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Domestic Abuse is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

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.

Anyone can experience domestic abuse and whatever you want to do, there are organisations that can give you advice and help. Although every situation is unique, there are common factors that link the experience of an abusive relationship. Acknowledging these factors is an important step in preventing and stopping the abuse. Women’s Aid have produced a list to help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.

Harassment, stalking, rape, sexual assault, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and honour-based abuse are also types of domestic violence and abuse and you can find further specific information on our support page. 

What support is available for incidents of relationship or familial abuse/domestic violence?

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