Domestic abuse

Types of domestic abuse

As well as the specialised support below, there is a range of local and national domestic abuse support available.

Children who experience domestic abuse

Section 3 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 specifically states that a child (under 18 years old) who sees, hears, or experiences the effects of domestic abuse, and is related to the victim or the suspect, is also to be regarded as a victim.

Children living in a household where there is domestic abuse experience the abuse. This can have a serious impact on the child’s mental and physical wellbeing as well as their behaviour - the effects can last into adulthood.

Research has shown that talking to children about what’s happening can help them to feel less worried, confused and angry.


Schools, GPs and parents can refer to CAMHS.

Schools can offer children pastoral support. If you think a child needs support, speak to their class teacher or a support worker.

Barnardo’s provides more information and advice. Support is also provided locally by NDAS and Eve.

Coercive control

Coercive control is an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation, intimidation or other abuse that is used by the abuser to harm, punish, frighten and ultimately control their victim.

Coercive control

Economic and financial abuse

Economic abuse is a legally recognised form of domestic abuse and is defined in the Domestic Abuse Act. It often occurs in the context of intimate partner violence and involves the control of a partner or ex-partner’s money and finances, as well as the things that money can buy.

Financial abuse can often be described as controlling finances, stealing money or coercing someone into debt.

Economic abuse is financial abuse but can include the control of other resources like housing, transport, food and employment.


More information and advice can be found at the Surviving Economic Abuse website.

Emotional and psychological abuse

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming and shaming.

Isolation, intimidation and controlling behaviour are all types of emotional abuse.

Honour-based abuse

Honour based abuse takes many forms - there isn’t just one type and it can happen for a number of reasons.

Physical abuse, forced marriage, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), Honour killing (murder), sexual abuse, isolation from friends or family, financial abuse and isolation from outside world, telephone or internet are just some of the ways honour-based abuse can present itself.

It’s never okay and there is help and support available.


True Honor and Karma Nirvana provide advice and support.

Non-fatal strangulation

Non-fatal strangulation is a specific offence in the Domestic Abuse Act.

It typically involves a perpetrator strangling or intentionally affecting their victim’s ability to breathe in an attempt to control or intimidate them.

The new offence also applies to British nationals abroad. It means perpetrators can be prosecuted in England and Wales for offences committed overseas - ensuring there is no escape for abusers.


More information can be found at the Institution for Addressing Strangulation.

Physical abuse and sexual abuse

Physical abuse is the use of force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. The police have the power and authority to protect you from physical attack.

Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence.

Stalking and harassment

If someone's repeatedly behaving in a way towards you that's making you feel scared, distressed or threatened, then you may be a victim of stalking or harassment.


Northamptonshire Police provide guidance on stalking and harassment.

The National Stalking Helpline also offers support.

Social media and online abuse

Online abuse can include behaviours such as monitoring of social media profiles or emails, abuse over social media, sharing intimate photos or videos without your consent and using GPS locators or spyware.


For advice about staying safe online visit Women’s Aid

Young people and unhealthy relationships

Abuse in teenage relationships is when you start to feel scared or controlled by the person you are with. If it doesn’t feel right - it probably isn’t.

If you have concerns for yourself or somebody you know, support is available.


Childline and Love Respect provide more information and advice.

Last updated 10 January 2024