Domestic Abuse

If you are experiencing domestic abuse and require urgent advice, please contact the National Women’s Aid free helpline on 0808 2000 247 (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week) or the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.

If it is an emergency, please call 999.

A Centre 56 leaflet

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is an incident (or multiple incidents) of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour including sexual violence.

Most cases involve a partner or ex-partner, but it can also be by a family member or carer.

Domestic abuse can include:

  • Coercive control: a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of violence
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online abuse.
Holding hands

Recognising domestic abuse

Every situation is different, but there are common factors that, once acknowledged, is a step towards preventing and stopping abuse.

  • Destructive criticism
  • Pressure tactics
  • Being disrespectful to you
  • Breaking your trust
  • Making you feel isolated
  • Harassing you
  • Threatening you
  • Sexual violence
  • Physical violence
  • Denial.

Visit the Women’s Aid website for more information about recognising domestic abuse.