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Domestic abuse

Published on 08 February 2022

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What is domestic abuse?

The Government website defines domestic abuse as "'Any incident or pattern of incidents 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 regardless of gender or sexuality."

Types of domestic abuse

There are several different types of abuse, including but not limited to:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse

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What are the signs of domestic abuse?

There are many signs to look out for, if you are experiencing any of these then please contact one of organisations listed on this page.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse typically involves non-physical behaviour that is meant to control or isolate a person.

Does your partner or someone you live with ever do any of the following? 

  • Belittle you
  • Blame you for abuse or arguments
  • Downplay or deny the existence of abuse
  • Isolate you from your family and friends
  • Stop you leaving the house
  • Make unreasonable demands for your attention
  • Accuse you of having an affair or flirting with others
  • Tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go
  • Monitor your social profiles or use GPS to track you

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Coercive Control

Coercive Control is a pattern of behaviours or actions that control the victim through fear. Examples of these behaviours include:

  • Isolating you from friends and family
  • Depriving you of basic needs
  • Monitoring your time, and the time you spend online (possibly through online communication tools)
  • Taking control over everyday aspects of your life, including when you leave the house, who you spend time with, where you work etc
  • Depriving you of access to support services
  • Controlling your finances
  • Degrading or humiliating you

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Threats and Intimidation

Threatening or intimidating behaviour is designed to frighten someone into complying with the abuser. 

Does your partner or someone you live with do any of the following?

  • Threaten you with violence or death
  • Destroy your possessions
  • Invade your personal space while behaving threateningly 
  • Threaten to kill themselves or your family
  • Read your emails, text or letters
  • Harass or follow you

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Physical Abuse

An abuser may use any or all of the following behaviours to hurt someone:

  • Slapping
  • Hitting/Punching
  • Shoving
  • Biting
  • Kicking
  • Choking
  • Throwing objects

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Sexual Abuse

Does your partner or someone you live with do any of the following?

  • Touch you in a way you do not want to be touched
  • Make unwanted sexual demands
  • Hurt you during sex
  • Pressure you to have sex
  • Pressure you to have unsafe sex (e.g. not using a condom)

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Financial Abuse

Everyone has the right to make independent financial decisions. If your partner or someone you live with is controlling your financial affairs in any of the following ways then you should seek help with an organisation listed on this page.

Does your partner or someone you live with:

  • Force you to take out money or get credit in your name?
  • Make you hand over control of your accounts or lock you out of them?
  • Add their name to your account?
  • Cash in your pension or cheques without your permission?
  • Ask you to prove what you've spent money on?
  • Control what you can and can't spend money on?

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If someone you know changes their behaviour because they’re frightened of how their partner or someone they’re living with will react, they’re dealing with abuse.

Or download the free Bright Sky app to find support and information for anyone who may be in an abusive relationship or concerned about someone they know.:

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The Make a Stand pledge 

Since 2018, we’ve supported the Chartered Institute of Housing's ‘Make a Stand’ campaign. Our four pledge commitments are: 

Pledge one 
Put in place and embed a policy to support customers who are affected by domestic abuse. 

Pledge two 
Make information about national and local domestic abuse support services available on our website and in other appropriate places so that they are easily accessible for customers and staff. 

Pledge three 
Put in place an HR policy, or amend an existing policy, to support members of staff who may be experiencing domestic abuse. 

Pledge four 
Appoint a champion at a senior level in our organisation to own the activity we are doing to support people experiencing domestic abuse.