Domestic abuse is when one adult in a family or relationship threatens, bullies, or intentionally hurts another member of the family or relationship either physically, psychologically, emotionally, sexually, or financially.
Domestic abuse can include:
- Physical abuse. This is the most recognisable form of physical abuse and can range from a slap or push, to a broken bone and in the most extreme cases, death. Physical violence usually gets worse over time.
- Sexual abuse. This is when one person uses force or threat to make someone engage in sexual activity.
- Emotional abuse. This includes controlling behaviour, such as not letting them out of their home, making decisions for them, making rumours or talking to family and friends to gain control, mental torture, blackmail, and threats to kill or harm them, a family member, friend, or pet.
- Psychological abuse. This includes stalking, gaslighting (where one person makes another person doubt their own sanity), and manipulating.
- Financial abuse. This is when one person controls the other’s access to and use of finances, and includes stopping them from working, monitoring spending, placing all bills and debts under one name, and withholding money.
Domestic abuse can happen both inside and outside the home, over the phone, on the internet, can happen in any relationship, and both men and women can be abusers. Domestic violence (also called Domestic Abuse) is a crime and a major social problem affecting many families. In 90% of reported domestic violence incidents, children have either been present in the same or a nearby room. It can seriously harm children and young people and domestic abuse is child abuse.