Domestic abuse can occur in any kind of relationship - between intimate partners, family members, people with additional needs and their carers.

There are different kinds of abuse, but it's always about someone having power and control over you. Some people need to use violence to control another person, but some people can gain that control through threats and manipulation. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you might be in an abusive relationship.

If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, there is help available. Where to go for help

Controlling and coercive behaviour

Does your partner, family member or carer ever:

  • isolate you from your family and friends?
  • stop you going to college or work?
  • 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?
Emotional abuse

Does your partner, family member or carer ever:

  • belittle you, or put you down?
  • blame you for the abuse or arguments?
  • deny that abuse is happening, or play it down?
  • make unreasonable demands for your attention?
Threats and intimidation

Does your partner, family member or carer ever:

  • threaten to hurt or kill you?
  • destroy things that belong to you?
  • stand over you, invade your personal space?
  • threaten to kill themselves or the children?
  • read your emails, texts or letters?
  • harass or follow you?
Physical abuse

The person abusing you may hurt you in a number of ways.

Does your partner, family member or carer ever:

  • slap, hit or punch you?
  • push or shove you?
  • bite or kick you?
  • burn you?
  • choke you or hold you down?
  • throw things?
Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, whether they're male or female.

Does your partner 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?

If your partner has sex with you when you don't want to, this is rape.

How does your partner, family member or carer make you feel?
  • Do they ever frighten you?
  • Do you spend a lot of time trying to keep them happy?
  • What happens when partner, family member or carer is angry?
  • Do you ever have sex with your partner even if you don't feel like it?
  • Do they make it difficult for you to go to appointments, work, college or school, or to see friends or family? What happens if you are late home, or late?
  • Have you changed your appearance, clothing or behaviour because you don't want to make them angry?
  • What would happen to you if you said no?