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What is domestic violence and abuse?

If you are in immediate danger - call 999 now.

If you would like to talk to someone, call Childline on 0800 1111.

I didn't understand what was going on. There were never any bruises on my mum, so I didn't think it could be that bad. Now I know that domestic abuse isn't just about violence.

Domestic violence and abuse is any type of hurt taking place between adults who are close to each other (this might be between parents, boyfriend and girlfriend or between lesbian or gay couples), or within families (for example your parent or step-parent, brother, sister or uncle might be hurting their partner or child at home).

The hurt can take place in lots of different ways. Sometimes it can result in physical violence, but it can also be emotional abuse, financial abuse or sexual abuse. Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone. Most people think it mainly happens to women, but it can happen to men as well. There are lots of different types of domestic violence and abuse; some of these are listed below.

  • hitting, slapping, pulling hair, biting and kicking
  • name calling, bullying, controlling what the other person does (mental / emotional abuse)
  • controlling or taking all the money, not letting the other person work
  • forcing the person to have sex, touching them against their will

These are just a few types of harm. Click here to find out more about what to do if its happening to you at home or click here if you think your friend is experiencing this type of harm. There is also information available if you are being hurt by your boyfriend or girlfriend.

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