What is Domestic Abuse ?

Domestic Abuse

This may sound like an obvious question ‘What is Domestic Abuse?’  For some individuals, this can be an everyday occurrence that people believe is just ‘normal’ or are in denial of what is actually happening due to fear, low self-esteem, and self-worth.

The National Domestic Abuse states ‘Domestic abuse is a pattern of behavior on the part of the abuser designed to control his partner. It can happen at any point in a relationship, including after you have split up.’

There are several types of DOMESTIC ABUSE and below is not a comprehensive list of abuse.

  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Domestic Abuse affects people from all walks of life irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, social background, sexuality, or gender.  If you believe you are threatened, stalked, nervous, unsettled, or afraid by a partner/ex-partner or close family member – you may be a victim experiencing DA.

Physical and Sexual Abuse – is the intentional act of aggression and violence causing physical pain or trauma.  English proverb ‘A woman, a dog, and a walnut tree, the more you beat them the better they be.’ Sexual abuse can be forced sex by a spouse or partner where consent to sex may have been given in the past.  This includes married couples – in any setting.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse – Regrettably this tends to be overlooked – even by the abuser, as they believe abuse is physical or sexual.  Yelling, name-calling, intimidation, controlling behavior, shaming, and blaming are all forms of emotional abuse – in any setting.

Financial Abuse – This is thought to be the first signs of dating abuse.  Here the victim will ensure their abusers are made happy.  Their belief is the abuser will stay if they comply with the demands of providing excessively or become financially dependent on the abuser.  At times this may be conducted with subtle undertones of manipulation rather than the more explicit removing of funds.  Either practice is to have control and gain power in the relationship.

Controlling and Coercive Behaviours – Are patterns of acts inflicted by the abuser aimed at making their victim dependent and/or subservient.  Including isolating from sources of support (distancing from friends and family), exploiting the victim’s resources, depriving independence, or monitoring daily activities.

What generally prevents victims from seeking help is the feeling of shame, guilt, finances, or just too frightened to admit that these feelings are DOMESTIC ABUSE.   Here victims may convince themselves that they are the problem, try not to provoke, wait for their children to leave home, their opinions are not valid, lose social standing or things will get better.  They get caught up in the abuser’s cycle.



Organisations offering support













Here are some support resources that may help you to understand how to recognise abuse.

Love is Respect – is an organisation supporting individuals not sure if they’re being abused or are the abuser.  Here resources help you answer those questions you may feel too embarrassed to ask or admit.


Are you a good partner?  Complete this quick quiz to see if what you are doing is abusive.   It also highlights what you the victim are accepting.


Psychology Today – this is an online magazine providing information and support on our psychological well-being.  The following link below gives details and information on what equates to a toxic relationship.