What is domestic abuse?The government defines domestic abuse as:-
Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Types of domestic abuse
Physical abuse - violence such as punching, kicking, biting, burning, choking, spitting, slapping and throwing objects.
Emotional abuse - constant criticism, threats to you, your children or your family, putting you down in front of others, accusing you of lying, sulking, cheating, verbal abuse and name calling.
Sexual abuse - sex or sexual acts against your will or in ways that make you feel uncomfortable or degraded.
Financial abuse - not allowing you to have money, spending food money, running up debts in your name.
Forced marriage and honour based violence - you marry someone against your will, being bullied and controlled to protect the family’s reputation.
Stalking & Harassment - obsessive jealousy, following and checking up on you, embarrassing you in public.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may feel frightened or ashamed, but many people have been in your position. It is not your fault and you are not alone. There is a lot of help and support available, from people who will believe you and who understand how devastating abuse can be. If you are living with abuse on a daily basis, it is hard to make sense of it, especially if it has got worse over time. Abusive partners are often charming and friendly at other times and might convince you that problems are your fault. The lower you feel, the more likely you are to blame yourself. Recognising that you are being abused is an important first step to understanding your relationship and making changes in your life.
Who experiences domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse happens in all cultures and social groups. It is mostly women who are abused by male partners or ex-partners, but it is important to recognise that men can experience domestic abuse and women can be abusers. Both women and men can suffer domestic abuse in same-sex relationships. Children are badly affected by living with, witnessing and hearing domestic abuse. Teens and young people can be vulnerable to abuse in their own relationships. Young people can be abusive to their parents and carers can be abusive to the people in their care.
When does domestic abuse happen?
Domestic abuse is rarely a one-off event. It can last for years and tends to get worse over time. Abuse often increases at times when an abuser feels they are losing control: during pregnancy, after the birth of a child, and especially at the point of separation or divorce. This is when you may be more at risk of suffering harm.
If you are concerned for your own safety, or the safety of a child/children, please contact us immediately. We know that many people are fearful of the repercussions of seeking legal advice. We have an experienced team who you can talk to in the strictest confidence and who will be able to assist you in accessing appropriate protective legal measures.
We can apply for emergency protective orders such as injunctions and we have a 24 hour emergency line on 0845 450 5616. However, if you are at immediate risk of harm always…always dial 999.