People often think of domestic abuse as physical abuse but it can also be verbal, sexual, financial or psychological abuse. Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexuality or social background.
In an emergency you should call the Police on 999. They have specially trained Domestic Abuse Support Officers who will handle the situation. The local Domestic Abuse Support Officer can be contacted on 01474 366512 or you could call the national helpline (https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/) which has been launched by the government (www.gov.uk) This provides support to people affected by domestic abuse. The Freephone number is 0808 200 0247 and sees the joining together of existing services from Women's Aid and Refuge. This number provides access to advice on 24 hour emergency refuge accommodation and an information service that includes safety planning and translation for non-English speakers.
Numbers will show up on an itemised phone bill, if victims are likely to be put in danger if they have to explain items on their phone bill (or the abuser is likely to ring the number to see what it is) they should be advised to use public/agency phones to get the information from the phone line if necessary.
For advice and information on services available in Kent and Medway for victims, friends and family, and perpetrators of domestic abuse, visit the Domestic Abuse Support Services website at https://www.domesticabuseservices.org.uk/
The Dartford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop offers free advice, information and support from a range of agencies under one roof at Temple Hill Community Centre every Tuesday morning between 9.30am and 12 noon. By using this service you can access specialist domestic abuse support, housing advice, legal advice and ongoing Police support.
Also, the fear of having no support or finding themselves homeless confronts many victims of domestic violence.
If the decision to leave is taken or you are considering such an action, you can speak to a Housing Solutions Officer based at Dartford Borough Council's Civic Centre in Dartford or phone 01322 343434.
If you are homeless and the Council offices are closed, you should telephone the Council's Emergency Out of Hours service on 0345 634 1212.
Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) - Employers are asked to join in order to support any domestic abuse victims employed in their businesses. EIDA is free to join and offers a host of services including: signposting, expertise, a toolkit for employers, and training videos. They highlight the free to download Bright Sky App, which gives victims, and those wishing to help, immediate access to information and specialist services. For more information: https://www.eida.org.uk/about-us
Useful numbers -
- Citizens Advice Bureau (North and West Kent - Dartford) - 0808 278 7810
- Minor Injuries Unit (Gravesend) - 01474 360500
- Darent Valley Hospital (Dartford) - 01322 428100
- Victim Support (Kent) - 0808 168 9276
Useful Links -
- Dartford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop
- Sanctuary Scheme
- National Domestic Violence Helpline
- Domestic Abuse Support Services in Kent and Medway
- Mediation Services
- Employers' Initiative on Domestic Abuse (EIDA) - to join