Report domestic abuse

  1. Report domestic abuse
  2. What is domestic abuse (You are here)
  3. What to do if you are experiencing abuse
  4. Get help with domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse

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

It includes - but is not limited to - the following forms of abuse: 

  • Psychological abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Emotional abuse

Controlling behaviour is defined as a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by regulating their everyday behaviour to:

  • Isolate them from support
  • Exploit their resources and capacities for personal gain
  • Deprive them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape

The term coercive control help us understand domestic abuse as a pattern of behaviour which seeks to take away the victim’s liberty or freedom, to strip away their sense of self and erode their human rights.

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