Domestic Violence & Abuse

All forms of domestic violence and abuse – psychological, economic, emotional and physical – come from the abuser’s desire for power and control over other family members or intimate partners. Although every situation is unique, there are common factors involved.   Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence and abuse and it happens in all communities to people from all backgrounds.  The effects of domestic violence and abuse on survivors/victims include the direct effects on them and their relationships with other people, particularly their children.

In September 2012, it was announced that the Government definition of domestic violence would be widened to include those aged 16-17 and wording changed to reflect coercive control. The decision follows a Government consultation which saw respondents call overwhelmingly for this change. The title of the definition will change to ‘domestic violence and abuse’ and is defined by Government as:

'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 partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional.

'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.'

The Home Office in partnership with AVA has created guidance entitled ‘Information for Local Areas on the change to the Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse’.

Home Office Information includes:

  • Teenage Relationship Abuse
  • How to respond to cases
  • Services
  • Young People using Violence and Abuse in Close Relationships
  • Child to Parent Violence
  • Harmful Traditional Practices, and
  • Useful Resources and Links.