Domestic Abuse can take many forms

what is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can be defined as an incident, or patterns of incidents, which could be described as controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent behaviour, often by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality' or background.

There are different kinds of abuse that can happen in different contexts. The most prevalent type of domestic abuse occurs in relationships. But the definition of domestic abuse also covers abuse between family members, such as adolescent or adult child to parent violence and abuse, family or sibling abuse or elder or carer abuse.

Domestic abuse may not always involve violence and physical abuse. It can also include:

  •    Psychological and/or emotional abuse

  •    Financial abuse

  •    Online and/ or digital abuse

  •    Coercive control, including intimidation, degradation, isolation and threats

Sources:; Women's Aid; RISE

how to recognise domestic abuse

emotional abuse

Might include:

  • belittling you, or putting you down

  • blaming you for the abuse or arguments

  • denying that abuse is happening, or playing it down

  • isolating you from family and friends

  • stopping you going out, including to college or work

  • making unreasonable demands for your attention

  • accusing you of flirting or having affairs

  • telling you what to wear, who to see, where to go, or what to think

  • controlling your money, or not giving you enough to buy food or other essential things


  • Might include:

  • threating to hurt or kill you

  • threatening to take your children away

  • destroying things that belong to you

  • standing over you, invading your personal space

  • threatening to kill themselves, or the children

  • reading your emails, texts or letters

  • harassing or following you?

physical abuse

Might include:

  • slapping, hitting or punching you

  • pushing or shoving you

  • pulling your hair

  • biting or kicking you

  • burning you

  • choking you or holding you down

  • spitting on you

  • throwing things