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Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or
dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their
resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating 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 their victim.”*
*This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation
(FGM) and forced marriage,
and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic
How Do I Know I’m Being Abused?
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell; in the beginning
it can make you feel like you’re going crazy. If you are frightened of your partner or have had to start changing your behaviour to avoid making him angry it’s possible that you are experiencing
We’ve made a list of some of the most common warning
signs of domestic violence. Remember that everyone’s experience of violence is different; if you don’t see anything in this list that relates to you but you still have some doubts about your
situation please give us a call on 0808 802 5565.
Does he often criticise you, shout at you or humiliate you?
Is he often jealous or possessive?
Does he hurt you or threaten to hurt you or other people, even himself, if you say you want to leave the relationship?
Do you change your behaviour out of fear and to avoid making him angry?
Does he control your money, what you wear or where you go?
Does he stop you from seeing your family or your friends?
Does he force you to have sex when you don’t want to?
Options available to people
affected by domestic violence
If you are the victim of an
abusive relationship, you should get advice on your options, which may include reporting to police or going to a refuge.
Reporting the violence to the
Many kinds of domestic abuse are
criminal offences and the police can arrest, caution or charge the perpetrator. Most police stations have Domestic Violence Units or Community Safety Units with specially trained officers to deal
with domestic violence and abuse. You should call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency or you can attend a police station in person to report an incident. Find information on all the UK
police websites through the UK Police Service Portal atwww.police.uk.
If the police arrest and charge a
perpetrator, they will decide whether to keep them in custody or release them on bail. There will usually be conditions attached to their bail to protect you from further violence and abuse. Make
sure you ask for your crime reference number which you may need if you contact other agencies for help.
The Crown Prosecution Service
will make the final decision on whether a perpetrator is prosecuted. Find more informatin on the criminal prosecution service on the Women's Aid website at