What is domestic abuse?
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse. It can affect men and women in both straight and gay relationships, regardless of culture, religion, age or class. It can also affect your children, even if they're not directly experiencing abuse.
It can go on for a long time and often gets worse over time. It can be life threatening.
Domestic abuse is carried out by partners or ex partners. It can be:
- emotional or psychological – like threats, humiliation, criticism and name-calling (including racial abuse), undermining your self-confidence, controlling what you do or who you speak to, stalking, isolating you from your friends and family, threatening to or distributing intimate images
- physical – like hitting, punching, kicking or burning
- sexual – such as rape or forcing you to engage in sexual acts
- financial – like not letting you work, withholding money
Forced marriage is also domestic abuse.