do to ensure you are safe for now, you can take some legal steps to make sure the law can protect you in the longer term.

You can get help from the criminal law by involving the police, and from the civil law by involving a family solicitor. You have a number of choices, depending on, what has happened, what you want to do, and what you can afford.

Civil Legal Advice: Legal Aid Agency
County Wide Service

To determine if you are eligible for free legal advice on debt, housing, education, family and discrimination cases.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

Domestic abuse is as common within lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships as heterosexual relationships. It is estimated that 1 in 4 have been a victim of domestic abuse.

It is important to acknowledge that the types of abuse endured may not differ from heterosexual relationships, but that resources and support networks do. The fear of being 'outed' is a significant barrier to the reporting of domestic abuse within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

If local enquiries are made by people or agencies trying to help, it should not be assumed that family or friends know about the individual's sexuality.

Kent Homophobic and Hate Reporting Line
County Wide Service

To report homophobic and hate crime.

Telephone:
0800 328 9162

Email Address:
lifeline.proactive@shepway.gov.uk

Male victims

Men have the same rights as women to be safe in their own homes and are protected by exactly the same laws as women. Of all the services available to assist victims, it is usually only refuges that are gender specific.

Many men feel like they are the only ones who have ever experienced domestic abuse and can feel ashamed and embarrassed. If you are experiencing abuse it doesn't make you 'weak' to ask for help.

Men are often worried about their children. The family courts deal with child contact disputes on a case-by-case basis. Evidence of domestic abuse will be taken into account and decisions about residence and contact will be made accordingly.

Money worries

If you are thinking of leaving your abusive partner, or have recently separated, you may be worried about how you can support yourself. You may have had to give up your job, perhaps because you have had to move to another area, or because you were afraid your abuser would contact you there. You may find you have to rely on state welfare benefits for the first time in your life or perhaps your abuser kept control of the finances and you may never have been allowed to have any money of your own before. If you have left your partner and are living on your own your most likely sources of income may be; earnings from employment, state benefits (e.g. job seeker allowance, housing benefit, &c), maintenance payments for your children if you have any. In many cases your income could be less that it was when you were with your partner, however you will now be in control of how you spend it. There are a range of agencies that can give you advice on your financial options and how to maximise your income.

Gov.uk
National Service

Gov.uk - the official UK government website for citizens. Includes information on money, tax, and benefits.

Telephone:

Website:
http://www.gov.uk

Refuges

A refuge is a safe house where women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse can stay free from abuse and receive support from specialist staff. Refuge addresses (and sometimes telephone numbers) are confidential. There are over 500 refuge and support services in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can choose to travel as far away from, or stay as near to (if safe), your home town as you wish (subject to space and availability).

Some refuges have space for many women and children, and some are small houses. Some refuges are specifically for women from particular ethnic or cultural backgrounds (for example, Black, Asian or South American women). Some refuges have disabled access.

Further information

If you need to move to a refuge the National Domestic Violence Helpline can help to find you a place at one. Call them on 0808 2000 247. Local authority housing departments and other local advice agencies may also be able to assist you to find a refuge vacancy.

You should be able to go into a refuge on the day that you call. You cannot usually book accommodation in advance, nor will you always be able to find refuge space in the location of your choice.

When refuge accommodation has been found for you, a member of staff or a volunteer from the organisation will discuss with you how you can get there. They may arrange to meet you at their office or somewhere else, which is easy to find. If they do give you the address and the location of the refuge, it is important that you keep this information to yourself, and that you take care not to leave any of this information behind (thus enabling your location, or the address or telephone number of the refuge, to be traced).

Specialist Services

Across Kent and Medway there are a number of domestic abuse specialist services who may be able to provide services such as; outreach services, counselling, support groups, safety planning, and risk assessment.

12 Week Domestic Abuse Programme for Kent and Medway
County Wide Service

Are you worried about your behaviour towards your partner?

