About domestic abuse

Westminster operates under the cross-government definition of domestic abuse, which is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

This abuse can be, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour

This is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour

This is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse used to harm, punish, or frighten the victim.

This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. Victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

If you think you may be a victim of abuse, learn the signs.

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Last updated: 7 September 2017
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