Norfolk Constabulary wants to reassure victims and survivors of domestic abuse that we will maintain the highest level of service possible during this challenging time.
We know that the corona virus can disproportionately impact on those who already face many challenges in the home, which can be even more like a prison during self-isolation with an abuser. It may also be used as a means to exert further control. We do not want you to suffer in silence. As the situation changes daily, we want to ensure you feel you have someone there who can help.
We will always respond to emergency calls if you are in immediate danger and there are many local charities and organisations still working to help you through this difficult period where you may feel more at risk.
If you know someone who is the victim of domestic abuse, we encourage you to seek help.
Some charities and organisations will be offering support over the telephone or online, please see our list below if you need to contact someone for support or advice.
If you are in immediate danger you should still call 999. Police 101 is the non-emergency number.
The Silent Solution system helps filter out accidental or hoax 999 calls from those who need genuine police assistance.
If speaking or making an immediate sound would put you in danger and you need immediate help, call 999 and stay on the line, then press 55 when prompted and the call will be transferred to the police, who will know it is an emergency call.
Help and Support
Domestic abuse can leave you feeling trapped and lonely. It is important to remember that it is not your fault, and you need help and support to keep safe.
If you'd rather not talk to the police, there are other ways to get help. You can seek help and advice from the following agencies:
National Wide Support
Women’s Aid - 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 or www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/Contact-us.
Refuge - National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 or contact the helpline via Refuge’s contact form at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.
GALOP (LBGT): 0800 999 5428
Mankind Initiative (Male Victims): 01823 334244
Men’s Advice Line (Male Victims): 0808 801 0327
Respect (working with abusers to change their behaviour and male victims of domestic abuse): 020 3559 6650
Norfolk Based Support
Leeway: 0300 561 0077
Email: [email protected]
Based in: Norwich, Broadland, Breckland, West Suffolk
Spurgeons (Norwich Connect): 01603 628122
Orwell (Haven Project): 0845 4674876/ 01508 533933
Based in: South Norfolk
Norfolk and Suffolk Victim Care: 0300 303 3706
SARC – Sexual Assault Referral Centre – The Harbour Centre: 01603 276381 (24/7)
Email: [email protected]
Daisy Programme: 01953880903
Email: [email protected]
Based in: Breckland
Based in: West Norfolk and North Norfolk
https://www.pandoraproject.org.uk/ - Live chat available Mon-Wed 1-3pm
Sue Lambert Trust: 01603 622406
Norfolk Community Law Service: 01603 496623
4 Women’s Centre: 0300 131 7983
What is abuse?
We are committed to supporting anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse and will work with our partner agencies to help you.
Our message is simple - no-one need suffer in silence.
Domestic abuse can include 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 be:
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts which make someone 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
- regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes honour-based abuse, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.
If this is happening to you, it is important to remember that it is not your fault, and you need help and support to keep safe. If you feel in immediate danger as a result of domestic abuse, dial 999 straight away and wait in a safe place for the police to arrive.
Our police officers are highly trained to deal with domestic abuse. They will listen and treat victims with sensitivity and respect. Your safety is important to us.
In addition to the police, there are specialist support agencies which can help individuals affected by domestic abuse.
Please don’t be worried about talking to us, we will always listen to you and do everything we can to help.
How we can help
Norfolk Constabulary’s officers are highly trained to deal with domestic abuse. They will:
- Listen to you, treat you with respect, and sensitivity.
- Conduct a full risk assessment with you.
- Investigate all incidents which occur and take positive action against the abuser.
- Work in partnership with Social Services and inform them of any domestic abuse incidents involving children and adults at risk of harm so they can provide further help and support.
- Keep you informed on developments of any legal proceedings. If you are required to go to court, the police and other specially trained workers will provide support, including attending court with you where necessary.
- Put you in contact with victim services, advocacy support and other partner organisations. These organisations can advise you regarding civil options such as; non-molestation orders and occupation orders as part of your ongoing safety planning.
Remember, you are not to blame for what is happening and help is available.
Where we have the power of arrest we will:
- normally arrest the perpetrator
- prosecute offenders where appropriate
- use any other means possible to prevent further abuse and violence
- work to make sure that you and any other witnesses to the offences feel confident enough to report offences and give evidence in court.
Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law)
What is the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme?
Also known as Clare’s Law, the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme gives you the right to make an application to the police to find out if your partner has a history of abuse.
The aim of the scheme is to:
- give you formal ways to make enquiries about your partner if you are worried that they may have been abusive in the past
- help you to make a more informed decision on whether to continue a relationship
- provide further help and support to assist you when making that choice.
If police checks show that your partner has a record of violent behaviour, or if there is other information to indicate that you may be at risk from your partner, the police will consider sharing this information with you.
You can also make an application if you are worried that someone you know may be in a relationship with a previously abusive partner.
How do I make an application?
There are many different ways you can contact the police.You can:
- visit a police station
- phone 101 the non-emergency number for the police
- speak to a member of the police on the street.
If you require further information about the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme or wish to make a request for information under it, please contact Norfolk Police on 101.
