Cut the Strings and put a stop to domestic abuse

Date published: 03 December 2019 15:29

If an incident of domestic abuse is happening now or someone has been injured or is in danger, call 999. In a non-emergency, call South Yorkshire Police on 101.

What is domestic abuse?

The UK government’s definition of domestic violence 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.’

Domestic abuse can take different forms, including:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • coercive control / emotional abuse
  • digital / online abuse
  • honour-based violence
  • forced marriage
  • female genital mutilation (FGM).

Find out more by clicking here

What is controlling or coercive 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 is: a continuing 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.

Types of behaviour

The types of behaviour associated with coercion or control may or may not constitute a criminal offence in their own right. It is important to remember that the presence of controlling or coercive behaviour does not mean that no other offence has been committed or cannot be charged. However, the perpetrator may limit space for action and exhibit a story of ownership and entitlement over the victim. Such behaviours might include:

  • isolating a person from their friends and family
  • depriving them of their basic needs
  • monitoring their time
  • monitoring a person via online communication tools or using spyware
  • taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they can go, who they can see, what to wear and when they can sleep
  • depriving them of access to support services, such as specialist support or medical services
  • repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless
  • enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim
  • forcing the victim to take part in criminal activity such as shoplifting, neglect or abuse of children to encourage self-blame and prevent disclosure to authorities
  • financial abuse including control of finances, such as only allowing a person a punitive allowance
  • threats to hurt or kill
  • threats to a child
  • threats to reveal or publish private information (e.g. threatening to ‘out’ someone)
  • assault
  • criminal damage (such as destruction of household goods)
  • rape
  • preventing a person from having access to transport or from working.

Controlling or coercive behaviour does not only happen in the home, the victim can be monitored by phone or social media from a distance and can be made to fear violence on at least two occasions or adapt their everyday behaviour as a result of serious alarm or distress.

How can I get help?

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you can report it to us by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency, or tell a family member, friend or neighbour. Many abusers rely on silence so they can continue the abuse.

If you are worried about a loved one or someone you know, report it to us. We will listen.

We take all reports of domestic abuse very seriously. We are committed to protecting the lives of both adult and child victims of domestic abuse, to investigate all reports effectively, to bring offenders to justice and hold them accountable for their actions.

What other support is available?

Our Protecting Vulnerable People team often provide support to domestic abuse victims, but support is also available from partner agencies. There are organisations in Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham who can offer you support, for both men and woman and LGBT+ communities.

Sheffield
Domestic Abuse Coordination Team (DACT)
Website: www.sheffielddact.org.uk/domestic-abuse
Helpline: 0808 808 2241

Barnsley
Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS)
Website: www.idas.org
Helpline: 03000 110 110 North Yorkshire and Barnsley 

Rotherham
Rotherham Rise
Website: www.rotherhamrise.org.uk
Helpline: 0330 2020571

Doncaster
Doncaster Domestic Abuse Hub
Website: www.doncaster.gov.uk/domesticabuse
Helpline: 01302 737080

LGBT+
Say It
Website: www.sayit.org.uk/callitout

National
National Domestic Abuse helpline
Helpline: 0808 2000247

LGBT+ Galop
Website: www.galop.org.uk
Helpline: 0800 999 5428

Click here for more organisations that can help you.

Domestic Abuse Action Plan

You can read the force's action plan which sets out how we will deliver on the recommendations set out in the 2017 HMICFRS report on the police response to domestic abuse.