Domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

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Domestic abuse is any kind of violence or abuse between partners or family members. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, or you know of someone who is, then please get help now.

The government's definition of domestic abuse is as follows 'the behaviour of a person towards another person is domestic abuse if both parties are each aged 16 or over and are personally connected to each other, and the behaviour is abusive'.

Abusive behaviour consists of any of the following:

  • Physical or sexual abuse.
  • Violent or threatening behaviour.
  • Controlling behaviour: acts designed to make a person dependent by isolating them, exploiting resources, and regulating everyday conduct.
  • Coercive behaviour: assault, threats, and intimidation used to harm or frighten victims.
  • Economic abuse: interfering with an individual’s access to economic resources, limiting independence and safety.
  • Psychological, emotional, or other abuse.

Domestic abuse isn't limited to intimate partners. Sometimes, families can collectively abuse a victim. It's also possible for a victim to experience abuse from different family members. Even an older child can take on the role of an abuser and physically harm a parent.

Whether it's a one-time incident or a long-standing pattern, it's never too late to seek assistance. If you're altering your behavior out of fear, recognise that you're being abused. Remember, abuse can affect anyone, regardless of social background, age, gender, religion, sexuality, or ethnicity.

Get support

There are support services that can provide you useful information whether you are a 'victim', friend or family member who is seeking more information or help.

Find out more about housing options if you decide to leave your home or your abuser makes you leave.