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Domestic violence and abuse

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, threatening or violent behaviour between those who are or were in a relationship. Domestic abuse can also occur between family members.

It can involve the following:

  • Physical abuse.
  • Sexual abuse and rape.
  • Emotional abuse.
  • Isolation.
  • Controlling behaviour and coercion (see below).
  • Threats and intimidation.
  • Economic abuse and financial control.
  • Forced marriage and honour based violence.

Men and women can both be perpetrators and victims of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can occur within any type of relationship. It can take place when people live together or apart.

Children can suffer long-term harm from living in a household where domestic abuse is taking place.

Experiencing the mistreatment of another person is likely to be regarded as evidence that a child has suffered significant harm.

Controlling behaviour can for example be where one person tells another how to dress, or what to say. It may also include isolating them from sources of support.

Coercive behaviour is where abusive acts, such as threats, form a pattern of abuse which is used to punish or frighten another person.

For more information see our advice pages on:

Domestic abuse

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