Click the red Quick Exit button above to leave this website quickly

Throughout Domestic Abuse Awareness Month this October, we will be sharing information on the different types of abuse, how to recognise warning signs, how to support someone facing abuse and where to go for help and support.

“Domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer”* 

Domestic abuse can take many forms.  Whilst the majority of cases involve male partner/ex-partner abuse on  women, an estimated 3.6% of men in 2020 experienced domestic abuse and 1.6% of adults experienced abuse from family members   

Different types of abuse

· Physical can include pushing, hitting, punching, kicking, choking and using weapons

· Psychological is when you are subjected or exposed to a situation that can result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder

· Emotional abuse/coercive control is the act of repeatedly making you feel bad, intimidated or scared and can include threatening or controlling behaviour, blackmailing, constantly criticising or checking up on you, or playing mind games. Coercive control is now a criminal offence under the Serious Crime Act 2015

· Gaslighting can include insisting you said or did things you know you didn’t do; deny or scoff at your recollection of events; call you “too sensitive” or “crazy” when you express your needs or concerns; express doubts to others about your feelings, behaviour and state of mind; twisting or retelling events to shift blame to you

· Sexual abuse is when you are forced or pressured to have sex without your consent (rape), unwanted  sexual activity, touching, groping or being made to watch pornography

· Financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls your current and  future actions and freedom of choice. It can include using credit cards without your permission, putting contractual obligations in your name, and gambling with family assets 

· Digital / online abuse involves the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate you.  Often this behaviour is a form of verbal or emotional abuse perpetrated online

· So-called ‘honour-based’ violence is a crime or incident committed to protect or defend the ‘honour’ of a family or community. If your family or community think you’ve shamed or embarrassed them by  behaving in a  certain way, they may punish you for breaking their ‘honour’ code

· Forced marriage is where one or both people do not, or cannot, consent (agree) to the marriage.  Forced marriages can happen to anyone from any background and nationality and can affect both males and females. It doesn’t only happen to young people; it can happen to adults too.  This is different to ‘arranged marriage’ where there’s a choice and both people agree to it.

· Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) involves the partial or total removal of external female genitalia or other  injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.  It is usually performed without permission and against will and violates a girl’s right to make important decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. At least 200 million girls and women alive today in 30 countries worldwide have been subjected to FGM.

· Elder abuse involves an act or lack of appropriate action which causes harm or distress to an older person

· Adolescent to parent violence and abuse is a form of behaviour by a young person to control and dominate their parents


· A trusted family member or friend – remember they might not react in the way you expect as they’re not trained in domestic abuse. However, getting the support of a friend to go with you to a specialist agency can be an important first step

· Call Refuge – 0808 2000 247 this is a 24-hour confidential helpline where you can talk anonymously and ask for general information, advice and guidance

· Call Victim Support – 0808 1689 111

· Visit a pharmacy and ask for ANI (Action Needed Immediately) which is a codeword scheme that enables victims of domestic abuse to discreetly ask for immediate help in participating pharmacies

· Visit a Safe Space – Retailers Boots, Morrisons pharmacies, Superdrug pharmacies, Well Pharmacies, independent pharmacies, HSBC and TSB banks across the UK provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse. You can use a safe space in whichever way works for you. They provide a safe and discrete way to reach out to friends and family and contact specialist support services. Safe Spaces are open and ready for you to use – find at Safe Space at

· If you are at risk of harm or it is an emergency, you should always call 999

Source: *Women’s Aid