What is domestic abuse?
Find out more about the forms domestic abuse can take
Domestic abuse can be classified as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour. It may also include violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over, family members and current or previous sexual partners; regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Those living with domestic abuse could experience any combination of the following:
- Physical Tactics
- Pushing and shoving
- Pinching or pulling hair
- Using a weapon
- Physically abusing or threatening to abuse children
Verbal, Emotional, and Psychological Tactics
- Controlling where the victim goes, who he or she talks to, and what he or she does
- Isolating victims from friends and family
- Accusing the victim of infidelity to justify the perpetrator's controlling and abusive behaviours
- Denying the abuse and physical attack
- Monitoring phone calls, emails, texts and letters, checking up on victim, following them, not letting them go out alone.
Most domestic abuse includes emotional abuse, which can include such tactics such as:
- Using degrading language, insults, criticism, or name calling.
- Sulking pressure tactics, lying to their partner/family member victim, or to friends and family about them.
- Refusing to talk
- Engaging in manipulative behaviours to make someone believe he or she is "crazy" or imagining things.
- Humiliating, both privately and/or in the presence of other people.
- Laying the blame for their abusive behaviour with the person experiencing the abuse
The impact of emotional abuse may be even more devastating than physical assault - and have much longer term effects - yet most of the above behaviours are not crimes, and it's therefore much more difficult to obtain protection, or even to get others to take them seriously
- Threats and Intimidation
- Breaking and smashing objects or destroying personal property.
- Glaring or staring to force compliance; Intimidation by exhibiting certain physical behaviours or gestures.
- Instilling fear by threatening to kidnap or seek sole custody of the children.
- Threatening acts of homicide, suicide, or injury;
- Harming pets or animals
- Stalking and harassment;
- Displaying or making implied threats with weapons;
- Making or threatening to make false allegations to the police.
Control in and outside the home
- Being treated like a servant
- Making all decisions; stopping a partner/family member from obtaining employment or an education
- Withholding money, prohibiting access to family income, or lying about financial assets and debts
- Forcing any income to be handed over
- Stealing money
- Refusing to contribute to shared or household bills
- Neglecting to comply with child support orders.
- Raping or forcing unwanted sexual practices
- Forcing the victim to have an abortion or sabotaging birth control methods
- Engaging in a pattern of extramarital or other sexual relationships
- Sexually assaulting the children