Adult Abuse

If you are affected by abuse, or you think a friend or family member may be, scroll down for contact details of specialists who can help you.

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and are in immediate danger please call 999. If you are afraid of being overheard when you dial 999 there is a system in place – ‘Silent Solution’. If you can respond to questions by coughing or tapping the handset you can do this, alternatively when prompted press 55 to activate Silent Solution and the operator can transfer the call to your local police force as an emergency.

You During the Coronavirus pandemic you can leave your home to escape abuse

From May 1st, victims of domestic abuse can also find Safe Spaces in all Boots pharmacies. As part of the Hestia Charity UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, those living with abusers or who need somewhere to go to safely collect their thoughts, call a helpline or find support can do so in any Boots pharmacy

Women fleeing domestic abuse can now access free train travel to refuge accommodation, through Women’s Aid’s new ‘Rail to Refuge’ scheme.

If you are a survivor who would like to access the Rail to Refuge scheme, please contact the Women’s Aid Live Chat service. Their trained support workers will be able to advise you.

There are different kinds of abuse and it can happen anywhere. It occurs when someone exploits another person or treats them in a way that harms or hurts them. It can happen once or on multiple occasions. People who abuse are not always strangers. They can also be: partners, relatives, a friend, neighbour or carer.

Types of Abuse

Some of the different types of abuse are described below.

Domestic abuse

is when abuse occurs between partners, former partners or by a family member. It can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse as well as ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Physical abuse

is when someone is physically harmed by another person, for example through assault, such as slapping, pushing, kicking or rough handling. It can also include the misuse of medication, or inappropriate sanctions or restraint.

Sexual abuse

relates to any sexual activity which the adult has not consented to, was not able to consent to or was pressured into consenting to. This can include rape, sexual assault or harassment, sexual photography, subjection to pornography or inappropriate touching.

Psychological abuse

includes emotional abuse, verbal assault, intimidation, bullying, cyber bullying, abandonment, threats of harm, humiliation or blaming. Any unjustified withdrawal of services or support networks is also a form of psychological abuse, as is not letting the person have choices or ignoring their wishes.

Modern slavery

is when individuals are coerced, deceived or forced into a life of abuse, servitude and inhumane treatment. This can be through human trafficking, forced labour or domestic servitude.

Financial or material abuse

relates to theft, fraud, internet fraud/scams, exploitation or pressure in connection with financial affairs or arrangements. It can also include the misuse or misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.

Discriminatory abuse

is when a person suffers ill-treatment or harassment because of their race, gender, cultural background, religion, physical and/or sensory impairment, sexual orientation or age. This can be referred to as hate crime.

Organisational abuse

is where an adult is placed at risk through poor professional practice and/or organisational failings. It can be a one-off incident or ongoing ill-treatment or neglect. This abuse can happen when care and support is provided at home or within an institution or care setting, such as a hospital or residential home.


is when someone deliberately or unintentionally causes a person to suffer by failing to provide the required medical or physical care. This may include failing to provide access to appropriate health, social care or education. This can result in their essential day to day needs, such as: medication, food, drink and heating, being denied.


is when a person’s behaviour, such as neglecting to care for personal hygiene, health or surroundings, has a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing. It can include behaviour such as hoarding


If you are affected by abuse, or you think a friend or family member may be, there are specialists who can help you.

If you think a friend or family member may be experiencing domestic abuse, see Citizens Advice’ guidance on how you can talk to them about it and direct them to places where they can get further help.

All Adult Abuse

Contact Kent County Council on 

  • 03000 41 61 61 or
  • 03000 41 91 91 outside of normal office hours,

or if someone is in immediate risk, dial 999. Support will be provided by specially trained people to victims of abuse and those who report it

Domestic Abuse

Ashford Domestic Abuse One Stop Shop 

Closed during the Coronavirus outbreak
please use on of the other services listed

offers free advice, information and support from a range of agencies under one roof to help victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can affect anyone and therefore, if you are a man or a woman and would like to discuss your issues, you are welcome to attend. No appointment is required just turn up.
The Willow Centre, Brookfield Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 4EY
Telephone: 07598 74504
Opening times: Every Tuesday morning 9.30am – 12.30pm

Domestic Abuse Support in Kent website, a resource covering Kent and Medway providing advice and information on services for victims, friends & family, and perpetrators of Domestic Abuse.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline
Call, 24-hours a day, for free and in confidence.

offers a range of services which gives women and children access to professional support whatever their situation.

Women’s Aid
provides services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

Citizens Advice online advice on domestic abuse, where you’ll find lots of organisations that can help.

Elder Abuse

Hourglass Confidential helpline provides information and support to anyone concerned about harm, abuse or exploitation of an older person.

0808 808 8141