Domestic violence & abuse

Domestic violence takes place between people who have, or have had a relationship. They include husbands and wives, former partners and children. Domestic violence takes many forms, for example:

  • physical violence – hitting, pushing, causing injury or forcing the victim to have sex

  • threatening behaviour

  • swearing and shouting

  • behaviour that humiliates or degrades the victim

  • taking control of money

  • stopping the victim from leaving the home

Domestic violence can begin at any time during a relationship and tends to grow worse with time and become more frequent.

Who experiences domestic violence?

Domestic violence can happen in any type of relationship – heterosexual, gay, bisexual and transgender.

People suffer domestic violence regardless of their social group, class, age, race, disability, sexuality or lifestyle.

Children are often silent victims. To witness, or be a victim of, domestic violence can seriously affect a child’s behaviour, health, performance at school and long term future.

Factors that can trigger violence include:

  • trying to leave a partner

  • feeling alone and socially isolated because someone doesn’t speak English or has a disability that stops them from going out or talking to people

  • misuse of drugs and/or alcohol

Can anyone help?

To speak to someone in confidence for support, information or an emergency referral to temporary accommodation, contact the free 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 or visit the National Domestic Violence Helpline website.