Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to:

• psychological abuse – including threatening and intimidating behaviour
• physical abuse
• sexual abuse –  including rape within marriage or relationships
• financial abuse – including controlling access to money
• emotional abuse

Female genital mutation (FGM) and forced marriage are also included within the definition.

Lastly, the definition recognises that it is not just spouses or partners who are perpetrators of abuse – the abuser could be another close family member, or friend.

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.”

Domestic abuse - what is it - resources - woman's trust

Domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate.

Your background, your education, your wealth, your age, your job, where you grew up – none of it matters.

Because it’s not about you. Abusers are the ones who make the choice about their behaviour.

If you are in an abusive relationship, it’s important to remember that what happens is not your fault.