Domestic abuse is any incident of controlling, co-ercive, threatening behavior, violence or abuse:
- between people aged over 16
- who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members
It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity, and can begin at any stage of the relationship.
Domestic abuse can be:
Domestic abuse can also include forced marriage and so-called “honour crimes”.
It’s abuse if your partner or a family member:
- puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem
- controls you, for example by stopping you seeing your friends and family
- is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations
- frightens you
Domestic abuse and safeguarding children
Children who live in families where there is domestic abuse can suffer serious long-term emotional and psychological effects. Even if they are not physically harmed or do not witness acts of violence, they can pick up on the tensions and harmful interactions between adults.
If you are worried about a child living in a family where domestic abuse may be an issue got to: What to do if you’re worried about the safety of a child