The 2013 cross-government definition of domestic abuse is:

‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional’

The Government definition also outlines the following:

Coercive Behaviour

An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Controlling Behaviour

A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. It also includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

It’s not your fault.
You are not alone.
You have the right to live free from fear.

If you’re worried that someone might be in immediate danger, always call 999.
Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline, which takes calls anonymously and is open 24 hours, on 0808 2000 247.