The UK Government's definition of domestic violence is:
“any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”
Abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse
- Coercive control/emotional abuse
- Digital/online abuse
- Honour-based violence
- Forced marriage
- Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Who does it effect?
- Domestic abuse and violence can be experienced by anyone, irrespective of age, gender, sexuality, ethnic group, social status or financial income.
- Some people, particularly women, are more likely to be victims.
- The barriers to safety are multiplied for those people who experience multiple forms of discrimination e.g. BAME women, disabled people, and LGBTQ + victims/survivors e.g. those from LGBTQ+ community may find they face abuse if living with family who are hostile to their sexuality or gender identity.
You can find out more about this by visiting SafeLives: Who are the victims of domestic abuse?
It can be hard to understand if the problems you are experiencing are abuse and this can be a barrier to seeking help.
If you are concerned that you have experienced harassment or abuse and you’re not sure what to do, then there are several ways of seeking support.