Domestic abuse is when one grown-up hurts or bullies another grown-up who is or was their partner, or who is in the same family. Domestic abuse can happen between people who are boyfriend and girlfriend or who are married.
It can happen when people live together or in different houses. Usually (but not always) it is the man who hurts the woman. Although domestic abuse happens between grown-ups, children can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear. Children can also be hurt or bullied as part of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse can be:
- Physical – for example, hitting, pushing, kicking
- Emotional – sayings things to frighten the other person or make them feel bad
- Sexual – making someone do sexual things that they don’t want to
- Financial – such as taking away the other person’s money, or not letting them get a job
Domestic abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviour. Grown-ups use domestic abuse to control other people. If someone in your family is abusive, remember it’s not your fault.
If this is happening in your family, remember that you are not alone. Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people that can help you and your family. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe