What is Domestic Abuse?

What is Domestic Abuse? Domestic violence and abuse is a pattern of behaviour designed to achieve power and control over a partner or ex-partner. This is achieved through the use of physical, sexual, psychological and financial abuse or through movement restriction and/or social isolation e.g. stopping you from seeing your family and or friends.

The Home Office definition 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’.

What is Domestic Abuse?

The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to

      • psychological abuse
      • physical abuse
      • sexual abuse
      • financial abuse
      • emotional abuse

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.


In an emergency situation always call 999.

If you are safe, but need to report a crime such as criminal damage, physical violence or sexual violence the call the Police on 101.

Call the Stop Domestic Abuse service, formerly SDAS, our domestic abuse team, for advice and support on 023 9206 5494 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 10am-6pm weekends and bank holidays.

The National Centre for domestic violence can help you get an injunction if necessary for your safety.