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Domestic Abuse

Page last updated: 23/12/2020

​​​​Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviour by an abuser designed to control a partner. It can happen at any point in a relationship, including after a relationship has ended. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone. This is regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Most victims of domestic abuse are women, but men can be victims too. Domestic abuse is rarely a 'one-off'. Incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time.

Everyone has arguments and may disagree with their partners, family and close others. However, anyone forced to change their behaviour due to their fright of the reaction is experiencing abuse.

Domestic abuse is never the fault of the person who is experiencing it.

Domestic abuse is a crime.


Useful information and resources

Quick reference guide - domestic abuse tool for practitioners.

Southend / Essex / Thurrock Domestic Abuse Board - advice and information on services for those affected by domestic abuse. Includes directory of services, key contacts and a range of resources.

Essex Police - advice and guidance about domestic abuse, support services and reporting.

Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service - Healthy Family Team support options.

Essex Safeguarding Children Board - domestic abuse training opportunities and other information.

COMPASS - for anyone concerned about any person who may be a victim of domestic abuse. Information, advice and guidance accessible 24 hours a day.


Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)

MARAC considers high-risk domestic abuse cases. Cases are identified using a Domestic Abuse, Stalking and 'Honour'-based violence ('DASH') risk assessment.

Considers information about the victim, family and perpetrator. Produces action plans to mitigate risk for each victim.

Agencies involved 

  • domestic abuse specialists (Independent Domestic Violence Advisors); 
  • police; 
  • children's social care; 
  • health; 
  • other agencies

Agencies continue following their safeguarding procedures, acting on cases before a MARAC decision. This ensures no delay in the protection and support of children and adults.

For example, Social Care will continue to make enquiries under Section 17 or Section 47 of the Children's Act 1989, if appropriate.

A MARAC Education Liaison Officer works with educational settings to provide relevant information. This information is then considered at MARAC.


​Refer to MARAC

Complete the MARAC Referral Form​ and send it to​