Most people think of domestic violence as being limited to physical violence.
However, domestic violence is defined as 'any incident, or pattern of incidents, of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other'.
A quarter of women have been in an abusive relationship and one man every three weeks is killed by a violent partner in the UK.
Would you recognise it happening to someone you knew?
Here is a non-exhaustive list of common abusive behaviours:
- Deliberately isolating their partner from their friends and family by controlling their money, access to a car, access to door keys etc.
- Checking their partner’s mobile phone, Facebook and emails; checking mileage on their partner’s car or otherwise checking up on what their partner has told them.
- Humiliating and mocking their partner in front of others under the pretence of a joke.
- Subjecting their partner to degrading and unwanted sexual conduct.
- Controlling all aspects of their partner’s life e.g. what they wear, where they go, what they do.
- Threatening suicide if their partner doesn’t do what they want.
- Eroding their partner’s confidence by commenting on their appearance, comparing them to others or telling them that they are lucky to be with them.
What can you do to help?
It can be incredibly difficult to know how to support a loved one who might be suffering from abuse. Above all, you should try not to allow the abusive partner to shut you out, and be ready to support the victim when they are finally able to break free.
How the law can help
Another way you can support them is to encourage them to seek legal advice to find out how the law can protect them with injunctions.
Our family law specialists can give confidential, discreet and detailed advice to put their minds at ease.