What is Domestic Abuse?
The Scottish Government defines domestic abuse as follows:
“Domestic abuse (as gender-based abuse) can be perpetrated by partners or ex-partners and can include physical abuse (assault and physical attack involving a range of behaviour), sexual abuse (acts which degrade and humiliate women and are perpetrated against their will, including rape) and mental and emotional abuse (such as threats, verbal abuse, racial abuse, withholding money and other types of controlling behaviour such as isolation from family and friends).”
Domestic abuse can take many forms but below are the most common
Physical abuse includes- Hitting, slapping, burning, kicking, strangulation, using a weapon such as a knife, all types of physical attacks, starvation.
Sexual abuse can include- Rape, enforced engagement in pornography, prostitution, enforced pregnancy, sexual humiliation, enforced sexual acts, withdrawal of contraception.
Mental and emotional abuse can include –Threats, you are made to feel worthless, called names, being isolated from friends and family, denied food, sleep and medical attention and not allowed to make choices or go out etc.
The abuser can be:
The people who experience domestic abuse can be:
Alcohol, drugs, unemployment, stress at work, poverty, you or your children's behaviour, poor housing, health problems etc are used as excuses for the perpetrator's behaviour - they are not the cause of domestic abuse. Some men feel powerless or inadequate in some way and to make themselves feel better they hurt, intimidate or control someone who is weaker than them.
A man who uses violence or abuse to make himself feel better is unlikely to change, however much he promises to without intensive, long term therapy. In fact the violence is likely to increase in frequency and seriousness the longer he gets away with it.
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