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Helpline: 0808 80 200 28  Email: info@uava.org.uk

Text support: 07715 994 962
(Text support only, calls will not be answered)

In an emergency, always dial 999

What is Abuse?

What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse or violence involves the misuse of power and is based on a range of control mechanisms which include: physical, sexual, psychological, social or economic abuse or neglect of an individual by a partner, ex-partner, carer or one or more family members, in an existing or previous domestic relationship.

This is regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, religious, cultural or political beliefs, ethnicity, disability, HIV status, class or location. Domestic abuse can also include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’.


Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Forced marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Honour-based violence
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Further information on the definitions of domestic abuse can be found on the Government website here.


What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise, directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work.


Some examples of this can include:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Pressure to have sex or sexual acts
  • Rape
  • Forced to have sexual pictures taken
  • Forced to watch pornography
  • ‘Grooming’, which can involve befriending children and young people, gaining their trust and often feeding with drugs and/or alcohol or buying gifts etc. before the sexual abuse begins
  • Online sexual abuse

The above could be a recent incident or something that has happened in the past.