The Government defines domestic abuse 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 or sexuality.’
This incorporates issues such as so called honour based abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
Following a Government consultation on the definition above from March 2013 the definition will also include those aged 16-17 and wording to reflect coercive control. The title of the definition will be changed to domestic violence and abuse.
Please note: Essex Police already include young people aged 15 and over in this definition.
All forms of domestic abuse - psychological, economic, emotional and physical - come from the abuser's desire for power and control over other family members or intimate partners. Although every situation is unique, there are common factors involved.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse and it happens in all communities to people from all backgrounds.
The impact of domestic abuse
Survivors/victims may be affected by domestic abuse in a number of ways:
Loss of opportunity
- Isolation from family/friends
- Loss of income or work
- Emotional/psychological effects such as experiences of anxiety,
- Depression or lowered sense of self-worth
- Poor health
- Physical injury or ongoing impairment
The effects of domestic abuse on survivors/victims include the direct effects on them and their relationships with other people, particularly their children.