What is domestic violence and abuse?

Recognising domestic violence

Everyone has disagreements in their relationship, with their partner, family members and close friends from time to time. We all do things at times which we later regret and can hurt the feelings of those we care about. However, if arguments, violence and hurtful behaviour begin to form a pattern within a relationship this can be an indicator of domestic violence.

Some questions to think about are:

  • Are you afraid of your partner?
  • Does your partner prevent you from seeing family or friends?
  • Does your partner prevent you from going to work or college?
  • Do you change your behaviour because you ar afraid of what your partner's reaction might be?
  • Does your partner put you down, embarrass, humiliate or ridicule you in front of other people?
  • Does your partner check where you are, who you are with and what you are doing, including constant text messaging or checking your phone to see who you are in contact with?
  • Does your partner keep your money, or not give you enough money to buy food, clothes and other necessary items for yourself and your children?
  • Has your partner ever forced you to have sex or do do something sexual that you were uncomfortable with?
  • Has your partner ever threatened to hurt you, your children or someone you care about?
  • Does your partner accuse you of being unfaithful, flirting or having affairs?
  • has your partner ever deliberately damaged or destroyed your belongings?
  • Does your partner threaten that you could be deported because of your immigration status?
  • Does your partner threaten that your children will be taken away or put into care?
  • Does your partner threaten that he will take yor children away or that you will not be allowed to see them again if you leave him?
  • Does your partner blame you for his violence, drinking or drug taking:
  • Does your partner not allow you to take necessary medication, or control your use of drugs and/ or alchol?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you may be experiencing domestic violence and we urge you to seek support. Click on the following link for information about support services here

If your friend, family member of colleague is experiencing domestic violence...

If you are concerned that a friend is experiencing violence and/ or abuse in a relationship , here are some signs you could look out for:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Cancelling plans last minute
  • Argumentative or upset
  • Fearful or withdrawn
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Use of drugs and alcohol
  • Early sexual activity / risk taking
  • Receiving constant texts and calls
  • Afraid to make their partner angry
  • Makes excuses for partner's behaviour

Just because they are exhibiting some of these signs does not necessarily mean that they experiencing domestic violence but they may need other support. It can be very hard to talk about violence and abuse and it can also be hard to support someone.  Make sure you look after yourself as well as your friend.

Here are some tips for ways to talk to a friend about your concerns:

  • If you approach them, do so in a sensitive way, such as 'I am worried about you because ....'
  • Don't judge them, believe what they tell you.
  • Let them know they are not alone, that it is not their fault and that you know it is hard to talk about it.
  • Help them to recognise what is happening is unacceptable.
  • Ask them what, if anything, they would like to do to make things safer. Accept that they might just want you to listen and not do anything.
  • Think up a code word that your friend could use on the phone to let you know they need help.
  • Remind your friend about their positive qualities, to help build their confidence.

For help and advice, please click on the Safe Newcastle website

For information on domestic violence services, please click on this leaflet.

Page last updated: 
10 November 2017
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