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Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is when you are being controlled, threatened and/or hurt by a current or former partner or family member(s).  The abuse can include (but isn’t limited to) psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour and stalking. It can happen just once or twice but usually happens regularly with episodes of abuse forming a pattern of behaviour by your abuser(s).  Forced Marriage, Honour Based Violence and Female Genital Mutilation are also forms of domestic abuse.

Anyone can experience domestic violence and abuse regardless of their sex, race, ethnic or religious group, sexuality, gender identity class, age, disability or lifestyle. Domestic violence and abuse are defined as happening between people aged 16+ but after a very recent change in the law (2021), children who have witnessed or been otherwise affected by domestic abuse are now legally recognised as victims-survivors in their own right.  Below are some examples of abusive behaviours:

Psychological / emotional abuse

Scaring or intimidating you, shouting, name calling and making threats. Telling you that you are worthless, putting you down.

Physical abuse

This can be any act that hurts you physically including punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, locking you in/out of a room, shoving, burning, strangling and anything that harms your body physically.

Sexual abuse

Any non-consenting sexual acts, such as: rape, forcing sex or specific sexual acts, unwanted use of pornography or criticising your performance, saying things that make you feel bad sexually.

Financial / economic abuse

Taking away your financial independence, such as not allowing you to work or monitoring/controlling how you spend your money, forcing or coercing you into debt

Cultural based abuse

Forced marriage or “‘honour-based violence”. This is when you punished for undermining a code of behaviour in your family and/or community. You may be forced or coerced into marrying someone against your will.

Coercive and controlling behaviour

A pattern of behaviours that make you feel intimidated or degraded. Isolating you from friends and family; controlling and monitoring what you do, who you see, what you wear and where you go. Hurting or threatening to hurt you physically or sexually as a way of controlling you.

Threats and intimidation

Threatening to harm you or your children, family or friends. Also, threatening to report you to agencies such as social services, benefits agencies or immigration services.

Destruction of property

Destroying sentimental objects, breaking furniture or windows, damaging clothes, breaking or smashing your phone

Harassment and stalking

Persistent and unwanted contact by text, phone, email, social media and sending gifts. Hanging about outside your house or school/college/workplace. Following you when you go out. Tracking you online. Monitoring your Internet usage and movements.

Online or digital abuse

Monitoring your social media profiles or emails. Abuse over social media, such as Facebook or Twitter. Sharing intimate photos or videos of you without your consent. Using GPS locators or spyware.

How we can help

I need help

If you are experiencing domestic abuse or are still suffering from the impact of previous domestic abuse and need help

I am worried about someone else

If you are worried that a friend or a family member may be experiencing domestic abuse you may be unsure of what to do or how to help.

For professionals

If you are supporting someone affected by domestic abuse you can refer them directly into Calderdale Staying Safe.

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