What is domestic abuse?

Within any relationship, there are ups and downs – people say and do things to each other that are hurtful, however, there’s a difference between a normal argument and abusive, fighting and threatening behaviour, this is domestic violence or abuse.
 
Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse as:
 
‘Physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’.
 
The Government defines domestic violence 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.” This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called ‘honour killings’.