What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner, ex-partner, a family member, or carer.

Men, women, transgender individuals and children all experience domestic abuse, and can also all be perpetrators of abuse. However, evidence shows that women are disproportionately affected by domestic abuse and the majority of perpetrators are men.  We also know that more individuals who identify as being lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender are disproportionately affected by abuse.

Abuse can begin at any time in a relationship, after a relationship has ended or within a family, and it takes place at all levels of society, regardless of social class, race, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability.  Individuals may experience abuse or be affected by it long after they have left their abuser.

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 abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Economic or financial abuse
  • Stalking and harassment
  • Online or digital abuse

Domestic abuse also includes so called ‘Honour Based Violence’, Female Genital Mutilation, and Forced Marriage.

For further information in relation to the different types of abuse, please follow the below links: