Domestic abuse is any incident or course of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people who are 16 or over and have been, personally connected, regardless of gender. It is important to note that domestic abuse is different in each individual circumstance. What you have experienced is valid. The abuse can encompass but is not limited to: violence or threatening behaviour, psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional abuse. This can include forced marriage, so-called “honour-based” violence and ritual abuse. 

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, frighten, isolate or create dependence. 

There are links and overlap between domestic violence and the continuum of sexual violence. 

If you are being abused, it may help to remember this:

  • You’re not alone, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • You don’t have to deal with this on your own.
  • The abuse is not your fault.
  • Domestic violence is against the law.
For more information and to find out more about using Report and Support, please take a look at these pages


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