What is Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?  

Domestic Abuse can take many forms: 

  • Physical attacks 
  • Harrassment and stalking 
  • Threats 
  • Continual put downs and name calling 
  • Forced sexual abuse 
  • Threatening to take the children 
  • Isolation 
  • Financial control
  • Emotional abuse 
  • Forced marriage and ‘honour crimes’ 

Domestic Abuse has now been legally defined within the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021 as:  

Behaviour of a person towards another person is 'domestic abuse' if the two people are aged 16 or over, and are personally connected and the behaviour is abusive. 

Behaviour is abusive if it consists of any of the following, physical and/or sexual abuse, violent and/or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological, emotional or other abuse. It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a series of incidents.   

This is now a statutory definition as set out in The Domestic Abuse Act 2021. For further details, including what we mean by personally connected please follow this link Domestic Abuse Act 2021 (legislation.gov.uk) 

Signs of Domestic Abuse  

Are you unsure if the relationship you are in or have previously been in is healthy or not? If you can identify one or more of the unhealthy signs it may mean that this relationship is abusive and we would urge you to seek support.  

Signs of a healthy relationship

  • Makes me feel safe
  • Makes me feel comfortable
  • Listens to me
  • Values my opinions
  • Supports what I want to do in my life
  • Is truthful with me
  • Admits to being wrong
  • Respects me
  • Always tries to understand how I feel
  • Likes that I have friends
  • Makes me laugh
  • Trusts me
  • Treats me as an equal
  • Respects my family
  • Understands my need for time alone or with family
  • Accepts me as I am

Signs of an unhealthy relationship 

  • Is possessive
  • Tries to control me
  • Gets violent, loses temper quickly
  • Always blames me
  • Is sexually demanding
  • Keeps me from seeing my friends and family
  • Makes all the decisions
  • Embarrasses me in front of others
  • Hits me
  • Makes me cry
  • Makes me feel afraid
  • Is always 'checking up' on me
  • Takes my money and other things
  • Threatens to leave me if I don’t do what I’m told
  • Teases, bullies and puts me down