What is Domestic Abuse – and why is it different to domestic violence?
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For many years the term domestic violence was commonly used to describe assaults between current or former partners, or family members.
However, the word ‘violence’ creates a narrow idea of the type of behaviour that victims may be subject to – and make people incorrectly think that they are not able to seek help.
Using instead the term domestic abuse, the full scope of offences become clear. This allows those suffering abuse to better understand their situation – and those who may be concerned about a loved one more knowledgeable about the signs of domestic abuse and how they can help.
So, what is domestic abuse and what are the different elements over and above acts of violence?
Domestic Abuse – A definition
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:
The definition also includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Over the coming days we will be looking at the different forms Domestic Abuse can take, what support and services are in place for victims and how you can find out if a partner has a history of domestic abuse you should know about.
If you are a victim or are concerned about a loved one, neighbour or colleague and want free, confidential advice and support call 08000 198 668 for those in Derbyshire and 01332 985 111 for those in Derby city.