Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse?

Any incident of pattern of incidents 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 gender or sexuality.  This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

This cross-government definition includes so called 'honour’ based violence (HBV), female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage (FM).  Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates of domestic abuse are based on a Government definition that includes young people aged 16 to 17 and coercive or controlling behaviour.