Domestic abuse

You can get free and confidential help from a number of organisations in Oxfordshire.

Getting help

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service (ODAS) Helpline - 0800 731 0055

Open Monday – Friday 10am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 4pm.

The freephone number will not show on your telephone bill but may appear on an itemised mobile phone bill.

Reducing the risk

One in 10 lives is being affected by domestic abuse. If that includes you or someone you know, get help and support by visiting for a list of organisations and contact that may be able to help.

Children and young people

It is emotionally damaging for children to live in a home where there is domestic abuse. People experiencing domestic abuse often worry about what will happen to their children if they tell someone. Organisations will support you to ensure that they are protected from the effects. There is help for you and your children to be safe and reduce the risk.

Definition - domestic violence and abuse

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.

Behaviour is abusive if it consists of any of the following:

  • physical or sexual abuse
  • violent or threatening behaviour
  • controlling or coercive behaviour
  • economic abuse; or psychological, emotional or other abuse.  This includes incidences where the abusive party directs their behaviour at another person (for example, a child).  Economic abuse means any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on someone’s ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services.

This incorporates harmful traditional practices for example but not limited to ‘honour’ killings, forced marriage and female genital mutilation. 

What 'personally connected' means

'Personally connected' means two people who:

  • are, or have been, married to each other
  • are, or have been, civil partners of each other
  • have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been ended)
  • have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been ended)
  • are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other
  • have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child
  • are relatives.

Children as victims of domestic abuse

  • Sees or hears, or experiences the effect of, the abuse and is related to either person
  • The person is a parent of or has parental responsibility for, the child
  • The child and person are related
  • Child means a person under the age of 18 years

Legal definition

For the full legal definition of domestic abuse, see Part 1 of the Domestic Abuse Act..

Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy 2021 – 2024

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 brings wide-reaching changes in protective legislation and introduces a statutory duty on all local authorities to provide safe accommodation support services.

The Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy 2021 – 2024 outlines how Oxfordshire will implement the statutory duties associated with the provision of safe accommodation, as required by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.

The Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Safe Accommodation Strategy is being developed and delivered alongside the broader Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Strategy 2019-2024, which is currently in the process of being updated.