Domestic Violence is: -
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,
violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners
or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.” (Including emotional abuse, Female Genital Mutilation FGM, Honour Based Violence HBV, Forced Marriage FM, DASHH and Sexual Violence SV"
The UK government’s definition of domestic violence is "any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional."
Domestic abuse can look different for every victim but can include:
Physical violence - including hitting, punching, smacking, kicking, choking and using weapons.
Emotional abuse - making somebody else feel intimidated or bad about themselves or scared by using threatening or controlling behaviour or constant criticism.
Sexual abuse - forced or pressured into having sex without your consent, or being made to participate in unwanted sexual activity.
Online abuse - sharing pictures without your consent or criticising you online.
Financial abuse - denying you access to your money by withholding bank cards or setting you a budget.
Coercive control - a pattern of threats, humiliation and intimidation which is used to control you.
Forced marriage - married without consent or forced to stay against your will.
Honour-based violence - when it is believed that a victim has bought shame on the family and/or community by breaking an honour code.
Female genital mutilation - (FGM) the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia.
The first signs that you may be in an abusive relationship:
Relationships are important to all of us. It is so important if you are reading this because you are starting to feel unsafe that you consider your relationship carefully and think about what is causing you to be worried.
- Are you feeling unsafe?
- Are you scared of how your partner will react to certain situations?
- You feel frightened when your partner is angry because there is no way predict their behaviour.
- Are you becoming much more critical of yourself — do you thinK of yourself as stupid, or fat, or feel that you do not deserve your partner?
- Are you feeling the pressure to move the relationship further faster than you want to.
- Do you think your partner is right about everything.
- Do you stay in more and see a lot less of your family and friends.
- Do you have a ‘dreaded’ feeling more frequently.
- Are you feeling more stressed or worried, having lots more headaches, have had a change in eating or sleeping habits, feel nauseous or anxious all the time.
- Do you avoid speaking your mind because you do not want to anger your partner.
- Do you feel a pressure to change who you are.