What is domestic abuse?

The Home Office definition of domestic violence and abuse is: “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.  This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, economic, and emotional”.

Domestic violence and abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography, between intimate partners and family members.

The majority of domestic abuse is against women but there is also a rising issue with violence and abuse towards men. Male victims of domestic violence and abuse are increasingly speaking out and looking for support; Behind Closed Doors is committed to supporting both men and women.

Behind Closed Doors provides support for all members of society regardless of their gender, age, race or sexual orientation.

Some Key Facts

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience it in their lifetime (SafeLives)
  • On average individuals experience 50 incidents of abuse before getting effective help (SafeLives)
  • 75% of those experiencing domestic violence and abuse are targeted at work and it is often possible for perpetrators to use workplace resources such as phones, email and other means to threaten, harass or abuse their current or former partner/family member. (Corporate Alliance)
  • In 2016/17 domestic abuse is estimated to have cost over £66 billion in England and Wales (Oliver et al 2019).

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