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Domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

The UK government’s definition of domestic violence is ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional.’

Domestic abuse can take different forms, including:

  • physical abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • financial abuse
  • coercive control / emotional abuse
  • digital / online abuse
  • honour-based violence
  • forced marriage
  • female genital mutilation (FGM).

Domestic abuse statistics for England and Wales

Last year police recorded 464,886 cases of domestic abuse in England and Wales — an increase of 10% on the previous year (ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales, year ending March 2017).

13.6% of men and 26.3% of women aged 16 to 59 have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16 (ONS Crime Survey for England and Wales, year ending March 2016).

Types of domestic abuse

Signs of domestic abuse

Indicators of domestic violence in children

Effects of domestic abuse

How Victim Support helps

Reporting domestic abuse

Getting help

Additional services

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