This 12 session group programme for men aims to explore and address abusive and controlling behaviour within heterosexual intimate relationships. The group will increase your awareness of the effects of your behaviour on partners and children, whilst developing the skills you need to reduce harm and to maintain respectful relationships.

The first session will be an individual session to introduce you to the programme and the group leaders. You will also have an opportunity to discuss any other questions you have. You will be asked to sign an agreement which sets out the expectations for attending the group.

Provisional Start Dates & Locations:

February 2017 in Maidstone area
June 2017 in Medway area
September 2017 in Thanet area

There is no cost to attend the group, however group members will be expected to attend ALL sessions.

An agency may have told you about this group, however you will need to take the next step yourself and ring the number given below to find out more about the group. You may then be offered a telephone interview to decide if this is the right group for you.

If you are interested in joining the group please ring the number below and leave your name and contact number:

01227 812531

Additional groups and locations may be arranged should there be a demand for this; to register your interest call the number above. Leave a message including your name and contact number so that your call can be returned as soon as possible.



Telephone:
01227 812531

27 Week Domestic Abuse Programme (CDAP)
County Wide Service

The Community Domestic Abuse Programme is a rolling programme of evening sessions. It is designed to help men who feel their behaviour towards their partner has been, or is still, abusive. Kent CDAP challenges that behaviour and shows you how it affects your partner or ex-partner and any children that may be involved.

We know it can be tough facing up to difficult problems. This programme will support you to make the changes you need to develop respectful, non-abusive relationships so that you are safe around your partner and any children

The 27-week evening programme focuses on the intentions, beliefs and effects underpinning domestic abuse, including learning strategies for overcoming abusive and controlling behaviour. Partners of participants are supported throughout the programme.

The first step is to decide if you want to change your behaviour. After that, contact us and we will offer an interview to assess your suitability.

Telephone:
East Kent: 07955 039703
West Kent: 07596 228891

Opening times:
Groups run in the evenings.

Email Address:
kentcdap@gmail.com

Can preventative programmes help?
National Service

BBC Radio 5 Live Podcast episode 179, The Abusers Tale - It tells the story of what preventative programmes can do for perpetrators who want to change.

You can download the podcast for free directly from BBC Radio 5 Live here: Click here

Or you can download this podcast through iTunes using the following link: Click here

Telephone:

Welldoing.org
National Service

welldoing.org is an independent, UK-wide directory of therapists and counsellors who are all members of reputable professional organisations. It also supplies information and advice in the areas of mental health, wellbeing and self-development.

Telephone:

Website:
http://welldoing.org/

Stalking

Stalking and harassment is behaviour that is repeated and unwanted by the victim. The behaviours may seem normal and ordinary, however, when they are repeated they can be menacing and cause alarm and distress to the victim.

Behaviours include:

  • Frequent unwanted contact such as appearing at the victim's home, workplace, telephone calls, text messages, letters, notes, e-mails, faxes, or other contact on social networking sites like Facebook, Bebo, My Space etc;
  • Driving past the victim's home of workplace;
  • Following, watching or loitering near the victim;
  • Sending letters or unwanted 'gifts' ('gifts may appear 'nice' but could have a sinister meaning);
  • Damaging significant property belonging to the victim;
  • Burglary or robbery of the victim's home, workplace, car;
  • Gathering information on the victim by contacting people who know the victim, using public records etc;
  • Harassment of others close to the victim;
  • Threats to harm or kill (includes sexual threats) the victim or those close, particularly those who are seen to be 'protecting the victim' or acting as the buffer between the victim and the stalker;
  • Physical and/or sexual assault of victim.

Support Group Programmes

A range of agencies work together to provide support groups for people who have experienced domestic abuse.

12 Week Domestic Abuse Programme for Kent and Medway
County Wide Service

Are you worried about your behaviour towards your partner?

