Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse) happens within intimate relationships as well as between family members.
It forms a pattern of bullying and controlling behaviour. It is rarely a one-off event and it tends to get worse over time. Abusers can be very manipulative in the way they use their power and control over you and may blame you and other factors for their abusive behaviours.
It can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, disability, wealth, gender identity and lifestyle.
Domestic violence is caused by an abuser’s desire to gain power and control over their partner. Abusers use a range of different tactics – physical, emotional, sexual, financial – to achieve this.
This list may help you to identify whether you are experiencing domestic violence:
• Are you afraid of your partner?
• Do you feel isolated? Do they cut you off from family and friends?
• Are they jealous and possessive?
• Do they humiliate or insult you?
• Do they verbally abuse you?
• Do they say you are useless and couldn’t cope without them?
• Do they physically hurt you? Do they shove, slap, punch or kick you?
• Have they threatened to hurt you or people close to you?
• Do they constantly criticize you?
• Do they have sudden changes of mood which dominate the household?
• Are they charming one minute and abusive the next?
• Do they control your money?
• Do you change your behaviour to avoid triggering an attack?
• Are you unsure of your own judgment?
• Do they damage your possessions?
• Do they smash up the furniture?
• Do they threaten to harm or kill the pets?
• Do they threaten to kidnap or get custody of the children?
• Do they drive fast because they know it scares you?
• Do they lock you out of the house during an argument?
Contacts and useful links
If you are in immediate danger phone 999 and ask to speak to the police.
South Ribble has a 24-hour domestic violence helpline for information advice and to help access refuge accommodation: 01772 435865.
Click here to find out about our Sanctuary scheme, which aims to offer another option for those who would otherwise have to move house and leave everything and everyone behind at a time when they need their support networks the most.
Women’s Aid (national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children)
Men’s Advice Line (advice and support for men experiencing domestic violence and abuse)
Broken Rainbow (Helpline providing confidential support to all members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans communities)
Karma Nirvana (Supporting victims of so-called honour crimes and forced marriages)
Children and Young People (helping children and young people to understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it's happening to them)