Domestic abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and abuse. It can happen between intimate partners, ex partners or family members.

Domestic abuse

Preventing and eradicating violence and abuse in Hillingdon is everybody's business.

In this section

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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological, emotional, physical, sexual and financial. It also includes what is known as 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

Domestic abuse affects people of every class, gender, level of wealth, geography, age, race, disability and sexuality. The violence can begin at any stage of a relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended. It is a pattern of controlling and aggressive behaviour that is intentional and calculated to exercise power and control within a relationship.

Easy-to-read guide on domestic abuse (PDF) [3MB]

Recognise the signs of domestic abuse

There is now a statutory or legal definition for domestic abuse, created by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. For further information visit or the Home Office website.

Are you a victim of domestic abuse?

From time to time, people have disagreements with their partners, family members and others close to them. However, if a person's response is harmful, hurtful and/or frightening towards you, and they may have started to form a pattern of abusive behaviour and are controlling, this is domestic violence and abuse.   

If your abuser is threatening you, hitting you (slapping, punching, pushing, kicking you), threatening to use - or has used - a weapon against you (including everyday household objects) or threatening to kill you, call the police on 999. (See advice below when you are unable to speak to the emergency telephone operator).  

Am I in an abusive relationship?

I'm being abused: What can I do?

If you are a victim of domestic violence and abuse, you can:

  • make a safety plan to help you live safely and be safe if you stay - we can help you to do this
  • contact the Hillingdon Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service (HDAAS) in confidence (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) by emailing or calling 07874 620954
  • outside of HDAAS' opening hours and on bank holidays, contact our Stronger Families Hub by calling 01895 556006 or emailing 

In an emergency, call the police on 999.
If you are calling 999 from a mobile telephone and are unable to speak, remain silent and follow the operator's instructions. When prompted, press 55 as part of the silent solution option (this option does not apply to 999 calls made from a landline telephone).  

What is the 'Silent Solution'? 

The 'Silent Solution' is a system that alerts the police to 999 mobile phone callers who are in need of emergency assistance but are too frightened, scared or unable to speak because the perpetrator/offender is nearby.    

After calling 999 from a mobile telephone, the call operator will ask the caller which emergency service they need. If the line remains silent, the operator may ask a series of questions and suggest that the caller tap the handset, cough or make a noise by way of response. If the caller remains silent and if the call operator cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, they will forward the call to the 'Silent Solution' system.  

This is a police automated message that begins with 'you are through to the police...' and lasts approximately 20 seconds. The message requests that the caller press 55 to be put through to the police. If 55 is pressed, the call will be transferred to the caller's local police force, where a call handler will try to communicate with the caller by asking simple 'yes' or 'no' questions. 

If the caller does not press 55, the call will be terminated.  

Reminder: This system does not apply to 999 calls made from a landline telephone.  

Ask for ANI codeword

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and need immediate help you can, ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) in participating pharmacies.

When you ask for ANI, you will be offered a private space, provided with a phone and asked if you need support from the police or other domestic abuse support services.

Find your nearest participating provider

If you are a UK pharmacy, find out how to sign up to the Ask for ANI codeword scheme.

Are you worried about someone else?

If you witness abuse and believe the victim is at risk of serious harm, call 999.  For all non emergencies, call 101 or, if you are a member of staff working in care or health settings, you can use report a safeguarding concern via our website.

For anonymous reporting, use the CrimeStoppers website.

If you are concerned about your mum, sister, brother, cousin, colleague, neighbour, employee or friend who is experiencing abuse, you can also help.

If you are worried about a child's welfare, or believe they are at risk of harm, visit Hillingdon Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) or make a safeguarding referral on 01895 556 633. Alternatively, you can contact the Stronger Families Hub by calling 01895 556 006, or email

These services are also available to multi-agency professionals, including charity or voluntary sector organisations and local employers.

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Are you concerned about your behaviour?

Do you:

  • threaten or manipulate your partner?
  • physically hurt your partner?
  • get jealous or angry when your partner is away from you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, call the Respect phoneline on 0808 802 4040 and choose to stop hurting the one you love.

There is more information available on the Respect website.

Do you know an abuser?

It can be hard to speak out when someone you know is committing a crime, but you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously to tell them about abuse.

Call Crimestoppers on their anonymous freephone line 0800 555 111 or use the Crimestoppers website to report a domestic abuser.

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Helplines and further support

There are a large number of organisations that operate at the national, London and local levels serving and supporting Hillingdon residents.

National Domestic Violence Helpline
(24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

 0808 2000 247
Forced Marriage Unit0207 008 0151
Galop (national LGBT+ domestic abuse)0800 999 5428
Hestia020 8848 5893
Hillingdon DA MARAC 0208 246 1798
Hillingdon Domestic Abuse Advocacy Service07874 620954
Hillingdon Women's Centre01895 259578
Men's Advice Line0808 081 0827
NSPCC0808 800 5000
Rape Crisis0808 802 9999
Richmond Fellowship020 7697 3300
Stronger Families Hub01895 556006
The Traveller Movement0207 607 2002
Traveller education service01895 556207
Victim Support0845 450 3883
Women and Girls Network

0808 801 0770


Women and Girls Network (WGN)

Women and Girls Network (WGN) is funded by London Councils - which Hillingdon Borough contributes to,  under the Ascent project to provide a freephone Sexual Violence Helpline, providing emotional support to survivors of all forms of sexual violence.

This service includes:

  • Women and Girls Network's Sexual Violence Helpline offers free and confidential emotional support for anyone in London who self identifies as a woman (aged 14+) and has been effected by any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives.
  • The Helpline number is 0808 801 0770 and is open Monday to Friday 10am-12.30pm and 2pm-4pm. The Helpline also provides out of hours support on Wednesday evenings during 6pm-9pm.
  • Survivors can access the Helpline as a one off or on an ongoing basis. When survivors call, they will believe them, never judge them, treat them with respect, honour their wishes and never tell them what to do.
  • The Helpline also provides support to friends and family of survivors, as well as professionals, to help them understand how best to support survivors of sexual violence.

For more information about WGN, please visit:

More information about where to get help can be found on the GOV.UK website.

You can also find details of local authority support services on page 25/26 of our  local resources guide (PDF) [419KB]. You can also use our website for information on social care for adults, children and families and housing advice.

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Page last updated: 20 Jul 2023