Domestic abuse and sexual violence

Call 999 if you or someone you know is in immediate danger from domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Call 101 if you want to report something that's happened or if you want to seek advice.

Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults, aged 18 and over, who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality. 

In this definition, family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.

You can find more information on the South Yorkshire Police website.

Different types of abuse:

Physical abuse includes:

  • pushing, throwing, kicking
  • slapping, grabbing, hitting, punching, beating, tripping, battering, bruising, choking, shaking
  • pinching, biting
  • holding, restraining, preventing you from leaving, locking you out of the home
  • depriving you of sleep, food, medication
  • breaking bones
  • assaulting with a weapon such as a knife or gun, an household object
  • burning

Emotional abuse includes:

  • threatening or intimidating you to gain compliance
  • destruction of your personal property and possessions, or threats to do so
  • punching walls, doors, violence to an object or pet, as a way of instilling fear of further violence
  • yelling or screaming, name calling, constant harassment
  • embarrassing, making fun of you, either at home or in public
  • Saying you are worthless, excessive possessiveness, isolates you from friends and family
  • constantly checking-up on you
  • blaming you for how they act or feel
  • making you feel there is no way out of the relationship

Verbal or non-verbal abuse is more subtle than physical abuse; while physical abuse might seem worse, the scars of verbal and emotional abuse are deep rooting. 

Sexual abuse includes:

  • sexual assault: forcing someone to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity
  • sexual harassment: ridiculing another person to try to limit their sexuality or reproductive choices
  • sexual exploitation (such as forcing someone to look at pornography, or forcing someone to participate in pornographic film-making)
  • using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts

Sexual abuse often is linked to physical abuse; they may occur together or the sexual abuse may occur after a bout of physical abuse.

Economic or financial abuse includes:

  • withholding economic resources such as money, family allowance, credit cards etc
  • exploiting your resources for personal gain
  • withholding physical resources such as food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from a partner
  • preventing you from working or choosing an occupation.

Controlling behaviour includes:

  • any act designed to make you subordinate and/or dependent, by isolating you from sources of support, exploiting your resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving you of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating your everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour includes:

  • any act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that's used to harm, punish, or frighten you.