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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is a crime and is unacceptable. It is about power and control. It is rarely a one off incident, but a pattern of abusive and coercive control and can take many forms, often escalating in frequency and severity.

It takes someone experiencing domestic abuse an average of 35 incidents of abuse before they seek help. Domestic abuse affects men, women and children. It can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, sexuality, disability, age, race, social group, wealth, class or lifestyle.

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, for example criticism, isolation, threats
  • physical, for example slapping, pinching, beating, strangulation
  • sexual, for example rape
  • financial, for example withholding money
  • emotional.