If a child is in immediate danger please call 999
What it is
Domestic abuse is any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse:
- Between people aged over 16
- Who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members.
It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity, and can begin at any stage of the relationship.
Domestic abuse can be:
Domestic abuse can also include forced marriage and so-called honour crimes.
It's abuse if your partner or a family member:
- Puts you down, or attempts to undermine your self-esteem
- Controls you, for example by stopping you seeing your friends and family
- Is jealous and possessive, such as being suspicious of your friendships and conversations
- Frightens you.
Domestic abuse and safeguarding children
Children who live in families where there is domestic abuse can suffer serious long-term emotional and psychological effects. Even if they are not physically harmed or do not witness acts of violence, they can pick up on the tensions and harmful interactions between adults.
If you are worried about a child living in a family where domestic abuse may be an issue go to what to do if you are worried about a child.
Who can help
National Domestic Violence 24-hour freephone helpline for women on 0808 2000 247.
National Men's Advice Line helpline open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm on 0808 801 0327.
Galop making life safe, just and fair for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. Phone: 0808 999 5428.
Safe Lives is a national domestic abuse charity addressing sexual abuse.
Children and young people can contact Childline on 0800 1111.