What is Domestic Abuse & Violence?

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse from the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 is: 

Definition of Domestic Abuse:

Behaviour of a person (“A”) towards another person (“B”) is “domestic abuse” if—

(a)A and B are each aged 16 or over and are personally connected to each other, and

(b)the behaviour is abusive.

 

(3)Behaviour is “abusive” if it consists of any of the following—

(a)physical or sexual abuse;

(b)violent or threatening behaviour;

(c)controlling or coercive behaviour;

(d)economic abuse (see subsection (4));

(e)psychological, emotional or other abuse;

and it does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

(4)“Economic abuse” means any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on B’s ability to—

(a)acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or

(b)obtain goods or services.

(5)For the purposes of this Act A’s behaviour may be behaviour “towards” B despite the fact that it consists of conduct directed at another person (for example, B’s child).

(6)References in this Act to being abusive towards another person are to be read in accordance with this section.

(7)For the meaning of “personally connected”, see below

 

Definition of “personally connected”:

(1)For the purposes of this Act, two people are “personally connected” to each other if any of the following applies—

(a)they are, or have been, married to each other;

(b)they are, or have been, civil partners of each other;

(c)they have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);

(d)they have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated);

(e)they are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other;

(f)they each have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child (see subsection (2));

(g)they are relatives.

 
 
Women's Aid have a useful guide to recognising Domestic Abuse
If you or someone else is in immediate danger you should call 999
 
If you would like to speak to someone about domestic abuse you can call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge:
Tel: 0808 2000 247
or visit the website at www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk 

 

Some examples:

Physical:

  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Pushing
  • Driving a car in a dangerous way

Sexual:

  • Rape
  • Calling someone hurtful names like ‘slag’
  • Taking photos of intimate moments without consent

Financial:

  • Not giving a person their money
  • Stopping a person from getting a job
  • Stealing

Emotional:

  • Telling a person they are always wrong
  • Calling a person names
  • Keeping a person away from family and friends

Psychological:

  • Making a person feel scared
  • Making threats to do something