What is domestic abuse?


Domestic abuse isn’t just about physical violence. It is any abuse used by someone to gain power and control over their partner.

We will use the term partner here, but it can also be an ex-partner or member of your family.

Domestic abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and financial abuse.

If you find yourself changing how you behave because you’re scared of how your partner will react, then you are being abused.

Lots of people experience abuse without ever being physically harmed. Remember- it’s all about power and control which can be just as destructive.


Other forms of abuse you may have heard less about include human trafficking, modern slavery, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so called ‘honour’ based abuse.


It can happen to anyone; it is always against the law and it is never your fault.


Are you being abused?

If any of the following behaviours sound familiar, you may be experiencing domestic abuse:

They isolate you- They stop you from seeing family and friends; even if they don’t directly say you can’t but you feel under pressure anyway.

They criticise you- They put you down, in private or in front of others, or embarrass you so that you are seen in a bad light.

They blow hot and cold- They are charming one minute and abusive the next, so that you don’t know where you stand.

They are violent or threaten violence- They hurt you in any way physically or threaten to do so. This includes putting their hands around your neck and harming others such as your children or pets.

They are jealous and possessive- They don’t like you getting attention or giving it to others; be it from other men, friends or even your children.

They play mind games- You question yourself and your decisions and maybe think you are to blame. This is sometimes referred to as 'Gaslighting'. There is a short video below which explains more about what this means.

They pressure you to have sex- You may be forced into it or feel you must go along with it to keep the peace, or they make you feel inadequate.

They monitor you- They check up on where you are, read your texts and emails and listen to your phone calls.

They use anger or intimidation- They scare you, so you’ll do what they say, and you walk on eggshells to avoid setting them off.

They control the money- They limit your access, rack up debt in your name or use manipulation to get you to hand it over.

They control you- They lock you in, tell you what to wear, where to go, who to see and even what to think.

They damage your property- Break your phone, slash your tyres or hit walls to frighten you.

They blame you for the way they behave- They say things like ‘you set me off, it’s your fault or I wouldn’t be like this if you didn’t…’

They follow youBombard you will calls and texts, refuse to leave or have others report to them about you, so that you don’t have any space.


We will support you no matter what your experience or what form the abuse takes.

You are not alone.



You may have heard the term gaslighting, but what does it mean? In sort, its a form of emotional manipulation that leads you to question your own reality. Watch this short video by Psych2Go for some examples of this hidden form of psychological abuse. If this sounds familiar, give us a call on 0151 643 9766 (option 2)