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Domestic abuse - help is available

If you or someone you know needs is undergoing domestic abuse, here is a list of organisations that can offer support:

What is domestic abuse?

The Government's definition of domestic violence and abuse is: '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.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 creates a statutory definition of domestic abuse based on the existing cross-government definition.

‘Abusive behaviour’ is defined in the act as any of the following:

  • physical or sexual abuse
  • violent or threatening behaviour
  • controlling or coercive behaviour
  • economic abuse
  • psychological, emotional or other abuse

For the definition to apply, both parties must be aged 16 or over and ‘personally connected’.

‘Personally connected’ is defined in the act as parties who:

  • are married to each other
  • are civil partners of each other
  • have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated)
  • have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated)
  • are or have been in an intimate personal relationship with each other
  • have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child
  • are relatives

Spotting the signs 

  • Is your partner jealous and possessive?
  • Is your partner charming one minute and abusive the next?
  • Does your partner tell you what to wear, where to go, who to see?
  • Does your partner constantly put you down?
  • Does your partner play mind games and make you doubt your judgment?
  • Does your partner control your money, or make sure you are dependent on him for everyday things?
  • Does your partner pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
  • Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making your partner angry?
  • Does your partner control your access to medicine, devices or care that you need? 
  • Does your partner monitor or track your movements or messages?
  • Does your partner use anger and intimidation to frighten and control you?

Anyone forced to change their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner or ex-partner’s reaction is experiencing abuse. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. However, statistics show most domestic abuse is carried out by men and experienced by women. Domestic abuse is never the fault of the person who is experiencing it. Domestic abuse is a crime.

Why does it matter to our services?

There is a very close link between domestic violence and mental ill health. Abused women are "more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, psychosomatic systems, eating problems and sexual dysfunction" (WHO 2000).

In the year ending March 2020, an estimated 2.3 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 757,000 men).

If there is any domestic violence going on right now, recently, or in the past, it's important that we know so we can begin to help the service user live a safer and healthier life.

Report your concerns regarding domestic abuse

If you think a service user in East London NHS Foundation Trust is a victim of domestic violence or abuse, please raise your concerns with the Local Authority Safeguarding team or MASH, Safer Neighbourhood team or Police in the borough where the service user is living right now.

Please refer to the relevant local authority and safer neighbourhood/police websites below where you will find more information.

The free 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0808 2000 247

Trust Domestic Abuse Contact

ELFT Safeguarding Team

ELFT has a Corporate Safeguarding Adults and Children’s Team to support all services across the Trust and has eleven Named Safeguarding Professionals primarily responsible for all safeguarding activity in each Local Authority area that the Trust operates from. The team is led by the Associate Directors for Safeguarding Adults and Children who oversee safeguarding activity across the Trust. Further support is provided by the Named Doctors for Safeguarding Adults and Children and also by the Director of Nursing who is the portfolio holder for Safeguarding across the trust.

The Trust is an active member of six Local Safeguarding Adults Board – those in City & Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton and has representation at their executive boards and sub-groups.

For further information on Safeguarding Adults and Domestic Abuse issues relating to the Trust, please contact:

Dinh Padicala, Associate Director for Safeguarding and Lead for DomesticAbuse and Prevent
Mob: 07393 763723 
Secure e-mail:

Safeguarding Adults Team email: and

Safeguarding Children’s Team

Domestic Abuse and Harmful Practices

Organisation Membership with Respect 

ELFT believes that people should live a life free of abuse, to support and raise awareness of domestic abuse, the trust has obtained organisation membership with “Respect”  a pioneering domestic abuse organisation developing safe, effective work with perpetrators, male victims and young people who use violence.