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What is domestic abuse?

We believe that no person should live in fear of violence or abuse.

The full Government definition of domestic abuse can be viewed here.

Domestic abuse is defined as any of the following:

  • Physical abuse can include hitting, punching, kicking, slapping, hitting with objects, pulling hair, pushing, or shoving, cutting, or stabbing, restraining, strangulation, choking.
  • Sexual abuse can include rape and coerced sex, forcing a victim to take part in unwanted sexual acts, refusal to practice safe sex or use contraception, threatened or actual sexual abuse of children.
  • Violent, threatening behaviour, psychological, emotional, or other abuse. This can leave you with little confidence to change your situation, or that you are powerless to take any action to improve your life, or the lives of your children. This can include isolating you and not allowing you to see friends or family, or go anywhere on your own, using threats – threats to kill family, children, friends, or pets, or to find you if you were ever to try and leave, putting you down – humiliating, embarrassing or undermining you in front of others.
  • Economic abuse can include controlling money and bank accounts, making you tell them everything you spend, running up debts in your name, allowing you no say on how you spend your money, refusing to allow you to work.
  • Discriminatory abuse is motivated by an oppressive and discriminatory attitude towards a person’s: Disability, Physical appearance, Learning disability, Mental ill health, Sensory impairment, Race, Religion, Gender/gender identity, Age, Culture, Sexual orientation, Appearance.
  • Controlling or coercive behaviour underpins domestic abuse and is explained as a range of purposeful behaviours including intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse, and manipulation. These behaviours are used to achieve power and control in an abusive relationship and reinforce the threat or reality of physical abuse.

We work in partnership with agencies across Gloucestershire including the following:

Along with many other agencies to reduce the number of victims who suffer domestic violence and abuse, and help victims stay in their home after the perpetrator has left or been removed.

You can learn more about domestic abuse and how to recognise it by visiting national websites, including Women’s Aid England and Refuge.

Where can I get help?


If you are in immediate danger, call 999.

If you can’t speak but the operator hears something suspicious, they’ll connect you to a police call handler. If you can make some noise, for example cough, whisper or tap the handset, the operator will connect you to the police.

If you can’t speak, and the operator can’t tell what service you need, they’ll transfer you to the Silent Solution. This runs a 20 second automated message, and that will ask you to press 55, to be put through to the police. This does not allow the police to track your location.


For non-emergencies contact Gloucestershire Police on 101.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse, there are many organisations in Gloucestershire who can help and support you:

  • Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service (GDASS)
    GDASS is a free and confidential service countywide support for those who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse. Telephone: 01452 726570 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm)
  • Childline: call 0800 1111
  • NSPCC Helpline: call 0800 800 5000

Tewkesbury Borough Council will:

  • Provide an environment that is safe and do all we can to ensure you and your family are safe and protected.
  • We will listen to you, support you, and believe you without judgement and not make any assumptions about your experiences.
  • We will listen to what you need and want, respect your choices, support, and empower you to make decisions about your safety and housing security.
  • We will give you a voice as we recognise that survivors are the expert in their experiences, and we will use this knowledge to inform the development, delivery and improvement of our services and embed good practice.
  • We will be open, honest, and transparent with you at all times.
  • We will use language that is empowering and take the onus of the abuse away from you.
  • We will respect and maintain confidentiality, privacy, and security of your personal information unless there is a safeguarding concern which we will discuss with you first.

We will challenge attitudes about domestic abuse and ensure it is spoken about and visible to end the silence and hidden nature of domestic abuse.