What is domestic abuse?
It might not always be obvious if what's happening at home is domestic abuse. But if somebody in your family uses bullying or violence to get another adult to do what they want, that's domestic abuse.
It can include:
- Physical violence
Like hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, hair-pulling.
This includes threatening to hurt you, another person in your family, or a pet. Or threatening to stop money for food or bills.
- Sexual violence
Making another person do something sexual when they don't want to, or making someone watch sexual material on the internet or television.
- Controlling someone's finances
This includes not allowing somebody to spend their own money. Or not giving them money for basic things such as food, nappies for babies, or clothes.
- Controlling someone's life
This could include stopping someone from going to work or school.
- Cultural or 'honour' violence
This includes being hurt or abused as a punishment for something that's not seen as culturally acceptable by your community or family. It can include being forced to marry someone.
If you're an adult experiencing domestic abuse, there are organisations that can help.
0300 003 0396
You can talk to Relate about your relationship, including issues around domestic abuse.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247
A 24 hour free helpline run in partnership between Women's Aid and Refuge.
- Men's Advice Line
0808 801 0327
Advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
- National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 999 5428
Emotional and practical support for LGBT+ people experiencing domestic abuse.
For children and young people
Domestic Abuse, Revovering Together (DART™) is a therapeutic service for mothers and children who have experienced domestic abuse.
Find out more about all the NSPCC services for children, including how to get in touch with ones in your area.
The Hide Out, created by Women's Aid, is a space to help children and young people understand abuse. It also helps them learn how to take positive action.