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What is domestic abuse?

The legal definition of domestic abuse is: any incident of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

This can include but isn't limited to the following types of abuse:

  • physical

  • emotional

  • psychological

  • sexual

  • financial

Domestic abuse also includes honour-based abuse and forced marriage.

The Crown Prosecution Service website has a breakdown of the types of domestic abuse.

Just one incident counts as abuse.

Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity, age, gender, sexuality or social background.

If you are suffering from physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse, or are being threatened, intimidated or stalked by a current or previous partner or close family member, it’s likely you’re a victim of domestic abuse.

You're not to blame for what's happening. You're not alone.

You can report it to us or, if you’re not ready to speak to the police, you can contact support organisations who will help you.

We have a list of national and local support organisations who can help.

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