Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate with partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

Controlling behaviour is: acting in a way to make a person feel inferior and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support (e.g. friends and family) and taking away their independence, freedom, and control of their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten.

In domestic violence, often some or all of the following types of abuse are used:

  • psychological and emotional (e.g. telling someone they are worthless, saying they are mad, making them do things in an exact way…)
  • physical (e.g. hitting, punching, scratching, biting, scalding, pulling hair…)
  • sexual (e.g. forcing someone into sexual activities against their will, using objects violently during sex, forcing someone to have sex with another person when they do not wish to…)
  • financial (e.g. preventing them from getting or keeping a job, denying them sufficient housekeeping, having to account for every penny spent…)

Abused people are not weak, submissive victims.  It takes huge strength to live with an abusive partner.  To survive in that situation, you have to be strong and resourceful, adopting all kinds of coping strategies to survive each day.

Clare’s Law

Clare’s Law, also known as the Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme, allows people to find out if their partner has an abusive or violent past. For more information on Clare’s Law click here 

If you have experiencing domestic abuse and would like to talk confidentially and anonymously to someone then call:

Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline
Freephone 08 088 088 088
Monday to Friday 9am – 9pm / 9am – 4pm weekends.

This Helpline is available to men as well as women and concerned friends and family members.

24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline

0808 2000 247


0117 961 2999

Women’s Aid


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