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Where to get help - for victims of domestic abuse

Details of the help available to those who are victims of domestic abuse can be found on this page.

A summary of this information can also be found on the Domestic Violence and Abuse Leaflet (pdf, 112kb) (opens in a new window). Copies of the leaflet can be obtained from the Dorset County Programme Coordinator.

Please note that recent changes to legislation mean that calls to 084 and 087 numbers will incur a cost. This is made up of an access charge to your telephone company which is charged at pence per minute and a service charge which goes to the service provider. Calls to 0800 and 0808 numbers are now free from mobile phones. Please remember that calls to domestic abuse helplines will show up on itemised phone bills.

If any of the links to documents or web sites on this page are not working please use the feedback facility at the bottom of the page to notify us.

Outreach and helplines

National domestic violence 24 hour freephone helpline 0808 2000 247

You First integrated domestic abuse service (Dorset County)

You First are responsible for outreach, refuge and safe house provision across the County of Dorset (excluding Bournemouth and Poole) as the countywide integrated domestic abuse service. The You First service supports female and male victims aged 16 and over in intimate partner or close family relationships. More information can be found on the You First leaflet (pdf, 308kb) (opens in a new window)

The You First single point of contact team can be contacted on freephone 0800 032 5204 (Please be aware that calls to 0800 numbers may show up on itemised phone bills) or by email . Referrals should be made using the  You First referral form (pdf, 73kb) (opens in a new window).   The service is also available to people who have used it before. If you are in this situation and now need further support please contact the service for free using 0800 032 5204.

Bournemouth floating support service

CRI delivers a floating support service for people affected by domestic abuse in Bournemouth. The service also provides a Pattern Changing Course. You can self refer to this service by calling 01202 209456

Poole outreach service

The Poole outreach service provides support to victims of domestic abuse aged 16 and over living in Poole. There is a drop in at Ted Webster Children's Centre on Fridays from 10am to 12noon. The service also provides a Pattern Changing Course. The service can be contacted on 01202 710777.


Refuges can offer a safe place to stay for victims of domestic abuse who need to leave their homes.

There are two refuges located in Dorset County - one in North Dorset and one in West Dorset. These are part of the You First countywide integrated domestic abuse service and can be contacted via the single point of contact team for free on 0800 032 5204.

In addition there are refuges in Bournemouth and Poole provided by BCHA.

  • Bournemouth 01202 547755

  • Poole 01202 748488 (can take men)

Please note that the refuge numbers are 24 hours and can be used for help and advice when needed.

Safe houses

As part of the integrated service, You First also manages safe houses within Dorset County, offering a safe place to stay for female or male victims of domestic abuse, those at risk of honour based violence (HBV) where a secure location is required or those with older children for whom a refuge setting may not be  suitable. Contact for these is via the single point of contact team for free on 0800 032 5204.

Advice on housing options for victims of domestic abuse

Information on help and support available to victims facing losing their homes or who need support to stay safely in their existing accommodation can be found on advice on housing options.

Dorset Police

Dorset Police will undertake risk assessments with victims, investigate incidents and take positive action against the perpetrator (where there is sufficient evidence to do so), routinely inform Children's Social Services of any incidents involving children and keep victims informed of developments regarding legal proceedings. The police also have specialist domestic abuse officers who help and support victims and these can be contacted by calling 101 (please ask for the Domestic Abuse Unit).

In an emergency always dial 999

Under Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme information can now be requested about the past history of a new partner.

Victim Support

Victim Support can provide support to victims of domestic abuse whether or not it has been reported to the police and regardless of when it happened.  Telephone 0300 30 30 163

For children

For male victims

For people committing domestic violence

Support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community

Legal advice

Many local solicitors are able to help victims of domestic violence and abuse with legal advice and access to civil legal remedies. The National Centre for Domestic Violence (opens in a new window) can also provide legal help and support and can be contacted on 0844 8044 999.  UK call charges and rates (opens in a new window)


There are links between domestic and sexual violence and stalking. The National Stalking Helpline (opens in a new window) can be contacted for free on 0808 802 0300.

Domestic abuse coordinators

Domestic Abuse Coordinators can provide further information on the availability of local and national sources of help for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence but are not able to advise on individual cases.

For Dorset County contact Ian Grant, Programme Coordinator, Community Safety, for Poole contact Lisa Dowry, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Manager and for Bournemouth contact Rachel Young, Domestic and Sexual Violence Coordinator.

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