Domestic violence support

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is any incident or 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. 

It can happen to someone in a same sex relationship and a transgender person can experience domestic violence from a partner or family member. 

 This can cover, but is not limited to:  

  • Psychological abuse 

  • Physical abuse 

  • Sexual abuse 

  • Financial abuse 

  • Emotional abuse 

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 definition, which is the police definition, includes so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group. 

We also recognise that domestic violence affects all ages and includes dating violence and violence against older people and carers.