Domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is defined as 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 sexual orientation. This can include, but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • physical

  • emotional

  • psychological

  • sexual

  • financial

The frequency and severity of domestic violence can vary. Domestic violence may be just one encounter, but it can also be an ongoing pattern of behaviour. However, the one constant element of domestic abuse is the consistency of the abuser to maintain power and control over the victim.

Legislation was also introduced in 2015 which made controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship an offence.

Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or social background. If you are suffering from physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse, or are being threatened, intimidated or stalked by a current or previous partner or family member, it’s likely you’re a victim of domestic abuse.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service takes domestic abuse in all its forms extremely serious and is proud to be a White Ribbon accredited organisation. Becoming accredited means, the Service can effectively marshal resources to challenge domestic abuse and make a real difference.  The service will use this accreditation to tackle domestic abuse in all its forms.

What happens behind closed doors doesn’t have to stay there.  If you or someone you know is in a relationship that doesn’t feel quite right, Open the Door for help Open the Door (opens in new window)

You can also phone the 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

In an emergency, always phone 999.

Domestic abuse and arson

Arson attacks on domestic properties are a common problem.  Domestic arson is often linked to domestic abuse. 
Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service fits fire proof letter box covers, smoke alarms and offers fire safety advice to adults and young people.

The Service sits on the board of the MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference), which gives the opportunity to liaise with other parties such as Cheshire Police and Social Services to identify risks and offer support to the victims of domestic violence.   The Service also liaises with Domestic Violence Units and other agencies to provide support to Children and Vulnerable Adults and meet their safety needs.