Skip to main content
Text size

Safeguarding concerns and support

Abuse, Safeguarding, Hate Crime and Domestic Violence - Help

This page is about safeguarding and getting help related to abuse, hate crime and domestic violence in St Albans District.

Domestic violence Toggle accordion

Government statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their life. Domestic abuse is much more widespread than many people realise. Anyone from any background can suffer. 

Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (physical, sexual, mental, financial or emotional) between adults who are, or who have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality. This definition has been extended to include controlling and coercive behaviour, to highlight that it's not just physical violence that makes a relationship abusive. 

Domestic violence or abuse are serious crimes. Agencies in the District are working to encourage greater reporting of the crime and to develop services provided to the victims. The local Domestic Abuse Forum aims to reduce repeat victimisation and to improve the safety and wellbeing of the victims and the children involved in domestic abuse. 

Within the District there are specially trained Domestic Violence Officers who can help and support victims of domestic abuse. They can also advise on legal issues, court procedures, assistance with civil applications and what to do in an emergency. The new domestic violence disclosure scheme allows the police to disclose information about a partner's previous history of domestic violence or violent acts.

The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse line (a confidential free phone information line open Monday – Friday 9am to 9pm and weekends 9am to 4pm.) Tel: 08 088 088 088

  • Herts Police  - information on domestic violence
  • Women’s Aid - national charity supporting a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.
  • Herts Sunflower – supporting people of any age or gender affected by domestic violence or hate crimes. There have centres in Hemel Hempstead, Watford and Cheshunt and a drop-in centre in Hatfield. The have advice too on honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
  • Gallop - support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing hate crime and domestic violence. 
  • Safer Places - has a chat feature on their website - you can use it to speak to someone directly. 

Hate crime Toggle accordion

Hate Crime is a criminal offence involving harassment, victimisation, intimidation or abuse of a person because of their race, faith, religion, disability or because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Hate crime can take many forms. It can be harassment, threats, bullying, people swearing at you, disputes with your neighbours, spitting or insulting gestures and physical attacks. If you have been harassed, abused or assaulted because of who you are or what you believe in, then you are a victim of hate crime. 

The Police encourage victims and witnesses to report hate crimes and hate incidents. All reports will be taken seriously and treated sensitively. 

  • Report a hate crime - (you can also call the Police non-emergency number 101 (or 999 if there is an immediate threat to life or property) 
  • Victim Support - volunteers are specially trained to offer practical help and emotional support. They can be contacted on 0845 30 30 900.

Safeguarding is everyone's business and responsibility. We all have a part to play in preventing, identifying and reporting neglect and abuse of children and vulnerable adults. 

The Council works with other agencies/organisations to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Safeguarding - children and adults Toggle accordion

The health, safety and welfare of children, young people and adults at risk is of the highest importance to St Albans City and District Council and we are committed to our duties under the Children Act and the Care Act to safeguard children and adults at risk. 

Our safeguarding policy applies to children, young people and adults at risk regardless of age, ability, belief, culture, disability, gender. language, race, religion or sexuality.

A child is defined as someone who has not yet reached the age of 18.

An adult at risk is defined as any person aged 18 years and over who is, or may be, in need of community care services by reason of age, illness, learning or physical disability, mental health issues or sensory impairment, and who is or may be unable to take care of themselves or unable to protect themselves against significant harm or serious exploitation.

When it comes to Safeguarding, the Council aims to maintain the highest standards of professional practice. Our policy and procedures reflect guidance contained in the Hertfordshire Safeguarding Board's Procedures and Government Guidance.

Abuse can take a variety of forms including domestic abuse, emotional abuse, exposure to extremism, financial abuse, modern slavery, neglect, and physical and sexual abuse.

If a child or adult at risk is in immediate danger call 999.

If you are concerned that abuse could be taking place but there is no immediate danger, please call or visit: 


Help and care for victims of crime Toggle accordion

Hertfordshire Beacon offers confidential support to people who have been victims of crime – it is your gateway to victim services in Hertfordshire.