What is domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is... POWER & CONTROL... physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, financial and/or emotional abuse... and NEVER the victim's fault.

The abuser may be a partner, ex partner, boyfriend / girlfriend, family member or care giver:


The basis of Domestic Abuse is the power and control exacted by the perpetrator over one who is perceived to be weaker or of less value than themselves.

This abuse may be one, or more commonly a mixture of emotional or sexual abuse, and threats of, or physical violence.  Finance, education, social interaction and personal appearance are regularly controlled by the abuser.

This controlling and possibly violent behaviour may be hidden from others, however, it may be that family, friends and neighbours are aware of the situation and feel unable to assist or choose to ignore it, or have offered support in the past and do not understand why they don’t end the relationship, or have a belief that a marriage is sacred regardless of the behaviour within it.  There may be family and cultural compliances which override any thoughts of right or wrong.

Although the abuser’s behaviour may be accentuated by the use of alcohol or drugs, it is never an excuse for abusing another.  Responsibility for this behaviour lies firmly with the perpetrator.

Many live with the hurt and low self esteem caused by name calling, threats, ridicule and degradation.  They may also experience injuries caused by physical violence from a partner or family member.  Worldwide, over three million women are beaten annually and every fifteen seconds a woman is beaten in her own home.  Nationally, Domestic Abuse has become the number one cause of violent deaths among women.

By utilising the skills, knowledge and experience held within The Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline, we can support, educate, inform and assist in clearing a pathway through, and safely out of the loneliness, fear and misery created by perpetrators of Domestic Abuse which causes immeasurable heartache and hurt to victims and their families.

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