No-one should live in fear of abuse or violence from a spouse, partner or any other member of their household. Domestic abuse affects the whole family. Don't suffer in silence, talk to someone that can help.
The definition of domestic abuse 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. This includes, but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
- Domestic violence and abuse can be actual or threatened and can happen once every so often or on a regular basis.
- It can happen to anyone, in all kinds of relationships.
- People suffer domestic abuse regardless of their social group, gender, class, age, race, disability, sexuality or lifestyle.
- The abuse can begin at any time – in new relationships or after many years together.
- Children are affected by domestic abuse both in the short and long term.
In an emergency, always dial 999 - if you are unable to speak always press '55' when prompted to confirm an emergency.
If you are worried that you, or someone you know, is in an abuse relationship, you must report it.
Find out what local support is available:
Signs of Domestic Abuse
There are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about someone having power and control over you. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship.
Does your partner ever:
- belittle you, or put you down?
- blame you for the abuse or arguments?
- deny that abuse is happening, or downplay it?
- isolate you from your family and friends?
- stop you going to college or work?
- make unreasonable demands for your attention?
- accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
- tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
- control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?
- monitor your social media profiles, share photos or videos of you without your consent or use GPS locators to know where you are?
Threats and intimidation
Does your partner ever:
- threaten to hurt or kill you?
- destroy things that belong to you?
- stand over you, invade your personal space?
- threaten to kill themselves or the children?
- read your emails, texts or letters?
- harass or follow you?
The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways. Does your partner ever:
- slap, hit or punch you?
- push or shove you?
- bite or kick you?
- burn you?
- choke you or hold you down?
- throw things?
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone. Does your partner ever:
- touch you in a way you do not 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?
Have you ever felt afraid of your partner?
Have you ever changed your behaviour because you're afraid of what your partner might do?
If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, there are lots of people who can help you.