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What is Domestic ABUSE?

The Women's Aid definition of domestic violence and abuse is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called 'honour crimes'.

Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently 'violent'.

SadWoman

The government has recently amended its definition of domestic violence, to be implemented in March 2013, which has brought it closer to the definition used by Women's Aid.

This now states:

"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. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

 

 

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage."

Who is affected by Domestic ABUSE?

Research shows that domestic violence is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men, although some men can also be victims of abuse in both gay and heterosexual relationships.

Indian WomanAny woman can experience domestic violence regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, disability or lifestyle. Domestic violence and abuse also affects children, who are almost always witnesses to the abuse. Domestic violence can also take place in lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender relationships.

What Causes Domestic Abuse?

All forms of domestic violence and abuse stem from the abuser's desire for power and control over their partners or other family members. Abusers can use many tactics to establish and maintain control, some of which are detailed below:

What Abusers DoExamples
Destructive criticism and verbal abuse Shouting, mocking, name calling, accusing, making threats
Pressure tactics Sulking, disconnecting the phone, withholding money, threatening to kill himself, take the children away, report you to social services, telling lies about you to friends and family, saying you have no choice in decisions
Disrespect Persistently putting you down in front of other people, not responding to you when you talk, interrupting you when you are on the phone, taking your things including money from your purse, refusing to help with childcare or housework
Breaking trust Lying to you or keeping information from you, breaking promises, being jealous and thinking you are having other relationships
Isolation Blocking your phone calls, keeping you away from your friends and family, telling you where you can and can't go
Harassment Following you, checking up to see who you have been on the phone to, embarrassing you in public, opening your mail
Threats Making angry gestures, using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill or harm you and the children
Sexual violence Using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don’t want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation
Physical violence Punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling
Denial Saying the abuse doesn’t happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again

WMWA exists to support women and children affected by domestic abuse, and is the lead specialist agency in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire working with victims of domestic abuse.

WMWA is committed to equality and diversity and aims to provide services regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, disability, religion or class.

WMWA works with women with complex issues including drug or alcohol use, mental health problems and learning difficulties.