Are you worried that you may be abusing your partner/family member?

What is abusive behaviour?

Is there equality in your relationship? Is there a high level of trust and acceptance of each others needs? Do you have friends and/or hobbies that you can pursue without the involvement of your partner?

Perhaps you feel like you need to know where your partner is all the time, that you need to be in control of finances or decision making. Perhaps you behave very differently in front of others compared to when you're alone with your partner?

Perhaps your partner feels intimidated or scared when you lose your temper?

  • Domestic violence and abuse is about power and control. It is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are, or have ever been, intimate partners or family members.
  • Intimate partners could mean boyfriend or girlfriend, husband or wife, or other sexual partner. Family members includes step/half family (e.g. step-daughter or half-brother) and extended family (e.g. uncle, cousin, grandmother).
  • Domestic violence and abuse is rarely a one-off incident and is a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim.
  • It occurs across the whole of society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, disability, religion, class, or lifestyle and income.
  • Crimes committed in the name of ‘honour’, forced marriage and female genital mutilation are also considered acts of domestic abuse.
  • Domestic violence and abuse can also happen to people with mental health issues, physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulties and older people who are being cared for by family members or partners

If you recognise this in yourself or someone close to you then help is available without judgement.

Why should I address my abusive behaviour?

You may be convicted of a criminal offence. 

Victims can also seek assistance through the civil courts. There are a number of ways victims can gain protection this way:

  • Non-molestation orders – for protection from all forms of violence and abuse
  • You may to subject to a Domestic Violence Protection Order or Notice.
  • Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) and Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPNs) were rolled out across all 43 police forces in England Wales from 8 March 2014. DVPOs are a civil order that fills a “gap” inproviding protection to victims by enabling the police and magistrates’ courts to put in place protective measures in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident where there is insufficient evidence to charge a perpetrator and provide protection to a victim via bail conditions.

  • A DVPN is an emergency non-molestation and eviction notice which can be issued by the police, when attending to a domestic abuse incident, to a perpetrator. Because the DVPN is a police-issued notice, it is effective from the time of issue, thereby giving the victim the immediate support they require in such a situation. Within 48 hours of the DVPN being served on the perpetrator, an application by police to a magistrates’ court for a DVPO must be heard. A DVPO can prevent the perpetrator from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days. This allows the victim a degree of breathing space to consider their options with the help of a support agency. Both the DVPN and DVPO contain a condition prohibiting the perpetrator from molesting the victim.