Domestic violence is 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.
Controlling behaviour is: acting in a way to make a person feel inferior and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support (e.g friends and family) and taking away their independence, freedom, and controlling their everyday 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.
Domestic violence often use some or all of these types of abuse:
- psychological and emotional (e.g. telling someone they are worthless, saying they are mad, making them do things in an exact way…)
- physical (e.g. hitting, punching, scratching, biting, scalding, pulling hair…)
- sexual ( e.g. forcing someone into sexual activities against their will, using objects violently during sex, forcing someone to have sex with another person when they do not wish to…)
- financial (e.g. preventing them from getting or keeping a job, denying them sufficient housekeeping, having to account for every penny spent…)
Abused people are not weak, submissive victims. It takes huge strength to live with an abusive partner. To survive in that situation you have to be strong and resourceful, adopting all kinds of coping strategies to survive each day.
If you have experienced domestic violence and would like support there are people who can help:
24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline
0808 2000 247
0117 961 2999