What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is an action by one person towards another in a domestic setting, involving an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men.
Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Harassment and stalking
- Online or digital abuse
Women are more likely than men to experience multiple incidents of abuse, different types of domestic abuse (intimate partner violence, sexual assault and stalking) and in particular sexual violence.
It is a myth to think that anger, alcohol, substance abuse or stress are reasons for abuse. Domestic abuse is about power and control. Abuse is never right and it’s never your fault.
If you are experiencing abuse please do not stay silent about it. Abuse is not normal and it’s never okay. Help and support is readily available. Talk to us – to someone you trust – there’s a 24 hour helpline 0808 2000 247 – if you’re at risk call 999.