This 12 session group programme for men aims to explore and address abusive and controlling behaviour within heterosexual intimate relationships. The group will increase your awareness of the effects of your behaviour on partners and children, whilst developing the skills you need to reduce harm and to maintain respectful relationships.

The first session will be an individual session to introduce you to the programme and the group leaders. You will also have an opportunity to discuss any other questions you have. You will be asked to sign an agreement which sets out the expectations for attending the group.

Provisional Start Dates & Locations:

February 2017 in Maidstone area
June 2017 in Medway area
September 2017 in Thanet area

There is no cost to attend the group, however group members will be expected to attend ALL sessions.

An agency may have told you about this group, however you will need to take the next step yourself and ring the number given below to find out more about the group. You may then be offered a telephone interview to decide if this is the right group for you.

If you are interested in joining the group please ring the number below and leave your name and contact number:

01227 812531

Additional groups and locations may be arranged should there be a demand for this; to register your interest call the number above. Leave a message including your name and contact number so that your call can be returned as soon as possible.



Telephone:
01227 812531

27 Week Domestic Abuse Programme (CDAP)
County Wide Service

The Community Domestic Abuse Programme is a rolling programme of evening sessions. It is designed to help men who feel their behaviour towards their partner has been, or is still, abusive. Kent CDAP challenges that behaviour and shows you how it affects your partner or ex-partner and any children that may be involved.

We know it can be tough facing up to difficult problems. This programme will support you to make the changes you need to develop respectful, non-abusive relationships so that you are safe around your partner and any children

The 27-week evening programme focuses on the intentions, beliefs and effects underpinning domestic abuse, including learning strategies for overcoming abusive and controlling behaviour. Partners of participants are supported throughout the programme.

The first step is to decide if you want to change your behaviour. After that, contact us and we will offer an interview to assess your suitability.

Telephone:
East Kent: 07955 039703
West Kent: 07596 228891

Opening times:
Groups run in the evenings.

Email Address:
kentcdap@gmail.com

Al-Anon Family Group
County Wide Service

Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking (e.g. may have suffered Domestic Abuse), regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not.

Address:
57B Great Suffolk Street, London SE1 0BB
View on a map

Telephone:
020 7403 0888

Email Address:
enquiries@al-anonuk.org.uk

Website:
http://www.al-anonuk.org.uk/

Alternatives to Violence Project
National Service

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) organises group workshops for people from all backgrounds who want to handle conflict well.

Address:
Grayston Centre, 28 Charles Square, London N1 6HT
View on a map

Telephone:
0207 324 4757

Website:
http://www.avpbritain.org.uk/

Everyman Project
National Service

EVERYMAN PROJECT is a voluntary, charitable organisation based in London which offers a range of support services for men who want to stop behaving violently or abusively, and for the people affected by their violence or abuse.

Address:
Everyman Project, 1A Waterlow Rd, London N19 5NJ
View on a map

Telephone:
0207 263 8884

Opening times:
Monday 10am - 2pm, Tuesday 10am - 3pm, Wednesday 10am - 5pm, Thursday 10am - 5pm

Email Address:
everymanproject@btopenworld.com

Website:
http://www.everymanproject.co.uk/

Respect
National Service

Helpline offering information and advice to domestic violence perpetrators.

Telephone:
0808 802 4040

Opening times:
Monday - Friday 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm

Email Address:
info@respectphoneline.org.uk

Website:
http://www.respect.uk.net/

Work Place Advice

Domestic Abuse costs UK Businesses in excess of £1.9 billion each year through staff absences, lateness, leaving early, and lost productivity.

Ashford Domestic Abuse Forum members have worked together to produce a toolkit for employers giving practical suggestions on how to best to approach Domestic Abuse, as this issue will touch every work place. The toolkit also includes an example of a Domestic Abuse Policy, reflecting good management practice and corporate social responsibility.

Domestic Abuse Workplace Toolkit (PDF, 534k)

Domestic Abuse Example Policy (Doc, 42k)

In addition there are also a range of services who can provide specialist support.

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