Information » People in Your Life » Communication and When Things Go Wrong » Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is abuse. It is aggressive and uncontrollable behaviour that takes place in the home, within the family or within relationships.
Men, women and children can be victims of domestic violence but it affects 1 in 4 women every year. One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
Types of domestic violence
- Physical abuse such as punching, hitting, pushing, kicking, pulling hair etc
- Emotional abuse such as threats, psychological intimidation, acts of cruelty, excessive jealousy and controlling behaviour such as not letting you see your friends or leave the house, controlling your life, putting you down and criticising you constantly, name-calling or other intimidation
- Forcing sex or you to perform a sexual act
- Withholding your money or taking your money and not returning it
Every form of domestic violence is a crime and this also applies to victims who are under 18. It is your right to be protected from it so seek help immediately.
- Being a victim in your own home or to the one you love is traumatic. Many people feel ashamed, belittled and lonely, but violent men or women won't change without help. If your life and the lives of any children are at risk, you must take action before it's too late
- Leaving can be very difficult so involve others. Tell your parents, a trusted friend or even the police what you are planning to do and get support. Have someone with you for protection when you leave
- You will also need to find a safe place to go. You could go to your parents or a friend's, but if you are worried your partner will find you, there are organisations that can provide secret and secure accommodation for you and any children you have, like women's refuges
- There are plenty of organisations dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence such as Women’s Aid who can offer advice and support before and after you leave. They are there for anyone who is a victim, not just women
- If you are a witness to domestic violence, maybe involving your parents or guardians, it can be very upsetting and confusing. If you are in a house where domestic violence is happening, talk to someone. It could be a friend or a family member who doesn't live with you but don't go through it alone. If you don't want to talk to someone you know, there are helplines which can offer you advice on how to help stop the violence and get help for the person being abused
- If you or someone you know are in immediate danger from domestic violence, please call the police on 999 or ring your local police station and ask for the domestic violence support unit