Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

Definition of Violence Against Women and Girls (United Nations Declaration on Elimination of Violence against Women)

Any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women [or girls], including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.” (1993, Article 1)

It includes:

  • domestic violence and abuse (coercive control, economic, physical, psychological, and sexual)
  • forced marriage
  • faith based abuse
  • harmful practices (including female genital mutilation also known as cutting)
  • honour based violence
  • prostitution and human trafficking
  • sexual exploitation
  • sexual harassment
  • sexual violence and rape
  • stalking.

Men and boys can also experience some forms of VAWG but these crimes are disproportionally perpetrated against women and girls based on their gender.

Read our strategy for ending VAWG in H&F.

How do I contact the police?

If you are in immediate danger call the police on 999.

There are three police stations in the borough. Visit the Metropolitan Police website for more information.

Hammersmith & Fulham Police general number is 101.

Hammersmith & Fulham Police Community Safety Unit (CSU) is on 020 8246 2828 - The CSU investigates hate crimes, including domestic violence, in the borough. Officers are specially trained to deal with these crimes and there is an answer phone for out of hours calls.

Safe Spaces

UK SAYS NO MORE is working with Boots UK, Morrisons, Superdrug and Well pharmacies, HSBC, TSB banks and independent pharmacies across the UK to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse.

How to access a Safe Space

  • Walk into any participating Safe Space in the UK
  • Ask a member of staff at the counter to use their Safe Space
  • You will be shown to the Safe Space which will be a private room
  • Once inside you can use the Safe Space in whichever way works for you. They provide a safe and discrete way to reach out to friends and family, contact specialist support services and start your journey to recovery.

Find a safe space near you: Safe Spaces Locations - UK SAYS NO MORE

MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference)

Please click here for information on our MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference)

  • Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as “Clare’s Law” 

    The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS), also known as “Clare’s Law” enables the police to disclose information to a victim or potential victim of domestic abuse about their partner’s or ex-partner’s previous abusive or violent offending.

    The Act does not change the legal basis under which the police can make a disclosure, but places a duty on the police to have regard to the guidance about the DVDS.

    The DVDS, often referred to as “Clare’s Law”, was implemented across all police forces in England and Wales in March 2014.

    The scheme has two elements: the “Right to Ask” and the “Right to Know”. Under the scheme an individual or relevant third party (for example, a family member) can ask the police to check whether a current or ex-partner has a violent or abusive past. This is the “Right to Ask”. If records show that an individual may be at risk of domestic abuse from a partner or ex-partner, the police will consider disclosing the information.

    The “Right to Know” enables the police to make a disclosure on their own initiative if they receive information about the violent or abusive behaviour of a person that may impact on the safety of that person’s current or ex-partner. This could be information arising from a criminal investigation, through statutory or third sector agency involvement, or from another source of police intelligence.

    A disclosure can be made lawfully by the police under the scheme if the disclosure is based on the police’s common law powers to disclose information where it is necessary to prevent crime, and if the disclosure also complies with established case law, as well as data protection and human rights legislation. It must be reasonable and proportionate for the police to make the disclosure, based on a credible risk of violence or harm.

    To make a request for information visit: Request information under Clare's Law: Make a Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) application | Metropolitan Police

    For more information Clare’s Law visit Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme factsheet - GOV.UK

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Need support?

  • Help for women - The Angelou Service

    The Angelou Partnership has been commissioned by Hammersmith and Fulham Council to deliver the borough’s Violence Against Women and Girls services.

    Angelou contact details

    If you would like to talk about your situation or the situation of someone you know, get in touch:


    Translators are available.

    Outside these hours the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is available 24hrs a day on 0808 2000 247.

    The Angelou Partnership can offer support ranging from increasing safety and understanding the criminal justice system, to enhancing emotional wellbeing. The partnership can support you over the phone, face to face, or in a group format depending on the needs and preferences of the survivor.

    The kind of issues the partnership can help with includes:

    • sexual violence or abuse, including rape and child exploitation
    • domestic abuse, this includes familial as well as partner relations
    • stalking and harassment
    • harmful practices, such as FGM and honour-based violence
    • faith-based violence
    • support tailored to specific backgrounds and needs, such as ethnicity and sexual orientation.


    The Angelou Partnership brings together the specialisms of ten organisations to deliver a streamlined and holistic approach to tackling issues of violence that disproportionally affect women and girls. See more information about these individual organisations: 

    ADVANCE: Lead organisation for the partnership. Specialists working with women who have experienced domestic abuse 

    Women and Girls Network: Engaging and educating younger women 

    Woman’s Trust: Therapeutic support for women ready to explore and recover from their experiences

    Solace Women’s Aid: Holistic and empowering, working alongside survivors to achieve independent lives free from abuse 

    Al Hasaniya: Specialists in domestic abuse within Arabic communities 

    Hestia: For women who have experienced domestic abuse. Specialist in family work, refuges and group work 

    Standing Together Against Domestic Violence: An umbrella organisation which supports access to services and awareness raising 

    Galop: Working with young girls who are lesbians, bisexual, or transsexual where they have experienced domestic and sexual violence and abuse. 

    IKWRO - provides advice and support to Middle Eastern women and girls living in the UK facing ‘honour’ based violence, domestic abuse, forced marriage or female genital mutilation.

    DVIP - With services across London, DVIP work to stop domestic violence and to reduce the harm it causes to women, children and families. 

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  • Who do I contact for housing support?

    We recognise safe accommodation is vital in supporting survivors of domestic abuse, and other forms of violence against women and girls, who are fleeing domestic violence.

    For housing options and advice please use our housing advice contact form.

    For out of hours support (weekends, bank holidays and after 6pm on weekdays) call out of hours housing service on 020 8753 4200. 

    Council tenants can contact their housing officers directly or through the duty lines, which are available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Face-to-face appointments are being limited and residents should try to make contact by telephone.

    North 020 8753 4808 South 020 8753 4327

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  • Safety and security at home

    The borough funds the Sanctuary Scheme which assists survivors of domestic abuse to access extra support to increase safety and security within the home. 

    What is the Sanctuary Scheme?

    Our Sanctuary Scheme works in partnership with ADVANCE, a local voluntary agency that specialises in domestic violence advocacy, providing information, support and advice to people experiencing emotional or physical violence from their intimate (ex) partners.

    The Sanctuary Scheme can help you to stay in your own home while remaining safe from abuse. The scheme helps people who have experienced domestic abuse to increase security and safety within the home and so preventing the need to leave your existing accommodation and support networks.

    Anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse or is in fear of abuse can use this scheme, it doesn't matter whether you are a council tenant, private tenant or own your own home.

    The scheme is monitored and administrated by the housing options and advice service. If you need information about housing options and assistance due to domestic violence, please use our housing advice contact form.

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