Guidance has been produced for volunteers to help them to recognise and respond to domestic abuse and sexual violence.

The guidance is for volunteers NOT those who are or who may be experiencing domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Domestic abuse is defined by the Government as any incident 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. It includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, as well as ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage.

Sexual violence refers to any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic someone’s sexuality, using coercion, threats of harm, or physical force, by any person regardless of relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.

The guidance explains how simply listening can help someone break the silence around their situation, as well as offer emotional and practical support about where to go for help.

You can download the leaflet here, or for more guidance and advice on what to look for and how to ask someone if they need help, visit Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence- Routine Enquiry, visit saferfutures.org.uk or call Safer Futures on 0300 7774777.

Immediate risks should be reported to the Police on 999, who are still prioritising domestic abuse and sexual violence during this period.