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What is Domestic Abuse?

“Domestic abuse is the misuse of power and control by one adult over another adult person within the context of a close personal relationship. Abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial.”

Domestic abuse is about power and control of one person over another. It need not relate to physical size. Abuse can take various forms including physical violence, but also emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse.

While the majority of victims are women, men do experience domestic abuse and need support in the same way. A Home office report in 1999 states:

• 1 in 6 men will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives
• 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives

It is often so easy to see victims of domestic abuse as women, that people forget that men can be victims too. This is not only difficult when accessing services but means we may also miss the signs in friends and sometimes ourselves.

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