What are Signs of Domestic Abuse

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, social economic status, sexuality or background.

According to Loughborough Women’s Aid Domestic abuse affects 1 in 4 women. It also affects 1 in 6 men in their lifetime. 

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?

What is Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, is a pattern of behaviour seen in domestic abuse situations. It happens when one person constantly manipulates, controls, belittles, humiliates, or undermines another person’s emotional well-being and self-esteem. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse doesn’t leave visible scars. This can make it more challenging to detect, but its effects can be just as damaging and long-lasting.

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?

What are Threats and Intimidation in an Abusive Relationship 

Threats and intimidation are common tactics used by abusers in an abusive relationship. Used to control, manipulate, and create fear in their victims. These tactics can be part of emotional or psychological abuse aimed to maintain power and control over the victim

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?

What is Physical Abuse?

Physical abuse is a form of abusive behaviour. It happens when one person intentionally uses force to cause physical harm or injury to another person. It can occur in various settings, including intimate partner relationships, familial relationships, friendships, or even in institutions like schools or workplaces. 

Physical abuse is a serious and criminal offence, and it can have severe physical, emotional, and psychological consequences for the victim.

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?

What is Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is a form of abuse that involves non-consensual sexual activity or coercion. It happens when one person violates the boundaries of another person’s body and autonomy. Typically for their own sexual gratification or to exert control and power over the victim. 

Sexual abuse can occur in various relationships and settings, including intimate partnerships, familial relationships, institutions, and even between strangers. It is a serious violation of a person’s rights and is a criminal offence.

Financial abuse

Does your partner, or former partner, ever:

  • Restricting your access to bank accounts, credit cards or cash.
  • Denying you access to the internet, phone or transport to prevent you from working or studying.
  • Refusing to provide you with enough money for living expenses or for costs related to raising children.
  • Selling or destroying your belongings.
  • Large withdrawals or big changes in banking habits or activities.
  • Manipulating you into signing for loans or changers to the mortgage

What is Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a form of abuse in which one person exerts control over another person’s financial resources. Or, they use those resources in a way that is harmful or exploitative. This can be typical in the context of abusive relationships. Such as intimate partner relationships, but can occur in other situations as well.

Do You Need Support?

If you are worried about yourself or anyone else, there is lots of help available. Contact your local domestic abuse support service, national domestic abuse helpline or speak to your GP.

Legal Aid is available for advice on domestic abuse. View our domestic abuse page for more information and support insight.