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Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is any abuse that happens in a family, or in a personal relationship with a current or former partner. Most domestic and sexual abuse is committed by men against their female partners or ex-partners, but it can also involve women abusing male partners, young people abusing family members, abuse in same sex relationships, and issues of forced marriage or 'honour' based violence. The Government extended the definition in 2013 to include 16-17 year olds experiencing Intimate Partner Violence and to recognise coercive control.

Domestic abuse can involve a whole range of behaviours designed to control and dominate someone, such as:

  • Physical abuse - e.g. hitting, punching, kicking, biting, burning, choking or other physical violence.
  • Emotional abuse - constant criticism, threats to you, your children or your family, putting you down in front of others, lying, cheating. Emotional abuse may not seem as serious as other forms of abuse but it sometimes has the biggest impact.
  • Sexual abuse - doing or saying things of a sexual nature that make you feel uncomfortable, or that physically hurt you or someone else.
  • Financial abuse - not allowing you money, spending food money, running up debts in your name.
  • Isolation - monitoring or blocking phone calls, preventing you from seeing friends & relatives.
  • Harrassment - following & checking up on you, embarrassing you in public, obsessive jealousy.
  • Denial - saying the abuse didn’t happen or you caused it, being kind in public, begging forgiveness, saying it will never happen again.

For more detailed information about domestic and sexual abuse please visit Sheffield Domestic Abuse Partnership or the national Women's Aid website.