How do I know it's Domestic Abuse?

Domestic Violence and Abuse Can Happen to Anyone

Domestic abuse is very hidden even though it happens to many people - 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic abuse in their lifetime and from the age of 16 partner abuse is the most commonly experienced form of intimate violence.

Often people think it is an argument or a stormy or volatile relationship when it is actually domestic abuse.  Domestic abuse is the unequal power and coercive control of one partner over the other, it isn't a fight or a disagreement although it can look and feel like that for the victim and for people on the outside.  Perpetrators of domestic abuse also disguise their behaviour to look like an argument when they are actually controlling their partner to gain the power within the relationship.  Co-ercive control became a criminal offence in England & Wales in 2015.

One of the myths of domestic violence is that you have to be physically hit or punched, but there are many other ways of being abusive and violent.  Domestic abuse involves emotional, sexual, financial and psychological abuse as well.

If you have or are experiencing some or all of the following, then it is likely that you are or have been a victim of domestic abuse:

  • Shouting, swearing, called names, told you are stupid, ugly, fat and useless
  • Puts you down in front of other people
  • Gets jealous over nothing, wants to control everything
  • Not allowed to go out or see your family or friends, or given time limits to speak to them
  • Not allowed to text or make a call without saying who you are contacting, or your phone is checked
  • Not allowed to use Facebook or go on-line without your partner watching what you are doing or checking who you are contacting, or stopped from using the computer or your phone at all
  • Had things thrown at you - your phone, the remote control, anything that comes to hand
  • Had your house smashed up around you
  • Been forced or encouraged to drink or take drugs
  • Been forced to have sex or been nagged at until you give in
  • Not allowed any physical contact or affection
  • Not allowed out of the house on your own
  • Find your partner or ex-partner following you or turning up unexpectedly
  • Lies are told about you to your family, friends, neighbours, work colleagues
  • Not allowed any control over money, forced into debt or not allowed any money for yourself
  • Threats to commit suicide if you don't do what they want you to
  • Punching walls and doors, threatened with knives or other weapons
  • Denies anything is wrong when you try to talk about it or sort it out
  • Threatens to harm the children or pets - does harm the children and pets
  • Turns your children against you, threatens to take them off you, uses contact with them as a way of harassing you
  • Threatens to kill you or report you to the police or social services
  • Says that you are making it up, that you are paranoid
  • Breaks your trust and lies to you
  • Even when you have separated your ex partner follows, watches, intimidates or tries to persuade you to return

People experiencing domestic abuse are made to feel it is their fault and they are the ones making this happen.  Many people feel guilty, ashamed, confused and responsible.  Many people don't know who to tell or where to turn for help.  Many people are afraid they won't be believed or they will be judged.

Domestic abuse happens to people from all areas of society, within same-gender relationships, across all ethnicities and cultures and includes forced marriage and so-called "honour based" violence.  It happens to people regardless of age, class, lifestyle, sexuality, income, education, disability or religion.

Domestic abuse creates: fear, depression, anxiety, emotional and physical ill-health, suicidal feelings, self-harm, PTSD, injury, disability, eating disorders, low self-esteem and feelings of anger and despair. 

Please contact us by phone or email and we can support you.

If you are not sure that you are experiencing domestic abuse but you feel concerned or confused about the way you are treated or made to feel by your partner or ex-partner then you can contact us to talk things through. 

If you are afraid for your immediate safety or the safety of a family member, friend of neighbour ring 999. 






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