What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is controlling behaviour used by one person against another in a relationship, and includes physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse.
Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship - marriage, cohabitation or just dating, and happens regardless of sexuality, profession, age, race, disability, class or lifestyle. There are no typical victims of domestic abuse.
Violence doesn't necessarily start at the beginning of a new relationship, it can happen after many years spent with a partner
Domestic abuse isn't something that only happens to women. Men experience domestic abuse too.
If you are in an abusive relationship you can get help to leave. You are not alone or to blame for the abuse you are suffering.
Examples of domestic abuse
What constitutes domestic violence / abuse?
Domestic abuse can take a number of forms such as:
- Physical assault (being hit, punched, pushed, kicked etc)
- Sexual abuse
- Threats (including threats on your life and threats from the abuser to take their own life)
- Destructive criticism
- Financial abuse (withholding money or benefits, or being prevented from getting or holding down a job)
- Stalking / harassment
- Isolation (from family and friends / contact with the outside world)
- Breaking trust
- Pressure tactics
- Mind games
- Name-calling or put-downs