What is domestic abuse?


Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent behaviour, used by one person (perpetrator) to maintain control over another (survivor) in an intimate relationship. This includes sexual violence by a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Domestic abuse can affect anyone, but it disproportionately affects women.

1 in 4 women in the UK will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime; 2 women die from domestic abuse-related deaths every week; in 2019, domestic abuse killings reached a 5-year high.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control
  • Psychological/emotional abuse
  • Physical/sexual abuse
  • Financial/economical abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online/digital abuse

Am I in an abusive relationship?