Domestic Abuse is an escalating pattern of abuse where one partner in an intimate / family relationship abuses and controls the other, through force, intimidation, fear or the threat of violence to cause distress.
It comes in many forms including:
- Physical – any physical contact that hurts or intimidates, including hitting, slapping, pinning against something, hair pulling, choking, kicking.
- Sexual – any sexual contact that is unwelcome, hurts or is forced upon you, including being forced to participate in sexual acts you don’t want to or feel degraded by, being made to watch pornography, sexual assault and rape.
- Emotional – doing things that they know will hurt you emotionally including spreading lies about you, convincing others that you have problems, isolating you from families and friends, citicising your cooking, work, parenting, appearance constantly.
- Verbal – including name calling, being constantly criticised, being told you are a bad mother, wife, friend, etc and that nobody else would wany you.
- Psychological – an escalating and sustained pattern of emotional abuse including harrassment, emotional intimidation, depriving you of sleep, threathening to hurt others who are close to you and partners threathening to hurt / kill themselves if you leave.
- Financial – controlling the family finances always, not allowing you to have access to any money for yourself, asking for receipts for everything that you buy, controlling what food, clothes, personal items you buy.
- Spiritual – including criticising or belittling your repligious or spiritual beliefs, not letting you practice or celebrate religious celebrations.
- Homophobic – threathening to ‘out’ you to family and friends.
- Immigration – using your reliance on them for residency status in Ireland as a weapon to threathen you with, threatheing to report you to the authorities if you are not in the country legally.
- Destructive – damaging or threathening to damage your personal belongings, items that are precious to you, pets, etc.