Domestic Abuse

Signs of domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is not a one-off incident, but an ongoing pattern of behaviour in the relationship. It includes a range of behaviours which, once begun, repeats and often gets worse over time.

Anyone can be a victim regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Read the definition of Domestic Abuse on

In an unhealthy relationship, you feel:

  • frightened
  • intimidated
  • isolated
  • ashamed 

Your partner or family member:

  • threatens you
  • makes all the decisions
  • controls you
  • blames you
  • threatens to harm others
  • humiliates you

People do not leave abusive relationships because they:

  • may feel lonely, confused, frightened and ashamed
  • worry leaving will make things worse
  • believe that the perpetrator can get help and fix the relationship
  • face threats (for example, violence or having children taken away)
  • may have to start again, including moving and leaving their job
  • do not believe they are in an abusive relationship
  • make excuses for bad behaviour as time goes on
  • still love their partner of family member