What is Domestic Abuse?

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Domestic abuse exists in all sections of our communities. Domestic abuse can exist in all types of relationships between partners and ex partners. Abusers and victims can be male or female, any race or religion and from all different types of background. Police Scotland works to a nationally agreed definition of domestic abuse which has been adopted by the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service.

This is:

“Any form of physical, sexual or mental and emotional abuse which might amount to criminal conduct and which takes place within the context of a relationship.

“The relationship will be between partners (married, co-habiting, civil partnership or otherwise) or ex-partners. The abuse can be committed in the home or elsewhere.”

There is a common misconception that domestic abuse is just physical abuse. This is not the case. Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, and emotional or mental abuse.

Physical abuse includes:

All types of assault and physical attacks like hitting (including with objects), punching, kicking and burning.

Sexual abuse includes:

Forcing you to have sexual intercourse or forcing you to engage in sexual acts.

Mental/emotional abuse includes:

Threats (including threats of violence); criticism and name calling; controlling what you do, where you go and who you speak to; threatening your children, isolating you from friends and family; accusing you of being unfaithful; threatening to 'out' your sexual orientation to family, friends or work or to reveal your HIV/AIDS status.

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