Domestic abuse is behaviour from a family member, partner or ex-partner that is:
- Controlling, coercive, threatening, violent or abusive.
- Happens between people aged over 16.
- Psychological and/or emotional abuse. Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. This form of abuse can include anything from yelling and name-calling, isolating you and ultimately can lead to threats to your life. However the abuser will often blame you for the abuse or denying it ever occurred. They use this behaviour to undermine, attack your self-esteem and destroy any self-confidence you may have.
- Physically Aggressive Behaviour, can include hitting, punching, pinching, shaking, throwing objects etc. It can also include abusing or threatening to hurt others e.g. children, pets etc.
- Sexual abuse can include your abuser forcing, coercing or manipulating you into things you don’t want to do. They may make you have sex with others or exploit you when you are unable to make an informed decision about sex because of being asleep, intoxicated, and drugged or by being afraid to say no. Your abuser can also exhibit excessive jealousy which can result in false accusations of infidelity and/or controlling behaviours to limit your access to friends, family etc.
- Financial abuse includes controlling access to your money, bank accounts, and credit cards and can often leave you with no money for basic essentials. Your abuser may even stop you working so you have no independent income or put you in debt without your knowledge.
- On-line or digital abuse can include your abuse sending abusive messages, sharing unauthorised images of you on-line, track you with spyware or demand access to your devices.
- Stalking can leaving you feeling afraid and unsafe. Your abuser can show up at your home, university or place of work unannounced and uninvited and/or wait at places you hang out. They can make unwanted phone calls, text messages, voicemails, emails etc. or use on-line social networking sites. They may even use other people to look into your life, e.g. looking at your Facebook page, Instagram account etc. through someone else’s account to get more information about you.
Spot the Signs
- Are they jealous and possessive?
- Are they charming one minute and abusive the next?
- Do they tell you what to wear, where to go, who to see?
- Do they constantly put you down?
- Do they play mind games and make you doubt your judgment?
- Do they control your money?
- Do they pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?
- Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making them angry?
- Do they monitor or track your movements or messages?
- Do they use anger and intimidation to frighten and control you?
Please be careful when researching domestic abuse on a device which could be accessed by your abuser. You can delete your browsing history on your device. For further information on how to do this please click here