What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic abuse takes place between people who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members. Differences in social background, sexuality or ethnicity do not explain it.
There are several types of domestic violence and abuse:
- psychological or emotional – bullying, belittling, stalking or threats to cut contact with children if a person leaves
- physical – kicking, hitting, pushing, hurting
- sexual – sexual harassment or rape
- financial – control over spending, or running up huge credit card debts in another's name, for example.
How the law can help with domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is wrong. At home, you should feel safe. Domestic abuse can be a criminal offence. You may need help from a lawyer. A lawyer can help you get protection from court so that you (and your children) can leave a relationship safely.
Get help with domestic abuse
If you or someone else is in danger, you should dial 999. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you can get free help and advice.
- The National Domestic Violence Helpline, 24-hour helpline, 0808 2000 247
- Women's Aid
- Men's Advice Line
- The ManKind Initiative
- Galop - National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Domestic Violence helpline
Citizens Advice has a list of other organisations that offer support. Here at Legal Choices, you can learn more about dealing with other family problems.