Domestic abuse is defined as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
This is not a legal definition.
Domestic abuse affects one in four women and one in seven men in their lifetimes, with women suffering higher rates of repeat victimisation and serious injury.
- In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men).
- The police recorded 746,219 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2019, an increase of 24% from the previous year.
- In Lancashire there were 32,825 domestic-abuse related incidents and crimes recorded in the year ending March 2019 (Office for National Statistics, 2019).
The main characteristic of domestic violence is that the behaviour is intentional and it is calculated to exercise power and control within a relationship.
Alongside the physical injuries inflicted, ongoing violence is frequently a primary cause of mental health issues and chronic health problems for those affected. Children witnessing domestic abuse are also at risk of significant emotional harm
Useful links to access support for domestic abuse
- Lancashire Victim Support including Domestic Abuse (external website)
- Lancashire police domestic abuse support (External Website)
- National Domestic Violence helpline 0800 2000 247
- Lancashire Safeguarding Adults Board (external Website)
- Lancashire County Council Community Safety (external Website)