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Domestic abuse


The new definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:

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 can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Controlling behaviour 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.

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


  • The person isn’t allowed to speak
  • They are being controlled by their partner/family member
  • They look frightened/withdrawn.
  • Physical injuries (bruises, cuts, red marks etc).
  • Financial control- unable to make payments due to their money being controlled.


  • Always believe the victim.
  • Act quickly and confidently.
  • Call 999 ask for the police - the suspect may still be on premises.
  • Ask for an ambulance if the victim is injured.
  • YOU are responsible for the victim’s immediate safety.
  • Give the victim information about a domestic abuse support service.


For further information:

Contact the City of London Public Protection Unit – - Give information anonymously

Vulnerable Victims Advocate- / 07944634946

Victim Supportline- 0808 1689 111

National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

Galop (LGBT service)- 020 7704 2040

ManKind- 01823 334244

Solace Women’s Aid- 0808 802 5565

IKWRO (Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation)- + 44 207 920 6460