What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic Violence and Abuse is:
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence 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 include, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
- Psychological: such as preventing contact with family/friends, threats
- Physical: such as kicking, punching, biting, slapping, restraining, throwing things, burning
- Sexual: such as rape, being forced to participate in sexual acts, being forced to watch pornography
- Financial: such as depriving of money, selling possessions, controlling expenditure, loaning money
- Emotional: such as giving you the silent treatment, name calling/insults, mood swings, criticism, playing on your fears
Controlling behaviour is:
"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:
"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 of domestic violence and abuse is not a legal definition - it includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Find out more about how to spot the signs of an abusive relationship, have your say on the issue and seek help on the Disrespect Nobody website (external link).
How to get help
If you are worried about violence or abuse from your partner, ex-partner or a member of your family, visit our How to get help page for advice.
Or if you are in immediate danger, you should phone the police on 999.
Page last updated:
16 October 2020
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