Domestic abuse referral pathway

If there is any immediate danger call 999.

Domestic abuse is

"Domestic abuse is any single incident, course of conduct or pattern of abusive behaviour between individuals aged 16 or over who are personally connected to each other as a result of being, or having been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. Children who see, hear or experience the effects of the abuse and are related to either of the parties are also considered victims of domestic abuse. Abuse includes physical or sexual abuse; violent or threatening behaviour; controlling or coercive behaviour; economic abuse; psychological, emotional or other abuse."

At every meeting always recognise, respond, refer and record.

No disclosure

If there is no disclosure but you suspect otherwise, periodically ‘ask the question’.

Honour Based Abuse (HBA) or Forced Marriage (FM)

For HBA or FM cases, share information on a strictly needs to know basis. Take active steps to make sure records are kept secure, confidential and where possible, restricted.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

For FGM cases, refer to your local safeguarding procedures.


If there is disclosure at a non domestic abuse specialist service or agency:

Risk of serious harm

After completion of the DASH checklist, follow the steps on our risk of serious harm page

Alleged perpetrator works with children

If the alleged perpetrator is in a position of trust working with children, contact the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) by:

Alleged perpetrator works with vulnerable adults

If the alleged perpetrator is in a position of trust working with vulnerable adults, contact Safeguarding on 01344 351500.

Victim is pregnant or has children

If you have concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of harm or neglect, contact the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) 01344 352005.

If the child or young person is made subject to Child Protection or Child In Need, you can make adult victim and perpetrator referrals to Family Safeguarding Model Domestic Abuse workers.

Victim is an adult with care and support needs

If you have concerns that an adult may be at risk of harm or neglect, contact Adult Social Care on 01344 351500.

In all circumstances

For both adults and children:

  • only ask questions about domestic abuse when the individual is on their own and in private
  • document any disclosure, or suspicion of domestic abuse, in professional records kept at your organisation (not in the victim’s hand held records) and record what you are told in their own words
  • document decision making, actions taken to manage risk and rationale for sharing or not sharing information (with or without consent)
  • if you need to use interpreters, make sure they are professional - never use family members, friends or children
  • consider risks associated with communication and correspondence, for example the perpetrator finding letters, leaflets, text messages or phone call logs
  • consider referral to support groups such as Choices from Berkshire Women's Aid, The Freedom Programme and BRAVE (Building Resilience And Valuing Emotions) 
  • consider support for children and young people such as SAFE! and Domestic Abuse Recovering Together (DART)
  • consider referrals to perpetrator services such as Plain Talking and the Respect Phoneline 
  • consider making an application to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare's Law - available for all genders

Out of hours

The out of hours emergency duty team is available for both adults and children from 5pm to 9am and on weekends.

Phone: 01344 351999.