Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.
Abusive behaviour can occur in any relationship. It can continue even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers.
Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships.
Children and young people witnessing domestic abuse
Witnessing domestic abuse is very distressing and scary for a child, and can cause serious harm. Children living in a home where domestic abuse is happening are at risk of other types of abuse too. Children can experience domestic abuse or violence in lots of different ways. They might:
*see the abuse
*hear the abuse from another room
*see a parent's injuries or distress afterwards
*be hurt by being nearby or trying to stop the abuse
Teenagers experiencing domestic abuse
Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship, and it affects young people too.
They may not realise that what's happening is abuse. Even if they do, they might not tell anyone about it because they're scared of what will happen, or ashamed about what people will think.
National Domestic Violence Helpline for Women: Freephone: 0808 2000 547
Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Service. Phone: 0800 915 1561
Men's Advice Line (for men who are victims of domestic abuse). Phone: 0808 801 0327
Broken Rainbow (domestic abuse support for LGBT). Freephone 0800 999 5428