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What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse is defined as an incident or pattern of behaviours used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner or family member. Abuse can take many forms including verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, financial and coercive control. Coercive control involves making someone do something under duress by using threatening behaviour Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, faith or class however evidence shows that women are disproportionately victims of abuse – in fact 1 in 3 women will be subjected to domestic abuse in their lifetime. Domestic abuse is most commonly perpetrated by one intimate to another but can also occur within families such as child to parent abuse and honour based violence by extended family. Everyone has the right to live a life free from fear and harm.
RECOGNISING ABUSE

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves inflicting violence on someone such as hitting, kicking, choking, biting, pushing, burning and using weapons to hurt you. A perpetrator of physical abuse may also threaten or use behaviours to intimidate you such as damaging property, punching walls, kicking doors, driving recklessly and trapping you in your home.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Emotional Abuse

Emotional and or psychological abuse includes undermining a person’s self worth through name calling, constant criticism, intimidation and humiliation. The abuser will constantly put you down, make you feel bad about yourself, play mind games, gaslight you, use looks, gestures and actions to intimidate you then deny, blame or minimise what they are doing to you.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Financial Abuse

Financial or Economic Abuse involves taking control over someone’s financial resources, withholding access to money or jeopardising someone’s ability to make money by forbidding them to work. You may be being financially abused if you are prevented from getting or keeping a job, accessing your benefits and family money is withheld, made to ask for money or money is taken from your account without your consent.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse involves forcing someone to take part in a sexual act without consent. This can incude being made to dress in a way that you are uncomfortable with, being called sexual names, insulted with sexual terms, hurt with weapons/objects during sex, your feelings are ignored during sex, you are forced or manipulated into having sex or performing sexual acts. Sex without consent is rape.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Coercive Control

Control is at the centre of all abuse and can overlap into all other forms. Coercive Control involves making someone do something under duress by using threatening behaviour such as controlling what you eat and wear, not being allowed out, forbidden to contact friends/family, monitoring your daily activities and making you dependant on the abuser.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Stalking and Harassment

Using technology to further isolate, threaten, gaslight, and intimidate. Online platforms are increasingly used to perpetrate domestic abuse and can include behaviours such as monitoring of social media profiles or emails, abuse over social media, sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent, using GPs locators or spyware.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Digital/online abuse

Using technology to further isolate, threaten, gaslight, and intimidate. Online platforms are increasingly used to perpetrate domestic abuse and can include behaviours such as monitoring of social media profiles or emails, abuse over social media, sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent, using GPs locators or spyware.

RECOGNISING ABUSE

Religious and Spiritual Abuse

Religious or spiritual abuse occurs when someone is prevented from carrying out their religious/spiritual practises or is forced to engage in activities that go against our beliefs. It can include forcing someone to eat foods forbidden by their religion, stopping someone from attending their place of worship and destroying religious books.

RECOGNISING SIGNS OF ABUSE

From an intimate partner

1. Do you sometimes feel scared of how your partner may behave?

2. Do they blame things like drugs, alcohol, stress for treating you badly?

3. Are you made to feel there is no way out of the relationship?

4. Are you prevented from doing things you want to do like going out with friends, spending time with family or joining exercise classes?

5. Are you called several times whilst you are out?

6. Do you have to send pictures of your location?

7. Do you have to provide receipts for purchases?

8. Are you pressured to have others involved in your sexual relationship?

9. Are you unable to make decisions about birth control?

If any of these things are happening to you or you have concerns about someone you know then please reach out and talk to someone. That first step takes courage and we are here to support you on your journey to survive and thrive.

If you are in immediate danger contact the police on 999
HARMFUL PRACTICES

... Because change follows awareness

Harmful practices are forms of violence which have been committed, primarily against women and girls, in certain communities and societies for so long that they are considered, or presented by perpetrators, as part of accepted cultural practice.

Honour Based Violence

When violent acts are committed to protect or defend the “honour” of the family and or community. This can include physical assaults, false imprisonment, murder, disfigurement, kidnap. Despite it’s name, it is recognised that there is no honour in and no legal defence for committing offences against the person.

Forced Marriage

A marriage conducted without consent of both people and pressure or abuse is used. This is a violation of human rights and should not be confused with arranged marriage in which both parties willingly consent)

Female Genital Mutilation

The ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons. This practice is illegal in the UK