Relationship abuse is any incident or course of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, personally connected, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. 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. 

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: 
  • Psychological 
  • Physical 
  • Sexual 
  • Financial 
  • Emotional 
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. 

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