3. What is domestic abuse?
Domestic violence and abuse mainly takes place in intimate relationships, but can occur in a familial situation. It can be experienced from a current or former partner, siblings, parents or children. It includes a number of different types of behaviour and power and control tactics. It is not just about physical violence. It can include:
- Controlling and coercive behaviour towards you
- Shouting, mocking, accusing, name calling, verbally threatening you, family and pets
- Threatening suicide, lying to family & friends about you
- Putting you down, ignoring you, blaming you, isolating you from friends and family
- Forcing you to perform sexual acts
- Punching, slapping, hitting, biting, kicking, hair pulling, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling
All these are behaviours of an abusive person. All of these are acts of domestic violence or abuse.
Who does it happen to?
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone!
- It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman
- It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay
- It doesn’t matter how much you earn
- It doesn’t matter if you have children
- It doesn’t matter what your religion is
- It doesn’t matter what your race is
What can I do?
If you are in an abusive relationship:
- Remember you are not to blame
- Remember it is not acceptable
- Remember you are not alone
How can I leave?
You can always prepare to leave your partner even if you are not ready at this moment in time. There may also be a need to leave in an emergency.
The tips below if followed can help you prepare to leave:
- Keep your mobile phone charged at all times
- Have change to hand in case you need to use a public phone
- Keep some emergency money to one side (this may be for a public transport, food or somewhere to stay overnight)
- Always have your house and/or car keys to hand
- Make sure your documents like passports, birth certificates, benefit books etc. are in a safe place that you can get to easily. You may want to leave them with a trusted friend or relative
- Don’t forget to take any medicines you need with you
- Have copies of any legal papers i.e. Injunctions
- Do your children know how to contact the emergency services? Do they know important telephone numbers like family members?
- Leave extra clothes and money at a friends or relatives house