Victims and survivors of domestic abuse

Types of domestic abuse

If someone is in immediate danger and their life is threatened, they should dial the Police on 999; if you are unable to talk, once connected to 999 press 55 and the police will attend. If it is not an emergency but you need help from the police, please call 101. For non-emergencies you can also report a crime online

Domestic abuse can take many forms. You do not have to be experiencing all forms to be experiencing domestic abuse.  

Coercive Control  

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Coercive control describes acts or pattern of assault, threat, humiliation, and intimidation. Coercive control creates invisible chains and an overwhelming sense of fear.  

Examples of include: 

  • Isolating you from friends and family 
  • Depriving you of basic needs, such as food, toiletry or sanitary products, clean clothing, footwear, medical care, sleep 
  • Monitoring your time 
  • Monitoring you via online communication tools or spyware 
  • Taking control over aspects of your everyday life, such as where you can go, who you can see, what you can wear and when you can sleep 
  • Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services 
  • Repeatedly putting you down, such as saying you’re worthless 
  • Humiliating, degrading or dehumanising you 
  • Controlling your finances 
  • Making threats or intimidating you (without actual physical violence)

Physical abuse 

Violence and physical abuse can be directed at you, or at your family, friends or pets. 

Examples include: 

  • Hitting / punching / kicking / shoving you 
  • Spitting at or on you 
  • Strangling or intentionally affecting your ability to breath  
  • Pulling your hair 
  • Making angry or physical threats towards you 
  • Biting you 
  • Drowning you 
  • Burning you 
  • Using weapons on you 
  • Forcing you to use drugs and / or alcohol 
  • Depriving you of sleep 
  • Hurting your pet 
  • Invading your space

Psychological and/or Emotional Abuse 

It is possible that you may be on the receiving end of: 

  • Jealousy 
  • Gaslighting  
  • Blame for the abuse 
  • Lying 
  • Accusing you of having affairs 
  • Being told that you are causing this situation by your behaviour 

Your partner/family member may: 

  • Manipulate you 
  • Ignore you 
  • Undermine or try to confuse you 
  • Tell you that you are losing your mind (gaslighting) 

Other examples include 

  • Criticising you 
  • Mocking you 
  • Swearing and shouting at you
  • Telling you that you are fat/ugly/worthless/useless 
  • Telling you that you are mad 
  • Blaming you for everything that happens 
  • Telling you that you are not being abused 
  • Saying that no one will believe you 
  • Following you or stalking you 
  • Turning up unexpectedly at your workplace or other places 

Financial and/or Economic Abuse 

Financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner’s current and future actions and their freedom of choice.  

Examples include: 

  • Building debt up in your name 
  • Withholding money from you 
  • Stealing money from you 
  • Limiting or preventing access to money 
  • Not letting you work or restricting the hours you work 
  • Using family money for alcohol/drugs/gambling or other activities 
  • Claiming and keeping benefits 
  • Selling your possessions 
  • Destroying or damaging possessions which then requires you to spend money to resolve  
  • Not payingchild support 
  • Refusing to pay bills 
  • Forcing you to earn money for them / another person 
  • Threatening to report you to the Benefits Agency or other authorities 
  • Preventing you from having any financial independence 

Digital Abuse  

Online platforms are increasingly used to perpetrate domestic abuse. (add examples – ring doorbells, hive, location trackers, tracking etc.) 

Examples include: 

  • Monitoring of social media profiles or emails 
  • Abuse over social media such as Facebook or Twitter 
  • Sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent 
  • Using GPS locators or spyware. 

For more resources and information about how stay safe online visit: 

Sexual assault and violence  

Consent happens when all people involved in any kind of sexual activity agree to take part by choice. They also need to have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. 

Examples include: 

  • Rape and serious sexual assault 
  • Sexual assault 
  • Forcing you to engage in sexual acts 
  • Forcing you to take part in or look at pornographic images or videos 
  • Forcing you to have sexual relationships with other people 

Accessing support services and local services available


Threats can be in person or via phone calls, emails, text messages or social networking sites. 

Examples include threatening to: 

  • Take your children away 
  • Have your children removed by Social Care 
  • Have you deported 
  • Have you sectioned 
  • Abuse or hurt your children, family, friends or pets 
  • Kill you or someone close to you 
  • Commit suicide 
  • Mutilate you or your loved ones 
  • Stalk you


Your partner/family member may try to isolate you from other people. This can include: 

  • Restricting or preventing you having contact with family and friends 
  • Humiliating you in front of others 
  • Telling your family or friends lies about you 
  • Giving you a curfew 
  • Locking you in the house 
  • Stopping or monitoring your phone calls 
  • Reading your texts and emails 
  • Contacting you frequently whilst you are out asking what time you will be home 

Stalking and/or Harassment 

Stalking is a pattern of persistent and unwanted attention that makes you feel pestered, scared, anxious or harassed.  

Examples include: 

  • Being followed or stalked 
  • Leaving unwanted gifts on your doorstep 
  • Following you at your workplace/college or when you are out with friends 
  • Being denied any privacy 
  • Escorting you everywhere or ensuring that a family member escorts you to places 
  • Keeping track of you through your mobile phone/ GPRS/ social networking sites.  
  • Persistent texting and calls  
  • Love bombing