Recognising Domestic Abuse

What Is Domestic Abuse?


Domestic Abuse is where one partner or ex partner controls and dominates the other and where there is a power imbalance within the relationship.

Even though the common perception of domestic abuse is one person physically assaulting another there are many other forms such as emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse.

Domestic abuse occurs in all social groups, is not caused by stress, unemployment, poverty, alcohol or mental illness, nor by the women who experience the abuse.

    • Does your partner bully you?
    • Does he put you down in front of others, including your children?
    • Are you scared of your partner?
    • Does he constantly check up on you?
    • Are you worried you might upset your partner by having your own opinion?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing domestic abuse. Read on to recognise more signs of domestic abuse.


Recognising abuse

The following is a list of abusive behaviours which may help you recognise if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship.

    • Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling.
    • Pressure tactics: threatening to withhold money; disconnect the telephone; commit suicide; take the car away; take the children away; lying to friends and family about you.
    • Disrespect: persistently putting you down; not listening or responding when you talk; refusing to help with child care or housework.
    • Breaking trust: lying to you; withholding information from you; having other relationships; breaking promises.
    • Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls; telling you where you can and cannot go; preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; making you a prisoner in you own home.
    • Harrassment: following you; checking up on you; opening your mail; checking your mobile phone; dialling 1471 to see who has telephoned you.
    • Threats: angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate; weilding a weapon; threatening to kill or harm you, your children, friends or family.
    • Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts; sexual degredation; forced sado-masochistic practices.
    • Physical violence: Punching; slapping; hitting; biting; kicking; burning; strangling; raping; beating; denying you food, warmth or sleep.
    • Denial: Saying the abuse doesn’t happen; saying you caused the abuse to happen; being gentle in public and violent in private; saying it will never happen again.

Domestic violence is a crime