What is domestic abuse?

Domestic violence or abuse is used by someone to control or obtain power over another person. Common misconceptions is thinking that it is only violent behaviour, however this is not the case.

It can include physical, sexual, psychological, verbal, emotional and financial abuse.
There are many different forms including; sexual violence, human trafficking and modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so-called ‘honour’ based violence.

Anyone who changes their behaviour because they are frightened of how their partner or someone familiar will react, they are being abused.


Recognise the signs

Emotional abuse

• belittle you, or put you down
• blame you for the abuse or arguments
• deny that abuse is happening, or play it down
• disconnect you from your friends and family
• stop you from going out
• make unreasonable demands for your attention
• accuse you of flirting or being unfaithful
• tell you how to dress, who to see, where to go and what to think
• control your money, or not give enough money to buy essential things

Threats and intimidation

• threaten to hurt or kill you
• destroy your belongings
• stand over you or invade your personal space
• threaten to kill themselves or family
• read your emails, texts or letters
• harass or follow you

Physical abuse

• slap, hit or punch
• push or shove you
• bite or kick you
• burn you
• choke you or hold you down
• throw things

Sexual abuse

• touch you in a way you don’t want to be touched
• make unwanted sexual demands
• hurt you during sex
• pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom
• pressure you to have sex

We can help you

We have been providing accommodation, support and outreach services for over 25 years.

We have a confidential domestic abuse phone line that is available 24-hours a day and provides a first point of contact and accessible referral pathway to anyone experiencing domestic abuse.

Find out more about our domestic abuse services