Domestic violence and abuse is about the misuse of power and control
It may start with emotional abuse but can soon escalate. It is not always about physical violence and can occur between married couples, same sex partners, family members, those in a current relationship or one that has ended. It is rarely a one-off occurrence. If someone's partner doesn't allow them to see their family, controls their finances, won't let them work or dictates what they wear then they are likely to be in an abusive relationship.
Domestic violence is defined by the Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers as:
'Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality'
Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.
Anyone can experience domestic violence and abuse and people can suffer regardless of their social group, class, age, race, religion, disability, sexuality lifestyle or income.
Not all forms of domestic violence and abuse are crimes, but they still affect a victims' quality of life, health, well being and ability to work.
Whatever the reasons for the violence starting, everyone has the right not to experience abuse. There are laws to protect you and you can take practical steps to make yourself safe and the legal steps to try to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Fairness for All
Whilst the majority of victims are female, we know that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse. Male and same sex victims have the same rights, they will receive exactly the same level of support from us and we can help victims to access relevant specialist services.
We will do our best to accommodate specific cultural and faith issues and fully recognise so called “honour” based violence as a form of domestic abuse which carries a very high level of risk.
Disability and physical and mental health problems can make victims especially vulnerable and we will work with specialist agencies to assess risk and make safety plans.
We also recognise that young people can experience domestic abuse, if you are aged 16/17 we will work with CYPSC to make a plan to support and accommodate you if necessary.