Domestic abuse is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse by a person known to you, usually your partner or ex-partner or family member. It is one person exerting systematic abusive power and control over another.
Who does it affect?
It can be experienced by women and men, whatever their race, age, class, colour, ability, religion or sexuality.
It can happen in all kinds of relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
When does it happen?
Abuse can begin at any stage of the relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended.
Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident. Incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time.
Are you a victim?
Does your partner:
- Make you afraid by using looks, actions and gestures like smashing things, destroying property or displaying weapons?
- Act extremely jealous of others who pay attention to you, or use jealousy to justify his/her actions?
- Control your finances, behaviour and even with whom you socialise?
- Threaten to kill you or commit suicide?
- Make all the decisions?
- Stop you from seeing or talking to friends, your family or limits outside involvement with others?
- Act like the abuse is no big deal and that it's your fault?
- Deny that he/she is being abusive or violent?
- Put you down in front of other people, humiliates you or plays mind games and makes you feel as if you are going mad?
- Prevent you from getting or keeping a job?
- Takes your money or does not let you know about or have access to the family income?
- Threatens to take away the children?
- Threatens to kill the pets?
- Become quiet when he/she is around and feel afraid of making him/her angry?
- Cancel plans at the last minute?
- Stop seeing your friends and family members and become more and more isolated?
- Find yourself explaining bruises to family or friends?
- Wear clothing to hide physical injury?
If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions you may be involved in a relationship that is physically, emotionally, psychologically or sexually abusive.
What can I do about it?
Everyone has the right to be safe in their own home and to live free from abuse, threat and fear. There are things you can do to change your life. You can choose what the best and safest option for you is.