Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

Our Services A - Z :

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

What is domestic abuse?

In Bedford Borough we use the official Home Office definition of domestic abuse:

An 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 and is not limited to the following types of abuse:

· Psychological 

· Physical

· Sexual 

· Financial 

· Emotional


Support for Domestic Abuse

Bedford Borough is committed to support anybody who has been affected by domestic abuse, in addition to working with professionals who want to improve their knowledge and or understanding of domestic abuse. For more information on where to go for help, local support services and or training please visit http://www.bedsdv.org.uk/ or contact us on bdap@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk


If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, you should call the Police on 999.
National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, staffed 24/7 with translations services available.


How does Domestic Abuse affect children?

  • Domestic abuse may teach children to use violence
  • Abuse can affect children in serious and long-lasting ways
  • Where there is domestic abuse there is often child abuse
  • Children will often blame themselves for domestic abuse
  • Alcohol misuse is a very common contributing factor when abuse occurs in families
  • Pregnant women are more vulnerable to domestic abuse


Children, who witness, intervene or hear incidents are affected in many ways. What can be guaranteed is that children do hear, they do see and they are aware of abuse in the family.

Children will learn how to behave from examples parents set for them. Domestic abuse teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people. For instance:

  • It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict
  • They learn how to keep secrets.
  • They learn to mistrust those close to them and that children are responsible and to blame for abuse, especially if violence erupts after an argument about the children.


Local information

Anyone seeking advice about domestic and sexual abuse can now access a user-friendly website aimed at aiding victims, survivors and professionals.

The Bedfordshire Domestic & Sexual Abuse Partnership brings together the main statutory and voluntary agencies which help to provide and improve services in relation to domestic abuse and sexual abuse across Bedfordshire, and is a shared provision between Bedford Borough Council and Central Bedfordshire Council.

To visit their website click on this link http://www.bedsdv.org.uk/


Further information can be found  on the Bedfordshire Domestic & Sexual Abuse Partnership website: http://www.bedsdv.org.uk/


What is sexual abuse?

Sexual violence and abuse is any behaviour perceived to be of a sexual nature, which is unwanted and takes place without consent.

Anyone can be a victim of rape or sexual violence, no matter what age he or she is.

Rapes and sexual assaults can be committed by:

·         someone you know

·         a relative

·         a stranger

·         a partner - someone you are in a relationship with.

If you need emotional support concerning sexual violence, please contact Rape Crisis http://www.rapecrisis.org.uk/  Freephone 0808 802 999 (1200-14:30 and 19:00-21:30 every day  and 15:00-17:30pm weekends) 


Disrespect NoBody campaign

The second phase of the Home Office Disrespect Nobody campaign will run from 2 February until the end of March 2017.

The aim of the Disrespect NoBody campaign is to prevent young people, both boys and girls aged 12 to 18 years old from becoming perpetrators and victims of abusive relationships.

For 2017 the focus of the campaign will be consent and sexting, which are both issues where many young people need more education and information. The campaign advertising directs young people to the website www.disrespectnobody.co.uk where they can get further information and signposts them to organisations who can provide support.

Please click on the link below to download the partner brief and campaign materials.

Click here to go to their website