What is Domestic Abuse & Violence?

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and 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
Controlling behaviour
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
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, or frighten their victim.
You can read more about Coercive Control on the dedicated page on this site
Honour based violence and forced marriage are included in the remit of domestic abuse. You can read about these issues on this site.
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:


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


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


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


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


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