Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse refers to an incident or pattern of incidents where threatening, controlling or coercive behaviours are used to abuse someone either mentally or physically, between family members or intimate partners.

Domestic abuse comes in many forms, including: 

  • physical abuse: hitting, punching, pushing, choking or the use of weapons to hurt someone;
  • sexual abuse: forcing someone into having sex, unwanted sexual activity, or forcing them to watch pornography;
  • financial abuse: taking control of finances, stealing money or preventing someone from working;
  • emotional abuse and coercive control: constantly making someone feel scared or bad about themselves, blackmailing, stalking and playing mind games;
  • online abuse: using modern technology to isolate, control or humiliate someone; and
  • honour-based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Female looking scared on the phone

Impact of Domestic Abuse

There’s no right or wrong way to feel. The way you react emotionally to domestic abuse will depend on the situation itself and will be entirely personal to you.

After experiencing domestic abuse, you might feel one or more of the following:

  • scared;
  • as though you’re not in control;
  • nervous or anxious;
  • isolated;
  • lack of confidence;
  • helplessness.

What can I do if I’m experiencing domestic abuse?

Begin by calling the police on 101, if you feel able to do so. If you’re in immediate danger, call 999.

If you prefer not to speak to the police but would like to speak to someone independent then the Victim Care Service is here when you are ready. We can support you no matter how long ago you experienced this abuse, and for as long as you need.

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.