Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is defined as 'any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse, between persons aged 16 or over, who are or who have been in a relationship, or who are family members, regardless of gender.”

Abuse can be:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • emotional
  • financial 

Domestic abuse is caused by the abuser and their desire for power and control.  It is not the fault of the person being abused. 

Anyone can be abused, no matter where they live or how much money they have.

It can affect anyone, regardless of race, age, class, gender, religion or sexuality. It happens in all kinds of relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and within families. 

For both male and female victims of abuse, the message is the same:

  • Domestic abuse can be more than physical abuse
  • It is not ok to be abused and it is not your fault
  • Help is available, and it is ok to ask for it

Signs of a healthy relationship:      

  • Makes me feel safe
  • Makes me feel comfortable
  • Listens to me
  • Values my opinions
  • Supports what I want to do in life
  • Is truthful with me
  • Tries to understand how I feel
  • Likes that I have other friends
  • Makes me laugh
  • Trusts me
  • Treats me as an equal
  • Respects my family
  • Understands my need for time alone or with friends and family
  • Accepts me as I am

Signs of an unhealthy relationship:

  • Tries to control me
  • Gets violent or loses temper quickly
  • Always blames me
  • Is sexually demanding
  • Keeps me from seeing my friends and family
  • Makes all the decisions
  • Embarrasses me in front of others
  • Hits me
  • Makes me cry
  • Makes me feel afraid
  • Is always “checking up” on me
  • Takes my money and other belongings
  • Threatens to leave me if I don’t do as I’m told
  • Teases, bullies and puts me down 

If you recognise any of these signs, you may be a victim of domestic abuse. 

You do not have to suffer alone.  Help, advice and support is available.