What is Domestic Violence? - Hastings Women's Refuge

Domestic violence is violence by someone who has a close personal relationship or emotional bond with the person they are abusing.

The types of relationships include couples, partners living apart, parent and child, siblings, or flatmates.
Domestic Violence happens in same sex relationships at around the same rate as it does in heterosexual relationships.

Domestic violence is not always obvious black eyes and bruises. The tactics used might be invisible to someone outside the family, the behaviour might seem trivial or random, but together the tactics have the effect of manipulating and controlling, making the person being abused feel fearful.

Domestic Violence may be physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse or financial control.

For broader detail see the Duluth Power and Control Wheel below.


It can be a single act of violence but is usually a pattern of behaviours over a period of time aimed at controlling you.

For further information on signs of Domestic Violence see Warning Signs.

Warning Signs

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