Alternatively, you can download this Information leaflet.
If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, you should always call 999.
Victim and Witness Support Team
All victims and witnesses involved in cases going through the court process are referred to the Victim and Witness Support Team who provide a single point of contact until the court case is finished. They will keep you informed about your case and arrange on-going support.
Your Witness Care Officer can work with you to overcome any issues or problems you may have about coming to court, ranging from childcare issues to fears of intimidation.
Norfolk Police and the Crown Prosecution Service work together with Victim Support, Witness Services and Leeway Women’s Aid to provide a service in which victims and witnesses of crime can feel confident.
If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse or violence and needs help, please call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
Making a Safety Plan
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, having a safety plan could help reduce the risk to yourself and your children. A plan will help you to keep safe both within the relationship, and if you decide to leave.
Where possible try to:
- find out about local organisations offering information and support - the Women's Aid Survivor's Handbook is an excellent source of information
- keep a diary of domestic abuse incidents and keep it safe
- work out where you can quickly and easily access a phone (mobile, neighbour, relative or friend)
- carry a list of emergency numbers, including relatives, friends and local police
- have an extra set of keys cut for your home and car
- keep the keys and some spare clothes for you and your children packed and ready - leave them somewhere safe, perhaps with a trusted friend or relative
- keep documents somewhere safe, ready to take – birth certificates, benefit books and passports (if you can’t get the originals make a photocopy)
- put aside a small amount of money for bus, train or taxi fares.
If you decide to leave your home and you have more time to plan:
- leave when your partner is not around
- take any medicines you or your children might need
- take all of your children with you
- take what you can of your personal possessions which have sentimental value
- take clothes to last several days
- open a separate savings account in another bank or building society to build up money for after you leave
- take any important legal documents
- arrange for pets to be cared for – a local animal charity may be able to help
- arrange for household items and even furniture to be kept in safe storage.
If you or someone you know is being abused remember:
- the victim is never to blame for the abuse
- only the abuser can change the abusive behaviour
- ignoring violence is dangerous
- there is life after an abusive relationship.
Getting help will give victims the confidence to start a life free from abuse.
If you feel in immediate danger as a result of domestic abuse, dial 999 straight away and wait in a safe place for the police to arrive.
Operation Encompass is a police and education early information sharing partnership enabling schools to offer immediate support for children and young people experiencing domestic abuse. Information is shared by the police with a school's trained Key Adult (DSL) prior to the start of the next school day after officers have attended a domestic abuse incident thus enabling appropriate support to be given, dependent upon the needs and wishes of the child.
Children experiencing domestic abuse are negatively impacted by this exposure; domestic abuse has been identified as an Adverse Childhood Experience and can lead to emotional, physical and psychological harm. Operation Encompass aims to mitigate this harm by enabling immediate support, making a child's day better and giving them a better tomorrow.
Operation Encompass believes that children are victims of domestic abuse in their own right and should be acknowledged as such
What we deliver
Operation Encompass directly connects the police with schools to secure better outcomes for children who are subject or witness to police-attended incidents of domestic abuse. Rapid provision of support within the school environment means children are better safeguarded against the short-, medium- and long-term effects of domestic abuse.
What we do
Operation Encompass provides an efficient, confidential channel of communication between police forces and Key Adults within schools. This enables the immediate and discrete recognition of the child's situation by the Key Adult, ensuring a secure and sympathetic environment is provided and the broader effects of abuse are addressed.
Who we are
Operation Encompass is a charitable organisation set up in 2011, which has since enabled effective interventions to many thousands of children who've experienced domestic abuse. Our volunteers, trustees, and patrons are working tirelessly to ensure that police and schools throughout the country are able to address victims of domestic abuse consistently and coherently.
Domestic Abuse Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences
Norfolk Police attends monthly Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs).
These meetings are a forum for police and local partners to share information so they can protect adults and children who are high risk victims of domestic abuse.
The aims of MARAC:
- to safeguard adult victims
- to make links with other public protection arrangements in relation to children, perpetrators and adults at risk of harm
- to safeguard agency staff
- to address the behaviour of the perpetrator.
People are referred to the MARAC by agencies – because they have been identified as being at high risk of immediate or future harm because of domestic abuse.
MARACs involve carrying out an assessment of the victim’s needs, and action plans are drawn up to make sure victims receive a high level of care and support.
Support is not only for the victim - everyone involved in an individual domestic abuse case will be offered help, including children and perpetrators.
Further information for practitioners and external agencies can be found on the MARAC information leaflet. If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse or violence and needs help, please call 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency.
Cover your tracks
As you surf the internet your internet browser will save certain information, such as the websites you have visited and images or publications you have downloaded. If you do not want people who may have access to your computer to know which websites you have been viewing, you should use a safe computer such as a friend’s, library or work.
There are different methods to hide your tracks and delete your history for each internet browser. We have provided information about how to delete your history from some of the most popular browsers, which can be viewed here
It should be noted that if you are using someone else’s computer they may notice if you delete the computer history and cookies.