Domestic Abuse


Content last reviewed: July 2017

Domestic abuse is identified as a priority for Central Bedfordshire’s Community Safety Partnership and is detailed in the Three Year Domestic Abuse Partnership Business Plan.

Central Bedfordshire Council has shown it’s commitment to tackling domestic abuse by developing a four year Domestic Abuse Strategy and action plan, to improve the whole Council response to domestic abuse.  

Reporting levels to Bedfordshire Police and referrals into services, such as the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC), evidence the need for a continued robust response to victims at high risk of serious harm. The number of victims hidden from services, as estimated by SafeLives (1) evidences the need to improve the awareness of domestic abuse with residents and professionals; and that early intervention and identification must be a key priority across Central Bedfordshire. 

The current cross-government definition for domestic violence is (2) any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person 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 and regulating their everyday 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 their victim.

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

From December 2015, coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate or family relationship became an offence.



(1) SafeLives 2016

Last updated Monday, 10th July 2017