People often think of domestic violence as physical abuse but it can also apply to verbal, sexual or emotional harassment. It usually takes place in the home and anyone can be a victim - men, women, children and elderly people.
In an emergency you should call the Police 999 . They have specially trained Domestic Violence Officers who will handle the situation. The local Domestic Violence Officer can be contacted on 01474 366512 or you could call the national helpline (www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk) which has been launched by the government (www.gov.uk) This provides support to people affected by domestic violence. The Freephone number is 0808 2000247 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.
The telephone number for the local Women's Aid is 01322 384792.
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.
Details of the Dartford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop is also available from this number. The shop runs every Tuesday morning at Dartford's CAB with representatives from Dartford Borough Council's housing serves, the police, Women's Aid and Neves Scott Brand Solicitors all offering free advice on issues concerning domestic abuse.
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 Advisor based at the Housing Advice Centre, Civic Centre in Dartford or phone 01322 343114
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.
Useful numbers -
- Citizens Advice Bureau - 01322 472979
- Minor Injuries Unit (Gravesend) - 01474 574217
- Darent Valley Hospital - 01322 428100
- Victim Support (Dartford, Gravesend & Swanley) - 0300 303 0156