Types of abuse

What is domestic abuse?

The UK government’s definition of domestic abuse 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 sexual orientation. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional forms of abuse."

Phone 999 and ask for the police if you are in immediate danger

What are the types of abuse?

Domestic abuse is not always physical violence and can take many different forms. This can include but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Physical abuse: assault, punches, kicks, hitting, forced imprisonment, biting, strangulation, burning, dragging, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm, using weapons, throwing objects

  • Emotional abuse: persistently putting you down, isolating you from friends and family, name calling, sulking and checking up on you

  • Financial abuse: preventing a person from getting or keeping a job, taking money, not permitting access to or withholding family income

  • Psychological abuse: verbal abuse, blaming, mind games, criticisms, accusations, emotional abuse, jealous and obsessive behaviour, humiliation, comparisons, manipulation, complete control of a person's life, threats to kill the person or the children, imposed social isolation, sleep deprivation.

  • Sexual abuse: forcing you to have sex against your will, sexual assault, forced prostitution, degradation, forced anal or vaginal penetration, using objects, humiliation, forced to watch or act in pornography

  • Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape, and regulating their everyday behaviour.

  • Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation, or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

Abuse also includes so-called honour based abuse, female genital mutilation (FGM) and Forced Marriage

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