Domestic abuse policy

Definition of Domestic Abuse

We use the Government definition of domestic abuse which is defined as;

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, abuse 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 defined as 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 defined as 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.

The definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FMG) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender.

The term Violence Against Women and Girls refers to the following range of serious crime types which are predominantly, but not exclusively, experienced by women and girls: Domestic Violence and Abuse; sexual offences; stalking; FGM; crimes said to be committed in the name of 'honour; forced marriage; prostitution; and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Controlling and coercive behaviour is also defined under section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 as causing someone to fear that violence will be used against them on at least two occasions or generating serious alarm or distress that has a substantial effect on their usual day to day activities.