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Domestic Abuse

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is the use of power and control in an intimate or family relationship. It can take many forms including:

  • Physical violence (e.g. slapping, pushing, kicking, punching)
  • Psychological or emotional abuse (e.g. verbal abuse and humiliation)
  • Financial control (e.g. withholding money, making all of the financial decisions)
  • Use of coercion or threats (e.g. not allowing friends to visit, restricting of phone calls)

Domestic violence is not always physical and the signs may not be obvious.  Domestic violence can involve controlling a person’s contact with their friends and family (isolating them), destroying property, verbal threats in private or public, etc.

If you are suffering any of these, support is available to help you.  You will be taken seriously and not judged because of your circumstances.

How does domestic abuse affect children?

Domestic violence teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people. For instance:

  • It can teach them that violence is an acceptable way to resolve conflict
  • They learn how to keep secrets
  • They learn to mistrust those close to them and that children are responsible and to blame for violence, especially if violence erupts after an argument about them
  • It can impact negatively on the intimate relationships they develop in early and later life

Children are affected in many ways by abuse, even after a short time. These effects include: feeling frightened, becoming withdrawn, bedwetting, running away, aggressiveness, behavioural difficulties, problems with school, poor concentration and emotional turmoil.

The longer children are exposed to abuse, the more severe the effects on them are.

Children suffering abuse from a girlfriend/boyfriend

The British Crime Survey 2009/10 found that 16-19 year olds are more likely to suffer abuse from a partner. 12.7% of females and 6.2% of males in this age group suffer abuse, compared to 7% of females and 5% of males in older groups. Victims of domestic violence and abuse aged 16 and 17 are now recognised under the cross-government definition, which came into effect on 31st March 2013.

Help and advice

Domestic violence is a crime. Never hesitate to call the police who have specialist officers trained to help you and put you in touch with other organisations that can help you with safety planning, housing issues, drug or alcohol problems or give details of solicitors who can assist you with the legal side of things.

Hampshire Domestic Abuse Support Pages

Domestic Abuse Support

Covid-19 – Information and updates to service provision

Hampshire Domestic Abuse Strategy

National Domestic Violence Helpline

The Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge, is a national service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.

0808 2000 247


The Men’s Advice Line

Men’s Advice Line: confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence from a partner or ex-partner (or from other family members).

0808 801 0327

respect Phoneline

A confidential and anonymous helpline for anyone concerned about their violence and/or abuse towards a partner or ex-partner

0808 802 4040


Disrespect Nobody

A site for young people providing information about domestic abuse in teenage relationships.


Rape Crisis

How to get help if you’ve experienced rape, child sexual abuse and/or any other kind of sexual violence and details of your nearest Rape Crisis services; information for friends, partners, family and other people supporting a sexual violence survivor; information about sexual violence for survivors, students, journalists and others.

0808 802 9999


The Hideout

Women’s Aid have created this space to help children and young people understand domestic abuse, and how to take positive action if it’s happening to you.