Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG)

This section aims to provide information about Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), including our local research that is specific to victims and offenders of VAWG.

What is VAWG?

VAWG stands for “violence against women and girls”, and refers to forms of violence that primarily affect women and girls. Domestic abuse and sexual violence remains a very gendered issue, with the majority of victims being women and girls and the majority of perpetrators being men. However, that is not to say that men and boys cannot be victims.

The Home Office definition is as follows:

“‘Violence against women and girls’ covers a range of unacceptable and deeply distressing crimes, including rape and other sexual offences, stalking, domestic abuse, ‘honour’-based abuse (including female genital mutilation, forced marriage and ‘honour’ killings), ‘revenge porn’ and ‘upskirting’, as well as many others. These crimes disproportionately affect women and girls. Men and boys can also be victims of violence and abuse…” (Home Office, 2021, Section 2.1).

More information on violence against women is available at the World Health Organisation (WHO) website here: Violence against women (

What is Domestic Abuse?

The UK government defines domestic abuse as:

“The Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is: ‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

• Psychological
• Physical
• Sexual
• Financial
• Emotional

‘Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive 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.” (Home Office, 2013, p. 2)

What is Sexual Violence?

The World Health Organization defines sexual violence as:

“Sexual violence is “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting. It includes rape, defined as the physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration of the vulva or anus with a penis, other body part or object.”” (WHO, 2021).

Local Research

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Partnership, hosted by Cambridgeshire County Council has commissioned the Policy and Insight Team to produce a VAWG Needs Assessment. The geographical scope of this needs assessments primarily includes Cambridgeshire and Peterborough as a whole, with comparison with national data where feasible. This needs assessment has sought to deepen our understanding of the prevalence, nature and types of both domestic abuse and sexual violence occurring within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Click on the below image to access the Violence Against Women and Girls Needs Assessment report:

See the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Partnership (DASVP) website.



If you, or someone you know, have been affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence, the following organisations may be able to help.
Further information on sources of support are provided on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Domestic abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership Website:

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis:

Phone: 01223 245888
Website: Cambridge & Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership – CAPRCP

Cambridgeshire Victim and Witness Hub:

(Open 8.00am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 5.00pm on Saturdays)
Phone: 0800 781 6818
Website: Victim Services | Cambridgeshire & Peterborough (

Cambridge Women’s Aid:

Safe refuge phone: 01223 460947
Community outreach support phone: 01223 361214
Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Website (web chat available on Wednesdays 3pm to 5pm): Cambridge Women’s Aid – Supporting women affected by domestic abuse (

Domestic Abuse Support Service (DASS):

Free phone: 0300 373 1073

Peterborough Women’s Aid:

Refuge line phone: 01733 595022
Advice line phone (Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 4pm):  01733 894964
Website: Peterborough Women’s Aid – A Brighter Future (

The Elms Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC):

Phone: 0800 193 5434



Information and support for domestic abuse.
Website (web chat available):

Rape Crisis England and Wales Rape and Sexual Abuse Support line:

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
Phone: 0808 500 2222

NHS Sexual Assault Referral Centres:

England: & Wales: Help after rape and sexual assault – NHS (
Scotland: Turn to SARCS | NHS inform

Domestic and Sexual Abuse Helpline – Northern Ireland:

Phone: 0808 802 1414
Website: Home – DSA Helpline


A helpline run by Galop for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual violence.
(Open Monday to Thursday 10:00am to 8:30pm; Friday 10:00am to 4:30pm)
Phone: 0800 999 5428
Website: Galop – the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity


Supports survivors of child sexual abuse, violence and trauma.
Phone: 0208 697 2112

So Called Honour Based Violence

National Honour Based Abuse Helpline run by Karma Nirvana.
Phone: 0800 5999 247

Support for forced marriage, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), and So Called Honour Based Violence.
Contact form available on the website.

National Male Survivor Helpline

A helpline for male survivors of sexual violence and abuse.
Phone: 0808 800 5005
Text: 07860 065187
Website (web chat available):