What is Domestic Abuse?

Learn more about Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic Abuse (DA) is not the breakdown of a relationship, nor is it when two people argue. DA is about power and control. DA can be one or more of these different types of abuse. They may help you to release if you are a victim of DA

Controlling Behavior

This covers a wide range of behaviors but they all make the you feel inferior, belittled, stupid and have low self esteem. They may make you financially reliant on them, isolate you from your family, friends or professional support (e.g. doctors, health visitors) or they may stop you from working. They may control everyday activities like school runs, shopping etc, they may tell you what to wear, where you can go or what you can do and who you can see. You may not be allowed out without them with you.

Coercive Behavior

This could be assaulting or threats to assault you, intimidation or humiliation, or any other behavior that is used to harm, punish or frighten you. You may never be physically assaulted by the person, but the threat of them hurting you is enough to make you frightened.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse

Again this can include treating you as an inferior, insulting or intimidating you or criticising you. They may swear at you, make racist comments, make you feel unattractive or call you ugly/stupid/useless, take away your independence and your confidence. They could isolate you from your friends and family, threaten to hurt your children or take them away/that authorities will take them into care if you leave or threaten you with a forced marriage. They might threaten to kill themselves if you leave.

Financial Abuse

They may not let you work or study, refuse to give you money, make you account for every penny that you spend, not pay bills and amount debts or take all of your money.

Physical Abuse

This can be throwing objects at you, using objects as weapons, shaking, smacking, grabbing, biting, punching or kicking you, starving you, tying you up, suffocating you or stabbing you. It also includes female genital mutilation and ‘honour violence’

Sexual Abuse

This can include forcing you to have sex or sexual contact, refusing to have safe sex, purposely giving you an STD, forcing you to be filmed or photographed naked, forcing you into prostitution and ignoring any religious prohibitations about sex.

Stalking and Harrassment

Obsessively following you, turning up at your home or work unwanted, repeatedly making unwanted telephone calls, text messages or emails to you.


“Domestic Violence accounts for 1/4 of all violent crime…”

Fact: The police receive one call a minute reporting violent attacks in the home.