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Domestic violence and abuse

Get the facts

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is often about power and control. The abuser will try to control their partner or another family member using a number of methods:

  • violence
  • mind games
  • verbal abuse
  • financial control
  • forced marriage
  • sexual violence or manipulation

We take domestic abuse very seriously and will prosecute those responsible.

Abuse at home that doesn't stop

Abuse rarely happens as a one-off incident. Usually there is a pattern, or cycle, of abuse in which the victim is mistreated, then made to feel loved until the abuse begins again.

Very often victims feel unable to talk about it because the abuser puts pressure on them to “keep quiet” or threatens the victim with further violence. Also, being abused can make a person feel worthless and ashamed, so it can be difficult to talk to anyone about it.

Abuse can affect young people even if they are not being directly abused themselves. Simply witnessing abuse can have a traumatising effect.

Domestic abuse can involve money

When we think of abuse we tend to think of violence, but abusive behaviour is about control in all parts of life. One form of abuse that can be very tricky to escape from is financial abuse. This can be done in many ways:

  • taking control of bank accounts
  • keeping track of every penny the other person spends
  • demanding money

Forced marriage is also a form of abuse:

  • It forces someone, usually a young woman, to get married to somebody that they didn't choose.
  • There may be no violence but threats, verbal abuse and pressure are all forms of abuse
  • It can involve physical and sexual violence.
  • It can sometimes involve being forced to travel to another country.

What are the consequences of domestic abuse?

  • Abuse can have long-term psychological effects on victims and on young people.
  • Abusive situations at home are often complicated, traumatic and destructive.

But there is plenty of help available to those affected by domestic violence and abuse.

Domestic violence and abuse