Early intervention domestic abuse service

What is Breaking the Cycle?

Breaking the Cycle is a new project in Calderdale.  We are based in the Domestic Violence Team at WomenCentre and our remit is to provide an early intervention service to enable the earliest possible identification of domestic abuse in intimate relationships.

We will be taking an assertive outreach approach and whilst based at WomenCentre our work will be community focused. We will be making links with schools, children centres, health professionals who home visit and other professionals who work within the community

The team comprises of 1 Senior Outreach Worker and 3 Outreach Workers

Our role is to support women who are experiencing domestic abuse in all its forms and to offer training to professionals to raise their confidence in working with families where domestic abuse is present. These workers will cover each of the localities in Calderdale. Central Halifax, North Halifax and East, Lower and Upper Valley

We also have 1 Children’s Outreach Worker

This role is to offer direct support to children age 5-18 years old, who may be living in households where there is domestic abuse. This may be via 1:1 support or group work.

What do we mean by Early Intervention?

We would like to begin working with women and their children in the earliest instance before multiple police call outs and children’s social care becomes involved. The women that we are looking to work with will not have FIT workers, social workers, offender managers and other high risk indicators such as those who have been open to MARAC. Research indicates that when abuse becomes entrenched that it is more difficult to have positive outcomes with families and the behaviour may become cyclical.

Referral process

Breaking the Cycle is supported by the Big Lottery Fund

We do not have a referral form as we would like to encourage our multi-agency colleagues to ring and have a discussion to establish whether the referral is an appropriate one and to determine whether the referral meets our very early criteria.

We will accept referrals from the early intervention panels across Calderdale and from other professionals. As part of this early intervention work we recognise that some women will want to self-refer into the service.


Telephone: 01422 386 506 or email: dvteam@womencentre.org.uk

We would encourage an initial conversation with a member of the team who can help to establish which service may be able to help. 

Early warning signs of domestic abuse for women.

These are just a few examples:-

•  Is their partner making themselves indispensable, ie doing the shopping, doing the school run, while she appears to be at home all the time.

•  Are they being criticised, ‘put down’ and laughed at in front of people.

•  Are they watching the clock a lot and possibly anxious about not being late.

•  Do they appear to have limited access to finances.

•  Does she have one child after the other.

•  Does their partner speed in the car knowing that it frightens them.

•  Does their partner threaten to get custody of the children.

•  Does their partner re-home the pets without her knowledge/consent.

•  Is there constant ‘accidents’ i.e. them being locked in, the pram left in their

partner’s car, their partner has taken their bank card.

•  Are there bruises/injuries that appear to have plausible explanations but seem to

be appearing frequently.

•  Do they appear to change into a different person when their partner is around,

eg. more withdrawn or cautious about what they are saying.

Early warning signs of domestic abuse for children

•  Unexplained marks on body

•  Attendance deteriorating at school

•  Lack of concentration

•  Becoming quiet and withdrawn / alienated

•  Developmental delays

•  Reluctance to go home / not able to invite friends home

•  Bullying or being bullied / breaking toys

•  Aggressive or difficult behaviour

•  Low confidence and self-esteem

•  Lack of ability to develop and maintain relationships

•  Decreased mental and physical wellbeing

•  Concerning changes in behaviour

•  Replicating home behaviour (labelled disruptive)