Domestic abuse support

What is domestic abuse?

BSL Support

Domestic abuse can be defined as:
‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 and over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender and sexuality. The abuse can encompass but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional’

Domestic abuse can include but is not limited to the following;

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use of threats of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical and sexual abuse
  • Financial and economic abuse
  • Stalking and harassment
  • Online and digital abuse
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Sexual exploitation

How to recognise if you are experiencing domestic abuse

Whilst every person’s experience is unique, there are common factors that define domestic abuse including the following:

  • Physical abuse including hitting, beating, choking, pushing, slapping, kicking, pulling hair, biting, punching, strangulation, kicking or burning
  • Causing injury or threatening to hurt you
  • Threatening to harm your family, friends, children or pets
  • Locking you out of your home or locking you in your home
  • Forcing you to use substances such as alcohol, drugs and prescribed medication
  • Withholding medication or required care from you
  • Constantly criticising or humiliating you
  • Forcing you to have sex or perform sexual acts. You can find out more on our sexual violence page.
  • Obsessive jealousy and accusing you of being unfaithful
  • Blaming your friends or family for the problems in your relationship
  • Isolating you from your family and friends
  • Monitoring your phone calls, post, emails or online activity
  • Demanding that you tell them everything you have done each day
  • Making you feel scared and fearful
  • Threatening to report you to Social Services, The Police or Immigration Services
  • Taking all your money
  • Not allowing you to go out on your own
  • Not allowing you to work

If you are not sure, or wish to explore this further and in confidence, contact the Newham Domestic Abuse Service on 0808 196 1482. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls will be treated in confidence.