Domestic abuse (also called domestic violence) happens when one person hurts or bullies another person who is or was their partner or who is in the same family. It can happen between people who are going out together, living together, have children together or are married to each other. It can happen either when people live together or separately.
Domestic abuse can also happen after a relationship has finished. Usually (but not always) it is the man who is the abuser and the woman who gets hurt. Although domestic abuse happens mostly between adults, young people can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear, and they can be hurt or bullied as part of domestic abuse between adults. Young people may also experience abuse from their own boy/girlfriend.
Domestic abuse can be:
- constantly putting a person down
- constantly checking where someone is
- stopping someone from seeing their friends or family
- stopping someone from having a job
- hitting, pushing, kicking, pinching
- throwing or smashing things
- making threats to hurt someone
- making someone do sexual things that they don’t want to do
- not giving them any money
- checking what someone spends money on
- stopping them from working
- taking all their money from them
Domestic abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviour. It often includes several different types of abusive behaviour, and may get worse the longer the two people are together. People use domestic abuse to control other people.
If someone in your family is abusive, remember it’s not your fault.
If this is happening in your family, remember that you are not alone. Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people that can help you and your family. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe.