Domestic abuse



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We want to reassure all survivors that we are doing everything we can to support you during this challenging time. The borough’s local services are still working to provide support and advice over the phone or online. 

We’re encouraging all survivors to carry a mobile phone at all times if possible. If you are in immediate danger call 999.

If you want to talk to a trained domestic abuse specialist call the following free 24/7 domestic abuse helpline:

Getting support to stop domestic abuse counts as an essential reason to travel so if you are is unable to access phone and online support, and you are not self-isolating, you can come to

  • Leyton Children and Family Centre
    215 Queens Road  E17 8PJ
    between 10am and 4pm every week day

To speak to a specialist worker who can offer support. You do not need to have a child to access this service. We are operating the service in accordance with government guidelines so will be implementing physical distancing.

If you are worried about your own behaviour and think you might be at risk of hurting your partner or family contact the Respect help line

They will help and support you to stop.

If you are worried about a friend or neighbour suffering domestic abuse you too can speak to a trained professional on the 24/7 domestic abuse helpline:

  • 0808 2000 247
  • If you think it’s an emergency please call the Police on 999.

More help and resources:

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What is domestic abuse? Click to get info

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Domestic abuse is: Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional

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 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.

Domestic abuse happens across all communities, faiths and cultures. Most often, domestic abuse is committed by men against women, but it also happens in gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender relationships. Sometimes other family members may also be involved.

Waltham Forest Council is committed to working in partnership with statutory, voluntary and community organisations to prevent Domestic abuse and to reduce the harm it causes to individuals, families and the community as a whole.

Types of domestic abuse:

  • Physical abuse (violence) can include pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking and using weapons.
  • Verbal abuse is the use of harsh or insulting language directed at a person. You might be called names or constantly put down by your partner.
  • Emotional abuse or coercive control is the act(s) of repeatedly making someone feel bad, intimidated or scared. This can include threatening or controlling behaviour (such as controlling or withholding finances), blackmailing, constantly criticising or checking up on someone, or playing mind games.
  • Coercive control is now a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015.
  • Psychological or mental abuse is when someone is subjected or exposed to a situation that can result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Sexual abuse is when you’re forced or pressured to have sex without your consent (rape), unwanted sexual activity, touching, groping or being made to watch pornography.

As many as one in four women and one in six men experience some form of domestic abuse at some point in their lives.

It can be hard to admit, even to yourself, that you are a victim of Domestic Abuse. But this is the first step to getting help.

No one has the right to abuse you. You and your children have a right to be safe.

Ignoring violence is dangerous. Violence rarely happens only once. In fact it is more usual for the violence to become more serious the longer it carries on.

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