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Home > Communities > Community Safety > Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence

Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence

What is domestic violence or domestic abuse?

Domestic violence or domestic abuse can be defined as:

'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.'

Whatever form the abuse takes, it is rarely a one-off incident and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim.

If left unchallenged, abuse can become more frequent and severe.

Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents - whether blood related, in-laws or step family.

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Abuse can be:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Abuse could involve:

  • actual or threat of physical harm
  • deprivation of food, sleep or money
  • biting, pushing, kicking, punching
  • name calling and verbal threats
  • sexual threats or forced sex
  • use of weapons
  • emotional blackmail
  • isolation from family or friends
  • imprisonment in your own home
  • humiliation or belittlement
  • using your children against you

If you recognise any of the above, you may be living with abuse.

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Do you need help or know anyone who does?

If you are in a violent or abusive relationship - or if you know or are supporting somebody in that situation - don’t suffer in silence. Help is available.

For emergencies, call the police by dialling 999. They will respond, investigate and assist you.

For non-emergencies, call 101.

The National Domestic Violence Helpline Number can be reached on 0808 2000 247 (freephone). This is a 24 hour service.

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Additional sources of help

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Clare’s Law

People with concerns about their partner’s history are able to request background information from Suffolk police.

The aim of this scheme is to give you a formal mechanism to make inquiries about your partner if you are worried that they may have been abusive in the past.

An application can only be made by contacting the police:

Suffolk Police – Clare’s Law