Domestic abuse

Behaviour is abusive if it consists of:

  • physical or sexual abuse
  • violent or threatening behaviour
  • controlling or coercive behaviour
  • economic abuse
  • psychological, emotional or other abuse.

It can happen in family or romantic relationships. It is wrong, and there are services available to support you.

The Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Referral Pathway

The Kent and Medway Referral Pathway gives you more information about domestic abuse, support services and tools to keep you safer.

If you are a professional, you are also able to make a referral to the SAFER scheme. This includes any security upgrades that help survivors to remain in their own homes, if they choose to do so.

Find out about the referral pathway

End Domestic Abuse

Join our campaign by sharing our messages on social media with the hashtag #KnowSeeSpeakOut.

Support services

In Kent and Medway contact Victim Support to access domestic abuse services for an assessment and referral to your local service. To contact Victim Support:

For those with hearing or communication impairments use the Relay UK app or contact them in BSL.

If you live in Medway you can also:


If you would like to go to a refuge (a temporary safe place to live for you and your children) call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

SAFER scheme

The SAFER scheme is our countywide offer of sanctuary for survivors of domestic abuse. It also increases the offer of support within safe accommodation.

24/7 locks have been commissioned to:

  • carry out security assessments
  • provide professional security advice
  • fit security upgrades in the homes of domestic abuse survivors
  • improve home security
  • enable referred service users to feel safer in their homes.

If you are a professional working with a survivor of domestic abuse, refer them to SAFER scheme (where eligible) to get advice on securing property and an installation. You may also refer them to get support for the abuse they have or are facing. This also includes children.

  • It provides more choice and control to survivors.
  • Improves health and wellbeing outcomes.
  • Survivors can maintain local support networks.
  • Avoids escalation of need and provides a preventative measure.
  • Improves safety for all survivors (including children and young people).
  • Improves safe accommodation support offer for underserved groups.
  • Survivors are supported to stay in their own home if they choose to, and where it is safe to do so.
  • Provides a pathway to support for all survivors residing in the property that has been made safer (including children).

  • the person must be aged 16+, live in Kent and has a need to stay in the local area
  • they are not living in temporary or emergency accommodation
  • the perpetrator does not live in, or have legal access to, the property
  • it must be identified as the safest and most appropriate support, consented to by the survivor
  • the landlord or property owner has given consent for the works to be conducted
  • referrals can only be made by a professional on behalf of a survivor.

To make a referral complete the SAFER Scheme referral form.

How the police can help you

In an emergency always call 999. In a non-emergency you can call the police on 101.

If you can’t speak out loud, you can press 55 so that the operator knows you need help. If you need to, the option to video call is available to communicate in BSL. This option is free. Simply visit the 999 BSL website or download the app.

Digital abuse

Digital abuse is when someone using technology:

  • monitors
  • stalks
  • harasses
  • threatens
  • controls
  • impersonates another person.

To find out more on what steps to take to limit the effect and stay safe, which includes deleting internet history, visit the Kent Police website.

Find out more

For further information about helping people live free from abuse, visit our Domestic Abuse Strategy page. You can also learn more about the work we have been doing with the charity White Ribbon which encourages people to take action to end male violence against women and girls.