Domestic violence and sexual violence support

The Council has a zero tolerance approach to violence against women and girls and domestic abuse. 

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Who do we help?

We work with anyone experiencing domestic abuse:

  • living in Hackney
  • aged 16 or over
  • male or female
  • of any sex and/or gender
  • of any sexual orientation

What do we do about domestic abuse?

We'll listen to you, assess how safe you are, provide information and support on your legal and housing rights, support you if you go to court, help you to obtain legal protection and work with you and other professionals to help make you safer. 

Making you safer might involve helping you separate from the person who is hurting you, bringing in additional services to assist you with different needs that you have or by trying to reduce the risks you face if remaining with the person who is hurting you. 

If it is safe to do so - and following discussions with you - we can engage directly with the person who is hurting you to try and reduce the harm they are causing you. We will work with you and won't force you to do anything you're not ready to do.

For more detail about how we work please see the domestic abuse intervention service protocol [pdf, 222.62Kb] .

Some advice and guidance for individuals or professionals about enabling and managing conversations and disclosures about domestic abuse:

How do I get in contact?

If you're experiencing domestic abuse you can contact us directly or ask someone such as your health visitor, doctor, housing worker or social worker to refer you.

We're open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. You can call us on 020 8356 4458 / 020 8356 4459 / 0800 056 0905 (free from a landline) or email us at

For emergencies call the police on 999. For emergency housing, you can contact the Council outside office hours on 020 8356 2300. If you want to speak to someone outside office hours or need to go to a women's refuge you can call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. 

We usually see people in central Hackney but we'll check whether you find it difficult to come to the office and, if so, we can arrange to see you somewhere safe, accessible and comfortable for you such as a housing office, GP surgery or at your home. We can also visit you with a professional you already know such as your social worker or health visitor.


What is domestic abuse? 

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people aged 16 or over, who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members - regardless of gender or sexuality. This can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.

Domestic abuse includes stalking, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and forced abortion.

What is coercive and controlling behaviour?

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten the victim. It's a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting them for personal gain, depriving them of their means of independence, resistance and escape or regulating their everyday behaviour.

Tools for understanding domestic abuse

If you think you might be experiencing domestic abuse it can often be difficult in thinking through what is happening for you. The following tools may be useful in helping you understand your situation and making decisions about whether you want to get help. They're also useful for professionals working with clients in helping to explore domestic abuse.

Young people




We treat any information you share with us as confidential and only share information with other agencies if you're happy for us to do so, or  if we feel that you or someone else, such as any children or vulnerable adults, are at risk of serious harm.

We will not share information you tell us with whoever has been hurting you.

If we think you're at high risk of serious harm we'll refer you to a meeting called a MARAC, which stands for multi-agency risk assessment conference. This is where professionals working in Hackney meet to discuss serious cases. These agencies will work together to plan for your safety and protect you from harm. See below for more information on Hackney MARACs.


Referrals from professionals

If you're a professional and need advice about whether to make a referral, please call us to discuss your concerns. You don't have to give your client's identifying details. If you then need to make a referral, please use the referral form:

Send it to or our secure email address

It's helpful if you can also complete a domestic abuse risk assessment form based on your work with either the victim or the perpetrator - however this isn't essential.

If you've conducted a domestic abuse risk assessment and the case needs to be referred to the Hackney multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC), then please complete the MARAC referral form:

Email the MARAC referral form to or our secure email

Some advice and guidance for individuals or professionals about enabling and managing conversations and disclosures about domestic abuse:


MARAC (multi-agency risk assessment conference)

A MARAC is a meeting where representatives of the local police, probation, health, children's social care, adult social care, housing and other specialists share information about high risk cases of domestic abuse. Professionals working with victims of domestic abuse are present to ensure victim's views are heard and to share their professional assessment of risk. The MARAC discusses options for making the victim safer and takes action to reduce risk. The main focus of MARACs is safeguarding the victim

The MARAC protocol outlines each agency's accountability and responsibility towards the MARAC.

Hackney MARACs will:

  • share information to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of adults and child victims of domestic violence
  • provide clear professional advice from involved agencies
  • review cases and ensure that all possible strategies for increasing the safety of victims and imposing sanctions to deter repeat offending are fully explored and implemented in a co-ordinated way,
  • ensure that agreed actions are carried out in a timely manner
  • identify policy, practice or partnership issues arising from casework and raise them through the appropriate channels
  • contribute to the development of best practice around safety planning and prevention of harm in domestic abuse cases

MARAC referral form [doc, 141.5Kb]  

Email it to or our secure email address


Other organisations that can help


Domestic homicide reviews

The Council reviews the circumstances if someone aged 16 or over dies as a result of, or appears to die as a result of, violence, abuse or neglect by:

  • a member of the same household
  • a relative
  • someone they had been in an intimate relationship with

Domestic homicide reviews have helped us create our and shape our domestic homicide review action plan and shape our domestic homicide review protocol.

Published reviews

The Council has published two reviews:

Mrs AB and Child D

Following the murder of Ms AB and her daughter Child D in March 2014, Hackney's community safety partnership, in partnership with the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board, commissioned a joint domestic homicide review and serious case review in line with statutory guidance. Bill Griffiths, CBE BEM QPM, was appointed as independent Chair and conducted a detailed examination of the circumstances surrounding Ms AB and Child D's deaths and the roles of any agencies in contact with them.

The chair's findings have been provided to Hackney Community Safety Partnership and the City and Hackney Safeguarding Children Board and reviewed by the Home Office. The report and recommendations have been published together with a letter from the Home Office, in accordance with the statutory guidance regarding domestic homicide reviews.


Violence against women and girls strategy and action plan

We are committed to eradicating violence against women and girls (VAWG) across the borough and are determined to demonstrate that Hackney is a borough which takes a 'zero tolerance' approach to gender-based violence.

Please see our violence against women and girls strategy and action plan 2016-2019 which sets out how we will tackle VAWG.


Page updated: 05/03/2018 12:07:46