In this section

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are/have been intimate partners o family members regardless of gender and sexuality.

Domestic abuse isn't just physical abuse!

It can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse;

  • Psychological
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Emotional


In the year ending March 2018 an estimated 2 million adults aged between 16 to 59 years old experienced domestic abuse (1.3 million females and 695,000 males)

On average a victim will suffer 35 incidents of domestic abuse before seeking help.


Controlling Behaviour

A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape, and regulating their everyday behaviour.


Coercive Behaviour

An act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim. This definition includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.


Referring Domestic Abuse

Where a patient indicates that they have been the subject of domestic abuse Staff are required to complete the Merseyside Risk Identification Tool (MeRIT) form on PENs and refer the patient to the Safeguarding Team via ICE.

The aim of this form is to help Staff identify;

  • high risk cases of domestic abuse, stalking and potential 'honour' based violence victims,
  • To identify which patients need to be referred to MARAC and what other support might be required. 
  • To enable agencies to make defensible decisions based on the evidence from extensive research of cases, including domestic homicides and 'near misses', which underpins most recognised models of risk assessment.

There are domestic abuse support services within the Merseyside area and beyond that the Safeguarding Team can refer on to such as Menkind, South Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service (SLDAS), Savera UK and many more.



For more information on support services available to Sefton residents and the appropriate referral forms, please access