About Domestic Abuse

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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner, ex-partner, a family member, or carer.

Men, women, transgender individuals and children all experience domestic abuse, and can also all be perpetrators of abuse. However, evidence shows that women are disproportionately affected by domestic abuse and the majority of perpetrators are men.  We also know that more individuals who identify as being lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender are disproportionately affected by abuse.

Abuse can begin at any time in a relationship, after a relationship has ended or within a family, and it takes place at all levels of society, regardless of social class, race, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability.  Individuals may experience abuse or be affected by it long after they have left their abuser.

Please phone 999 and ask for the Police if you are in immediate danger. Domestic Abuse is a crime.

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence and can take different forms.  This can include but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

Emotional abuse: persistently putting you down, isolating you from friends and family, name calling, sulking and checking up on you.

Psychological abuse: verbal abuse, blaming, mind games, criticisms, accusations, emotional abuse, jealous and obsessive behaviour, humiliation, comparisons, manipulation, gaslighting, complete control of a person's life, threats to kill the person or the children, imposed social isolation, sleep deprivation.

Sexual abuse: forcing you to have sex against your will, sexual assault, forced prostitution, degradation, forced penetration, using objects, humiliation, forced to watch or act in pornography.

Economic abuse: preventing a person from getting or keeping a job, taking or controlling money, finances and the things that money can buy such as clothing, transport and a place to live, not permitting access to or withholding family income and/or building up debt in your name, sometimes without your knowledge.

Physical abuse: assault, punches, kicks, hitting, forced imprisonment, biting, strangulation, burning, dragging, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm, using weapons, throwing objects.

Controlling behaviour: 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: 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 includes so-called, honour-based abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

Remember that domestic abuse is not your fault, it is the fault of the person who chooses to abuse.

Last Updated on Tuesday, November 7, 2023

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