Domestic abuse


Domestic violence and abuse is any 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. It can be a single incident or pattern of incidents.

This can include:

  • psychological or emotional abuse – intimidation and threats (for example, about children or family pets) social isolation, verbal abuse, humiliation, constant criticism, enforced trivial routines

  • physical violence – slapping, pushing, kicking, stabbing, damage to property or items of sentimental value, attempted murder or murder

  • physical restriction of freedom – controlling who the victim sees or where they go, what they wear or do, stalking, imprisonment, forced marriage

  • sexual violence – any non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, sexual assault, coercive sexual activity or refusing safer sex

  • financial abuse – stealing, depriving or taking control of money, running up debts, withholding benefits or bank cards

Controlling behaviour is a behaviour that makes another person subordinate or dependent. This can be by various means, such as isolating them from sources of support.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse and it happens in all communities to people from all backgrounds

Taking action

You can report domestic abuse.

Support for victims is available, both locally and nationally.