Domestic abuse is defined as controlling, coercive, violent or threatening behaviour to someone over the age of 16 by someone who is in or has been in an intimate relationship with them or who is a family member.
The Office for National Statistics estimated that in 2017 around 2 million adults experienced domestic abuse. 1.3 million were women. These figures are estimated and in reality could be significantly higher as domestic abuse often goes unreported.
Signs of an abusive relationship:
• Does your partner hurt you physically and/or threaten to?
• Does your partner force you to have sex or forced sexual activity?
• Do you feel afraid of your partner?
• Are you always “walking on egg shells”?
• Does your partner humiliate or embarrass you?
• Does your partner have extreme mood swings?
• Is your partner very critical of you?
• Does your partner isolate you from friends and family?
• Does your partner control the basic essentials – for example withholding money or food?
• Does your partner try to control what you wear, where you go, who you see?
• Does your partner check your phone, email and social media accounts?
• Does your partner act excessively jealous?
• Does your partner make you feel guilty?
In the past the words “domestic abuse” depicted an image of a husband coming back from the pub and physically beating his wife. However, nowadays we are much more aware of the different types of abuse perpetrated by both men and women within a domestic setting.
Types of abuse:
• Physical abuse – where physical force is used to hurt, frighten and intimidate you.
• Sexual abuse – sexual assault or acts that you have not consented to or feel forced to do.
• Psychological/ emotional abuse –verbal abuse, isolation, name calling, making you feel worthless. This is a form of intimidation and control.
• Financial abuse – another form of control, withholding money, accounting for every penny, restricting you to an allowance and even stealing from you.
• Coercive control – where your partner uses intimidation, threatens you, humiliates you, monitors your every move and isolates you. It is a pattern of behaviour which repeats and often increases overtime with the purpose of controlling you.
We at Barber & Co understand that it is incredibly difficult to leave an abusive relationship and when you do you may feel lost or scared and not know what legal options you have. We will guide and support you through the legal processes that you may face when leaving your home or safeguarding your children and we will do so with care and understanding.
Please note that in some cases of domestic abuse legal aid is still available and we would always advise you to check if you are eligible first.
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