Domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial, or sexual abuse which takes place within close relationship, usually by partners, ex-partners or family members.
Domestic abuse can involve a wide range of abusive behaviour, including threats, harassment, financial control and emotional abuse. Perpetrators use coercive control, which is a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence to exert power over their victim/s.
Physical violence is only one aspect of domestic abuse and an abuser’s behaviour can vary, from being very brutal and degrading to small actions that leave you humiliated. Those living with domestic abuse are often left feeling isolated and exhausted. Domestic abuse also includes cultural issues such as honour-based violence.
There are various ways that people can be abused, however the main aim of the abuse is to gain power and control over the other person.
The abuse often starts off with small incidents, with lots of different events that gradually chip away or erode your confidence. It can sometimes make you feel that you are losing your “sense of self” and that you can’t trust your own judgement or feel you don’t have the right to make decisions.
- Throwing/smashing objects
- Using weapons and other objects to cause injury
- Requiring you to account for every penny of household or other funds
- Withholding/taking money
- Taking money/controlling access to money
- Not letting you work or undermining efforts to find work/study
- Making you beg for money or items needed
- Not paying bills
- Having loans and debts in the victim’s name
- Blaming you for their problems
- Withholding affection as a form of punishment
- Calling you names
- Telling you that you can’t cope without them
- Putting you down
- Demanding constant attention
- Isolating you
- Blaming you
- Intimidating you
- Making you feel like you are going crazy
- Threatening to self-harm
- Putting you down
- Denying/minimising the abuse
- Threatening to harm others (including children and pets)
- Using threatening looks and gestures
- Forcing you to engage in unwanted sexual acts
- Refusing to practise safe sex
- Treating you like a sex object
- Withholding sex and affection
- Demanding sex
- Criticising/discounting feelings regarding sex
- Making you wear clothes you haven’t chosen
- Sexual name-calling