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Domestic abuse

Recognise domestic abuse

Does your partner, ex-partner or someone you live with:

  • cut you off from family and friends and intentionally isolate you?
  • bully, threaten, or control you?
  • take control of your finances?
  • monitor or limit your use of technology?
  • physically and/or sexually abuse you?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’
  • economic abuse
  • online abuse
  • threats and intimidation
  • emotional abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

If you believe that you are a victim of domestic abuse, there are signs that you can look out for including:

  • being withdrawn, or being isolated from your family and friends
  • having bruises, burns or bite marks on you
  • having your finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food, medication or pay bills
  • not being allowed to leave your house, or stopped from going to college or work
  • having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters
  • being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless
  • being pressured into sex or sexual contact
  • being told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting

Emotional abuse

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
  • accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
  • tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
  • control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

Threats and intimidation

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?
  • Physical abuse
  • The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • slap, hit or punch you?
  • push or shove you?
  • bite or kick you?
  • burn you?
  • choke you or hold you down?
  • throw things?
  • Sexual abuse
  • Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they’re male or female.

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • touch you in a way you don’t want to be touched?
  • make unwanted sexual demands?
  • hurt you during sex?
  • pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
  • pressure you to have sex?
  • If your partner, or former partner, has sex with you when you don’t want to, this is rape.

Have you ever felt afraid of your partner or former partner?

Have you ever changed your behaviour because you’re afraid of what your partner, or former partner, might do?

For advice on getting support if you are suffering from domestic abuse, please visit our Domestic abuse web page.