What is domestic abuse?
Domestic Abuse is the intentional use of verbal, emotional, psychological, financial and physical abusive tactics and behaviours in order to maintain power and control over and manipulate a partner, ex partner or family member.
Domestic Abuse represents one quarter of all violent crime in the UK. Domestic Abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
It arises from the misuse of power and control by one person over another. It is a series of incidents and behaviours that usually escalate over time. The abuse includes different abusive behaviours that can be used together or separately over a period of time.
Physical abuse can include:
- Hair pulling
- Smashing objects
Verbal abuse can include:
- Name calling
- Putting down
- Shouting at
- Swearing at
Emotional abuse can include:
- Being told you are useless, worthless, pathetic, too fat, too thin, ugly
- Threats to harm or kill you or the children
- Threats to take the children away, that social services will take the children away
- Changing the rules
- Whatever you do is not good enough
- Being nice one moment abusive the next
- Not being allowed to see family or friends
- Harassing by texts, phone calls
- Stalking, checking up on
Sexual abuse can include:
- Being forced to have sex against your will
- Being forced to have sex with others/in front of others
- Being forced to watch or take part in pornography
- Any sexual act that you have not consented to
Financial abuse can include:
- Withholding money
- Not allowing you access to bank/savings accounts
- Making you beg for money
- Making you account for every penny spent
- Not allowing you access to benefits
- Forcing you to take out a loan
This list is just a small sample of behaviours used in abusive relationships. The abuse may not be constant there may be times where your abuser says s/he is sorry and promises not to do it again, they promise to change, they blame stress, anger, alcohol, the children, you. They may buy you gifts, cry and beg. These are tactics used to keep you from leaving the relationship in the belief that things will get better.
It is difficult to understand why the person you love, who says they love you, is abusive to you.
It is not your fault, you are not to blame. You are not alone. Men and women of all ages, cultures, religions, sexual orientation, from all walks of life can be victims of domestic abuse.