Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence

Tackling and reducing Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence’ is one of the Police and Crime Commissioners policies.

Steve white with victim services

Our Policy

Tackle and prevent domestic abuse & sexual violence in all forms

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence and abuse must never be accepted, tolerated or excused. While we know ending it will not be quick or easy to achieve, as your Police and Crime Commissioner I am committed to:

  • Challenging attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that underpin and perpetuate domestic abuse and sexual violence and abuse, and working to prevent it now and in future generations.
  • Holding those displaying abusive behaviour to account while always having the safety and wellbeing of victims at the centre of the response.
  • Listening, believing and acting on the voices of those living in our local communities who have experienced domestic and sexual violence and abuse, and put them at the heart of everything we do.
  • Domestic & sexual violence and abuse is everyone’s business so we must work together to tackle the root causes and harmful consequences.

  • Recognising that those who are the most vulnerable are often those who are most at risk of domestic and sexual violence and abuse.
  • Ensuring that ‘no door is the wrong door’ for anyone asking for support.
  • Seeking out and challenging behaviours, practices and attitudes that perpetuate domestic and sexual violence and abuse.
  • Promoting healthy, positive and respectful relationships across our communities.

Domestic Abuse

Are you or someone you know a victim of Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse involves many different acts and behaviours. These include physical violence, manipulation, isolation, control, and use of threats and humiliation which harm, frighten or punish a victim.

The definition of Domestic Abuse is:

‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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 sexual orientation. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional forms of abuse.

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 a person.’

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If you need advice, help or support you can contact:

Harbour Support Services

Telephone enquiries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, email within office hours.

Tel: 03000 20 25 25Email:
Nobody should suffer in silence

Help is available for those experiencing domestic abuse and, together with local partners, you can be supported at every stage in your journey as you move through the family or criminal courts and beyond.

Sexual Violence

Are you or someone you know a victim of Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. There are many different kinds of sexual violence, including but not restricted to: rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape within marriage/relationships, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), trafficking, sexual exploitation, and ritual abuse.

Sexual violence can be perpetrated by a complete stranger, or by someone known & even trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner.

Many people think they know how they would react to being raped. They may imagine that they would fight back, scream or run away. People will assume it will be how they have seen it in a TV program. In reality many people find that the rape itself and their reaction to it is not what they imagined at all.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted recently or in the past, help is available.


RSACC provides free, face-to-face counselling, telephone support, information and advice to anyone aged 13 and over who has been raped or sexually abused. They offer external training on a variety of topics relating to the damaging consequences of rape, sexual abuse and domestic abuse

Confidential helpline is open Monday to Thursday from 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Contact The Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre:

Support Line: 01325 369 933

Business Line: 01325 354119

Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (Darlington & Co. Durham)

P.O. Box 106, Darlington, DL3 7YS

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SARC aims to provide a sensitive and comprehensive service to residents of County Durham and Darlington who have experienced rape or sexual assault. The service is free to both females and males.

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, they are there to help you recover physically and emotionally. Many women and men experience difficulties in coming to terms with their ordeal and in carrying on with their everyday life afterwards. There is no right or wrong way to respond in situations of sexual violence - it is important that you try to begin to feel safe again and be able to make your own decisions, support staff at the Meadows can help with this.

For 24 hour crisis support service and referrals telephone: 03333 44 8283


The SARC provides 24 hour /7 days a week support to anyone who has experienced rape and/or other sexual offences, whether this has happened recently or in the past.

Your health and wellbeing is their priority, the service is free, and you do not have to report to the police to receive advice and support.

SARC Support Staff are available 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year on 03333 44 8283.