In essence, domestic violence is the violent form of domestic abuse which is controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners. Carers who are family members can also be perpetrators.
And anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse or violence, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background. There is no distinction between heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or transgender relationships in domestic violence/abuse. The abuse or violence can continue after the intimate relationship has ended.
The ill treatment, lasting over an extended period of time and rarely a one-off incident, can take several forms.
These behaviours through which a perpetrator exerts power or control over another person are regarded as coercive control:
Much of coercive control is also emotional abuse, which can also include a perpetrator:
This covers the perpetrator doing one or more of:
This includes slapping, hitting, punching, pushing, shoving, biting, kicking, burning, choking, holding down and throwing things at their partner.
This is behaviour involving violence, threats of violence, intimidation, coercion or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse) which can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code, such as by perceived immoral behaviour.
Any of the above also applies when perpetrators of the abuse or violence are family members or carers. Family members are mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.
The final word goes to the Crown Prosecution Service: “Domestic violence is a crime. We all have a role to play in bringing domestic violence to an end.”