What is domestic abuse?
Domestic violence is never okay.
We define domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent behaviour, including sexual violence. The majority of cases are perpetrated by a partner or ex-partner, but could also be by a family member or carer. It is very common. Anyone can experience domestic abuse. The majority of cases involve women victim-survivors and male perpetrators.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
  • Physical violence or threats of violence
  • Sexual assault or rape
  • Emotional abuse, e.g. put-downs or insults
  • Coercive control, e.g. preventing someone from seeing friends or family or from going to work
  • Financial abuse, e.g. restricting access to money or otherwise controlling a person’s finances
Recognising the signs of domestic violence and abuse:

There are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about having power and control over another.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have an abusive partner or family member.

Emotional abuse.

Does the person ever:
·        Belittle you, or put you down?
·        Blame you for the abuse or arguments?
·        Deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
·        Isolate you from family and friends?
·        Stop you going to university or work?
·        Make unreasonable demands for your attention?
·        Accuse you of flirting or having affairs?
·        Tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, and what to think?
·        Control your money, or not give you enough to buy food or other essential things?

Psychological abuse.

Does the person ever:
·        Call you names?
·        Yell or swear at you?
·        Ignore or isolate you?
·        Exclude you from meaningful events or activities?
·        Threaten to hurt or kill you?
·        Destroy things that belong to you?
·        Stand over you, invade your personal space?
·        Threaten to hurt or kill themselves or other family members?
·        Read your emails, texts or letters?

Physical abuse.

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.
Do they ever:
·        Slap, hit or punch you?
·        Push or shove you?
·        Bite, pinch or kick you?
·        Burn you?
·        Choke you or hold you down?
·        Throw things?

Financial abuse.

Does the person ever:
·        Control how money is spent?
·        Give you an “allowance”?
·        Deny you direct access to bank accounts, loans or grants?
·        Forbid you from working?
·        Run up large debts on joint accounts without your permission, or take actions that lead to you having bad credit?
·        Force you to be involved in fraudulent activity?
·        Spend money on themselves but not allow you to do the same?
·        Give you presents or pay for things and expect something in return?

Sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.
Does the person ever:
·        Touch you in a way you don't want to be touched?
·        Make unwanted sexual demands?
·        Hurt you during sex?
·        Pressure you to have unsafe sex – for example, not using a condom?
·        Pressure you to have sex (including with other people)?
Remember, if someone has sex with you when you don't want to, this is rape, even if you are in a relationship with them.

Support for students
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) are trained to look after the needs of a survivor of domestic violence to ensure they receive the best possible care and understanding and to provide information to ensure an individual can make decisions that are right for them. Student Wellbeing Services can refer you to an IDVA or you can contact Next Link to find out more.
  • You can also call the national domestic violence number, this is open 24/7 and can be anonymous: 0808 2000 241
  • Speak with a friend. Talking things through with someone you trust can help.
  • Contact Student Wellbeing Services - they will ensure you are able to access services you need.



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