Domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men. It can begin at any stage during a relationship or after a relationship has ended.
Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse .
- Physical or sexual abuse.
- Financial or economic abuse.
- Harassment and stalking.
- Online or digital abuse.
Am I in an abusive relationship?
Think about your relationship with your partner or ex-partner and the way they behave towards you. Try to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the following questions:
- Have you ever changed something about yourself because you were worried about what they would do or say?
- Are you ever afraid of your partner or ex-partner?
- Have they ever made it hard for you to see your family or friends?
- Do they make you feel as though nothing you ever do is right?
- Do they check up on you and always want to know where you are and who you are with?
- Have they ever tried to stop you getting a job or going to work or college?
- Has your partner or ex-partner ever threatened you or your children?
- Do they make you feel as though you are walking on eggshells?
- Do they tell you that anything that goes wrong is your fault?
- Have they ever destroyed any of your belongings?
- Have they ever physically harmed you or made you scared that they might?
- Does your partner or ex-partner call you names and make you feel bad about yourself?
- Do they give you the silent treatment when you don’t do what they want?
- Have they ever threatened to show intimate pictures of you to other people if you don’t do what they want?
- Do they ever make you feel guilty to get you to do things?
- Have they ever threatened to hurt themselves if you were to leave?
- Do they control all your money?
- Do they use the children against you by telling you that if you leave they will take the children?
- Do they accuse you of cheating or flirting with other people?
- Do they check your phone or your social media accounts to see who you are in contact with?
- Has your partner or ex-partner ever gone on and on at you to get you to have sex?
- Do they make you feel as though there is something wrong with you?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you may be experiencing domestic abuse. Nobody deserves to be treated this way.
These are only some examples of the signs of domestic abuse, so even if you answered ‘no’ to all of these questions, it is still possible that you may be experiencing domestic abuse.
If you feel unsafe or need help to leave the relationship please take a look for your local domestic abuse support service.