Domestic abuse can be physical, psychological, sexual or financial.
If you’re being subjected to patterns of bullying or controlling behaviours, whether in an intimate or family relationship, it’s abuse – and it’s time to take action.
Abuse is rarely a one-off event, and it tends to get worse over time.
It’s important to realise that your abuser is responsible for their own actions. Abusive behaviour is unwarranted and unacceptable under any circumstances.
Who experiences domestic abuse?
Abuse is experienced by people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, genders, gender identities and sexualities. It affects people of different abilities, and happens across every class background. Whoever you are and whatever abuse you’re experiencing, you’re not alone.
Are you being bullied or controlled?
Then you’re being abused. Abuse takes on many different forms, including:
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If an abuser is manipulating and controlling you – either through intimidation, threats, humiliation or isolating you from your support networks – they’re using coercive control.
If someone is controlling or misusing your money in a way that limits your freedom, they are financially abusing you.
Economic abuse is broader than financial abuse. An economic abuser might be limiting your access to basic resources like food, shelter, clothing or transport, creating instability and threatening your safety.
Psychological or emotional abuse can range from belittling comments and put downs to accusations. This kind of abuse can lead you to believe they’re imagining things.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that discredits your memory, perception and sanity. An abuser might use lies, denial, contradiction, false information and manipulation to exert control.
If an abuser is hitting, punching, kicking, pushing, using a weapon against you or causing you any kind of physical harm, minor or extreme, you’re being physically abused.
Sexual abuse can happen in or outside of relationships, including within marriage. Your abuser may be pressuring you to have sex or to engage in sexual acts, hurting you during sex, pressuring you to have unprotected sex and more.
If your accounts are being monitored, intimate videos or photos have been shared online or someone is using software that monitors what you’re doing or where you’re going, you’re being digitally abused.
These are just some of the patterns of domestic abuse and behaviours we recognise. There are many others.
If you think you’re being abused or are worried that your behaviour might be abusive, our team of trained professionals are on hand to help. Find out more