Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, but a pattern of power and control over you. It is any threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship, or between family members.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • harassment and stalking
  • online or digital abuse

You may just want someone to listen, or help to stop your abuser hurting you further.

All services in Derbyshire follow the same guidelines when dealing with domestic abuse, whether you talk to someone at your health centre, school, housing office or social services office. They will offer someone to talk to, legal information, help available to you, support in your home or long term help.

There is one helpline number in Derbyshire for reporting or discussing domestic abuse tel: 08000 198 668. Or you can email:

Live chat is available at The Elm Foundation on Monday to Friday from 8am to 7pm. Outside these hours the service will send an email that will be responded to as soon as possible.

Deaf and hard of hearing people can text 07534 617252.

In an emergency, or if you are in any danger, always tel: 999.

If you phone 999 from a mobile phone but it is not safe for you to speak, Silent Solution is a system the police use to assess and respond to your call. Phone 999 and if it is not safe to respond to the BT operator when they ask what service you want, stay connected. If the operator hears any suspicious noise you will be transferred to the police. If nothing is heard you may be asked to press 55. This will connect you to a police call handler. Listen carefully to their questions and instructions so that they can assess your situation and arrange for assistance. This system means that the police can respond to genuine emergencies when people are in danger, and accidental or hoax 999 calls do not distract them. Accidental 999 calls from a landline are less likely, so if you phone 999 from a landline but are unable to speak you will be connected without being asked to enter 55.

Find out more about domestic abuse support and information services in Derbyshire.

Referral forms for MARAC and DASH are available on the Safer Derbyshire website.

Coercive and controlling behaviour

Coercive control is a criminal offence and is a form of domestic abuse.

The Derbyshire Safeguarding Adults Board, together with Safer Derbyshire, have produced a multi-agency practitioner briefing about coercive control, which is attached to this page.

Older adults and domestic abuse

Abuse can occur at any age and is often under reported when it related to adults over the age of 65. Safeguarding often considers “carer’s stress” when incidents occur, and while one-off events do happen, it needs to be explored to see if there are any patterns or history. Based on the power and control wheel as adapted by Dewis Choice, the aim of this short animation is to help support practitioners and families start a conversation with an older adult.

We know from research that this is a very sensitive topic to talk about. Older adults may be more reluctant to talk about problems at home due to experiential, cultural, and social factors, and this combined with ageing and subsequent care needs leaves them vulnerable to having domestic abuse overlooked

The hidden harms animation has been co-created by survivors aged between 60 and 93 years old from Dewis Choice, who are now in recovery and living free from harm, fear and abuse. Talking to someone about the behaviour will not mean having to make decisions you are not ready for, but it will create options to help you get the support you need to feel safer and happier.

We would like to thank Norfolk Safeguarding Adults Board for granting permission to adapt this animation for Derbyshire and Derby Safeguarding Adults Boards and Derbyshire and Derby City Safer Communities Boards.