Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is defined as an 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. This includes 'honour based violence', female genital mutilation (FGM), and forced marriage.

An adult is defined as any person aged 18 or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or stepfamily.

Domestic abuse affects one in four women and one in seven men in their lifetimes, with women suffering higher rates of repeat victimisation and serious injury.  In the year ending March 2018, an estimated 2.0 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year, 1.3 million women and 695,000 men (Office for National Statistics). The main characteristic of domestic violence is that the behaviour is intentional and it is calculated to exercise power and control within a relationship.

Alongside the physical injuries inflicted, ongoing violence is frequently a primary cause of mental health issues and chronic health problems for those affected.



For support with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence helpline, 24-hours a day, for free and in confidence, on 0808 2000 247

You can also chat online, live: Monday – Friday, 3pm – 6pm.

For further resources, please visit our support for domestic abuse page here



Useful links to access support for domestic abuse