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Free Legal Advice Group for Domestic Violence

About Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Affects Everyone

* Victims of abuse can be women or men.

* It can happen in heterosexual or same sex relationships.

Age is no barrier and neither is race or religion.

Abusive Behaviour

* If someone hits you, spits at you, punches, kicks, pinches or does any other PHYSICAL act, regardless of  whether it causes injuries.  This is abuse.

* Abuse can also be telling you that you are stupid, ugly, thick, silly, fat, thin,  or any other demeaning words that put the person down in private or in public and is EMOTIONALLY hurtful.

* It might be that PSYCHOLOGICAL tricks are played on you to make you think that you are being forgetful or to make you feel confused.  You might be convinced into leaving your family and friends and not having contact with those people that are or have been important to you.

* At the end of a relationship one person may be harassed or ‘stalked’ by their ex.  This is all abusive behaviour.

FINANCIAL abuse may be whereby one person holds all the access to the money in the relationship or home despite who earns the money.  You might be given an ‘allowance’ but it might not be very much or even enough to cover the outgoings. One person might falsify another persons signature on a legal document in order to gain money or access to money. This is abuse.

* There might be SEXUAL abuse where one person is forced against their will to take part in sexual activity (any) or they may be forced to watch pornographic material against their will.  This is abuse.

The above examples are just a FEW of what domestic abuse might include.  Any pattern of behaviour where one person holds power and control over another and that person feels unhappy, scared, isolated or under pressure to go against their own wishes is unacceptable.

Not all abuse is covered by criminal law but this does not mean that it is acceptable behaviour and legal advice and support may be needed.

Government Definition of Domestic Abuse

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

The Home Office website goes on to clarify what the above means:

“Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

“Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

+ This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.