Abuse in a relationship does not have to be physical – it can be psychological, sexual, verbal or financial intimidation, and always means that one person is trying to control another.

  • Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, but in most cases women are abused by their male partners.
  • Two women a week in England and Wales on average are killed by their current or former partner.
  • One in seven children and young people under the age of 18 will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood.
  • There is help and information available to everyone affected, for both heterosexual and same-sex relationships.
  • If you are in a relationship with someone, if you force them to have sex it is rape.
  • Approximately 90% of those who are raped know the perpetrator prior to the offence.
  • Approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England and Wales alone every year; that’s roughly 11 rapes (of adults alone) every hour.


  • VERBAL ABUSE: threatening, destructively criticising your partner.
  • PRESSURE TACTICS: threatening to withhold money, disconnect the telephone, take the car away, commit suicide or take the children away.
  • FEELING COMPLETELY ALONE: monitoring or blocking telephone calls, telling your partner where they can and cannot go, preventing them from seeing friends and relatives.
  • HARASSMENT: following and checking up on your partner, opening their emails, repeatedly checking their phone to see who they have been talking to.
  • THREATS: making angry gestures, using your physical size to intimidate, destroying their possessions, breaking things, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill.
  • SEXUAL VIOLENCE: using force, threats or intimidation to make your partner perform sexual acts.
  • PHYSICAL VIOLENCE: punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling.
  • DENIAL: saying the abuse doesn’t happen, blaming your partner for the abuse.