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Domestic Abuse: What are the signs?

Domestic Abuse: What are the signs?

Domestic abuse is the abuse of someone within a family or intimate relationship. It can be through a mix of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. It can happen to anyone, the abuser also could be anyone.

There are many kinds of domestic abuse, but it always comes down to having power and control over you.

Signs of emotional abuse

  • Belittling or putting you down
  • Deny abuse is taking place
  • Isolate you from family and friends
  • Stop you attending college or work
  • Accuse you of flirting or having affairs
  • Blame you for the abuse or play the victim
  • Monitor your social media profile
  • Use GPS trackers on your devices to monitor location
  • Control your finances, food, clothes etc.
  • Make unreasonable demands

Signs of intimidation or threat

  • Threaten to hurt or kill you
  • Destroy your belongings when angry
  • Invade personal space
  • Threaten to kill themselves or the children
  • Read all your text, emails, letters, etc.
  • Follow you or harass you
An image of a domestic abuse survivor with her head in her hands

Signs of physical abuse

  • Pushing or shoving
  • Biting or kicking
  • Choking
  • Throw objects at you
  • Slap, hit or punch you

Signs of sexual abuse

  • Pressuring you to have unsafe sex – such as without a condom
  • Pressure you to have sex
  • Hurt you during sex
  • Make unwanted sexual demands
  • Touch you in ways you do not wish to be touched

Where to find help

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, there is lots of help available.


If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, call 999 and listen to the questions from the operator and, if you can, respond by coughing or tapping on the handset. If you are using a mobile phone and are unable to talk press 55 to Make Yourself Heard and this will transfer your call to the police.

To seek further help, advice and guidance you can contact the following services:

  • Women’s Aid and Refuge work to end domestic abuse against women and girls.
  • Men’s Advice Line offers a friendly Men’s Advice Line that provides non-judgmental emotional support, practical advice and information for men.
  • Galop works with and for LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse and violence in the UK.
  • Our support page is full of links for safety and wellbeing services.

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Toby Greenfield

Toby is our Learner Engagement Marketing Apprentice and is involved with all things social media and content development. He is also responsible for attending careers events and delivering presentations. Toby is dedicated to showcasing the apprenticeship opportunities available for individuals and businesses to embark upon.

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