Domestic abuse

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#AskforAni is a domestic abuse code word that stands for Action Needed Immediately.

In pharmacies showing the #AskforAni logo, the pharmacist will safely take you to a private area and provide a phone to call the police or support services.


This council web page shows pharmacies in Tower Hamlets, who have signed up to the scheme. The #AskforAni poster in the window of a support service, shows that help is available there.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is not always physical. If your partner, ex-partner or family member is controlling you, forcing you to do things you don’t want to and they frighten you sometimes, this is domestic abuse. Domestic abuse covers a range of types of abuse, including, but not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • economical
  • or emotional abuse

Controlling and coercive behaviours

Domestic abuse can be prosecuted under a range of offences and describes a range of controlling and coercive behaviours, used by one person to maintain control over another with whom they have, or have had, an intimate or family relationship. Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident.

Controlling and coercing behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. This is a crime. 

This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent on the perpetrator (abuser) by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour. Examples of coercive and controlling behaviour: 

  • Reading messages on your phone
  • Telling you what you can/cannot wear
  • Threatening to tell your family/friends/community that you are gay/lesbian/bisexual
  • Threatening to send your ‘nudes’ to your family/friends 
  • Criticising your parenting skills in front of others 
  • Putting loans in your name 

Economic abuse

Economic abuse is a way to restrict the victim’s economic stability, by restricting access to food, clothing, transport or not dividing Universal Credit. The abuser might restrict your ability to improve your financial situation by not allowing you to study/work, refusing to take care of the children so that you can’t go to work/study. Or they might take out loans in your name, not pay the rent/mortgage/bills or spend your money on their addiction.

Violence against Women and Girls

This Campaign encourages men to lead on awareness raising of male violence against women by wearing a white ribbon and making a promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women. Men can make the promise by signing the White Ribbon online pledge.  Please see our event calendar for public events, which support this theme. There are also a number of professional events, which are not generally published.

Stalking and harassment

‘causing alarm or distress’ under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

It includes repeated attempts to impose unwanted communications and contact in a manner that causes distress or alarm.

Read this article how SmartWater helped a stalking victim obtain proof for stalking, leading to the prosecution of the perpetrator.

Quoted from BBC article: “The first person in the UK has been convicted and jailed for domestic abuse after being sprayed with SmartWater – a forensic liquid which shows up under ultraviolet light. The technology is being trialled by police forces in the hope of keeping women safe.