Domestic abuse

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The UK government’s definition of domestic abuse 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, economic, emotional.'

Domestic abuse is a serious social and criminal issue. The violence can take many forms and can last for many years. Anyone in society can suffer from this type of abuse, regardless of your age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, financial position, culture, or beliefs. The abuse may be from someone you are currently in a relationship with or have previously had a relationship with. This includes abuse from relatives, as well as opposite or same sex partners.

Experiencing domestic abuse

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), or Clare’s Law, is a way to find out if your partner has a history of domestic abuse and may pose a risk to you. 

If you think you are experiencing any type of abuse, it is important to remember that it is not your fault. If you are unsure but it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You may feel alone and that no-one can help you, but you are not alone, and support is available. Speaking to someone about what you are going through can help you to feel less alone and can support you in understanding your options.

Reporting abuse

  • If you are in immediate danger, phone 999, or get someone else to phone, and state whether you need the police, ambulance or fire service.
  • Move to a safe place, avoiding kitchens or stairs, and stay near a door for a quick escape.
  • If in doubt, get out.
  • If the situation is not an emergency, but you still need the police, call 101.
  • If it is not safe for you to speak you can use the Silent Solution system - call 999, and if you don’t speak you will be diverted to an automated system. You can then press 55 to be transferred to the local police force.

Getting help

  • Trafford Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS) offers support, guidance and advice. You can also find information, links and advice on the Trafford Directory.
  • Get information resources, and a searchable directory of services for people experiencing domestic abuse, and for professionals at, Manchester’s multi-agency domestic abuse website
  • Contact Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline. It's a free, confidential line whose staff can provide advice, help you formulate a safety plan, and access refuge spaces across the country. Advice is also available in Urdu and Punjabi. You can call them on 0161 636 7525.
  • Male victims of abuse can get help and advice from Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.
  • Phone the National Domestic Violence Helpline. It's available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247.
  • If you are concerned about your own behaviour, and worry that you already are, or could become abusive, get support at

If you are worried that you could be tracked online, the safest way would to access the internet is at a local library, an internet cafe, friend's house or at work.

Discover our Domestic Abuse Strategy.

Discover information about specialist LGBTQ+ domestic abuse services.

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is defined as 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

Coercive behaviour is defined as 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. 

Statistics/JSNA (Joint Strategic Needs Assessment) findings

  • 36,430 residents in Trafford will experience domestic abuse over their lifetime.
  • 11,060 residents in Trafford will experience domestic every year, 2,600 of these cases will be from a family member.
  • 1,760 over the age of 60 and 1,840 16–24-year-olds will experience domestic abuse over year.
  • There are laws to protect you and any children you have living with you. Local specialist services are available in Trafford to provide you with free, confidential advice and explain your options.
  • 29% of respondents to Trafford Council’s Victim/Survivor Survey did not know what they were experiencing was domestic abuse.