It’s the sad reality of life that domestic abuse takes place in homes across the world every day. According to the Office for National Statistics, an estimated 2.4 million adults in England and Wales (5.7% of the population) experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2019.
What constitutes domestic abuse?
Charity Women’s Aid define domestic abuse as, “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence…”.
The majority of domestic abuse is carried out within relationships and can be perpetrated by both men and women. The definition of domestic abuse also encompasses abuse between family members and even by carers towards those they are caring for.
How do you know if it’s happening to you?
Domestic abuse can take a number of different forms, including:
- physical abuse
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
- financial abuse
What all of these types of domestic abuse have in common, is that they all include an element of control over the victim, sometimes without the victim even realising.
While the signs of physical abuse may be more obvious, emotional abuse can be very difficult to spot. Examples of emotional abuse include stopping someone from seeing their friends and family, or controlling what that person wears. Financial abuse can involve limiting how much money a person has access to, how they can spend the money they do have or making them feel bad about what they do or need to spend.
For more details about the types of domestic abuse, head to the government website.
Domestic abuse and divorce
Leaving a partner can be difficult for anyone, but for victims of domestic abuse, the thought of breaking up the relationship can be terrifying.
In many circumstances, it is possible to go to court to get an injunction to stop your partner from contacting you or make them leave the family home or even just to stop the abusive behaviour even if they remain in contact/in the family home.
Even if you do not feel ready to act right away, seeking advice from a solicitor experienced in family law can help you to fully understand your options so that you can decide how to proceed. If a partner has been making threats to stop you leaving (such as if ‘you leave you can’t take the children’ a solicitor could also help to put your mind at rest.
Get in touch for your free consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers today.
If you are considering leaving an abusive partner, as well as seeking legal advice, it’s important to ensure you get the support you need. Charities such as Refuge have a helpline where you can talk through your options with someone impartial.