Domestic abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

Call 999 if you or someone that you know is in immediate danger of a Domestic Abuse incident

Call 101 if you want to report something that has happened or if you want to seek advice.

Domestic Abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality.  In this definition family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.

What support do we provide?

Here at South Yorkshire Police we take all Domestic Abuse, Rape and Sexual Assaults very seriously providing support and advice from our Public Protection Unit as well as our partner agencies.

Domestic Abuse Action Plan for South Yorkshire 2014/15

An inspection of South Yorkshire Police's response to domestic abuse was carried out by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in December 2013. They found that tackling domestic abuse is a priority for the Force and the public can have confidence that their local police are committed to providing a good response to victims of domestic abuse. Following their inspection and subsequent report, HMIC asked all forces across the country to publish a Domestic Abuse Action Plan, explaining what actions police will take to further improve their response. A copy of South Yorkshire Police's Domestic Abuse Action Plan is available for you to read here.

Witness Care Unit

Witness Care Units (WCUs) are in place to give practical help and moral support to victims and witnesses. A Witness Care Officer will be arranged for you who will be your single point of contact from charge through any/all court proceedings.

A full ‘needs assessment’ is carried out to recognise the help you require to make sure you can attend court. There is nothing to worry about as practical difficulties such as childcare, transport and language difficulties would all be included in this assessment.

By providing better information, reassurance and support to you, we hope that you will feel more confident when attending court.

Specialist Domestic Violence Courts

Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVCs) are now in operation across South Yorkshire, functioning in Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley.

SDVCs are committed in making you feel as safe as possible, make sure that all staff working within the SDVC are specially trained and have in-depth knowledge into this crime including the magistrates.

The SDVCs provide a programme of services to make the experience of going to court a better one it also includes special measures for you including screens and video links when giving evidence.

Independent Domestic Violence Advisors

Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) are trained professionals who provide a support service to victims of Domestic Violence who are generally at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members, with the primary goal of ensuring safety to you and your children.  They can also provide impartial advice, as they are independent of the Police service.

IDVAs are an essential link when providing support to victims; they also represent victims at Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs), housing, criminal and civil procedures. They can also provide information on additional support should you require the support of other agencies.


Open booklet below for more advice and details of local support groups:


South Yorkshire Police does not endorse the views of any third party.