What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic Abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.
There are different kinds of abuse that can happen in different contexts. Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Psychological and/or Emotional abuse - belittle you, or put you down, isolate you from your family and friends, tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think.
- Physical Abuse – Punching, slapping, biting, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, burning using weapons
- Sexual Abuse – Using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don't want it, forcing you to look at pornographic material.
- Financial or economic abuse - taking money, controlling finances, not letting someone work
- Harassment and stalking – Following you, checking up on you, spying on you, making unwanted communication, giving unwanted gifts.
- Online or digital abuse – Using technology to threaten and control.
- 'Honour'-based violence: this is abuse seen as 'justified' in order to protect the honour or respect of a family or community, such as forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM).
Who can this happen to?
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.
There are different kinds of abuse that can happen in different contexts. The most prevalent type of domestic abuse occurs in relationships with partners and ex-partners. But the definition of domestic abuse also covers abuse between family members, such as adolescent to parent violence and abuse. It can include:
- Current or previous partners