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What is domestic abuse?


Domestic abuse occurs across society regardless of age, gender, sexuality, wealth, ethnicity or geography. It's not just between people who are, or have been in, a sexual relationship, but also, between family members or those living in the same house.

If you are in immediate danger please call 999.

Get help

Find out how to get help and support if you are a victim of domestic abuse on the Help and support for domestic abuse victims page.

Signs of domestic abuse

The Home Office provides a clear definition of domestic violence and abuse.

Signs of an abusive relationship include:

  • demanding to know where you have been, what you have been doing, who you have been talking to
  • stopping you seeing friends and family
  • bullying or intimidating you
  • punching, shoving, slapping, kicking, biting, spitting or threatening you or your children with these actions
  • constant criticism aimed at you or your abilities as a partner or parent

The repeat nature of domestic abuse

Any of the above actions could amount to domestic abuse, however domestic abuse isn't just about individual incidents but also the repeat nature of these and how they can get worse.

People who carry out domestic abuse believe that they are entitled to behave in this way, domestic abuse is about power and control over the victim.

Contact us
Community Safety

Customer Services
03000 26 0000
Our address is:
  • Durham County Council
  • County Hall
  • Durham
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH1 5UQ
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