Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Examples of this behaviour are:
- Psychological/emotional abuse – intimidation and threats, for example towards children or family pets, social isolation, verbal abuse, humiliation, constant criticism, enforced trivial routines
- Physical violence – slapping, pushing, kicking, stabbing, damage to property or items of sentimental value, attempted murder or murder
- Physical restriction of freedom – controlling who the victim or their children see or do, where they go, what they wear, stalking, imprisonment, forced marriage
- Sexual violence and abuse – includes a range of different behaviours, including sexual assault or rape. Regardless of any relationship between victims and perpetrators, this violence is still a crime
- Financial abuse – stealing, depriving or taking control of money, running up debts or withholding benefits or bank cards.
Domestic abuse can also include forced marriage and so-called 'honour-based crimes'.