Abuse is often associated with physical violence, but it may also be emotional, psychological, verbal, sexual or financial.
Domestic abuse can happen in any relationship.
Someone can experience abuse from a partner or a former partner, in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship, or from children or other family members.
Who does domestic abuse happen to?
Anyone can experience domestic abuse no matter their age, race, sex, gender identity, sexuality, (dis)ability, wealth, or lifestyle.
However, the vast majority of domestic abuse is experienced by women, and perpetrated by men. In general, women experience incidents of domestic abuse more often, over longer periods of time, and are at higher risk of serious harm. Domestic abuse is rooted in gender inequality in our society.
How common is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is very common. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. It can be very difficult for someone who is experiencing domestic abuse to reach out to an expert support service or to the police. This means that the scale of the problem is not well recognised in everyday life.