Domestic abuse is abuse that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship. It can be carried out by a current or ex-partner, their family members, your own family members, or the parent of your child. An abuser might involve other family members, friends or members of the community in their abuse.
Abuse is abuse, whether it consists of a single incident or a long-term pattern of behaviour. The definitions below will help you to understand whether you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse.
Controlling or coercive behaviour
Coercive control is a pattern of behaviour used by abusers to instill fear and restrict freedom. It underpins all forms of domestic abuse.
Coercive control involves an abuser repeatedly behaving in a way which makes you feel controlled, dependent, isolated, or scared. The following types of behaviour are common examples of coercive control:
Psychological or emotional abuse
Psychological abuse can be difficult to recognise. It can include:
Physical abuse is the most visible form of domestic abuse. It can lead to permanent injuries, health issues and, at times, death. It can include such behaviour as:
Sexual abuse involves:
Economic or financial abuse
95% of cases of domestic abuse involve economic abuse. Economic abuse can take many forms, including:
Abusers often use technology to carry out their abuse. They may use technology to monitor you in your home, track your location, harass you online, record you without your consent or upload sensitive or private information or images or videos of you online.
Harmful practices are forms of violence which have been committed in certain communities and societies for so long that they are considered, or presented by abusers, to be acceptable cultural practices. Harmful practices include: