Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between individuals aged 16 or over, who have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

Domestic abuse can come in many forms and does not discriminate; anyone regardless of age, gender, status, race, or religion can be a victim. Domestic abuse can be defined as, but is not limited to:

Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical touch to exert fear, injury or assert control ie hitting, punching, slapping. The use of physical touch or weapons through aggressive, intimidating or disrespectful behaviour.

Sexual abuse is engaging in a sexual act without consent. This includes rape, sexual assault, forcing someone to take part in unwanted, unsafe or degrading acts, and being forced to watch pornography.

Financial abuse is the use of money or finances to exert control by taking or limiting money or possessions. This can also include interfering with employment to stop someone earning money of their own.

Emotional abuse is to continuously or repeatedly make someone feel bad, intimidated or frightened. This can be through many forms such as controlling, criticising or threatening behaviour.

Psychological abuse can be verbal and non-verbal. The abuse is often used to chip away the confidence and independence of victims.

Coercive control is the persistent and deliberate pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour over a period of time, designed to achieve isolation, threats and deprivation.

Domestic abuse can also include honour based violence and forced marriage.

Person crouching with arms folded over her head.

Impact of Domestic Abuse

There’s no right or wrong way to feel after experiencing abuse. The way you react emotionally to domestic abuse will depend on the situation itself and will be entirely personal to you. It is important to know that any feelings or emotions you have are ok and experiencing abuse is never your fault.

Help and Support

If you or someone else is in immediate danger, always call 999. Whether you choose to report anything to the police is entirely your decision. If you would like to report an incident to the police you can call 101; we can support you through this process as well as talk you through any options or questions you have.

If you would prefer not to speak to the police and would like to speak to someone independent then our caseworkers, here at the Victim Care Service, are here when you are ready. We can support you no matter how long ago you experienced the abuse; whether it has been days, weeks or years after an incident.

Our Leading Lights accredited Domestic Abuse Team provide support, risk assessments, safety planning and reassurance in a non-judgmental way. Our caseworkers can work with other agencies across the area to provide the highest quality of support for individuals. We can help you consider your options and come up with any safety plans and support you need for you and your family. We understand it can be difficult to reach out for help, and that’s why whatever you decide to do, we will support you through your journey.

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The Victim Care Service


“I have been battling for two years to be heard and one call from my caseworker and I felt people actually wanted to help me. I felt listened to. I had so much help for both me and my daughter – it was unbelievable”.

Supported for Domestic Abuse. 

“My caseworker could not do more for me. Without her I don’t know where I would be – probably still fighting to be heard”.

Supported for Domestic Abuse.