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What is domestic abuse? | Sandwell Council

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What is domestic abuse?

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In April 2021, the Domestic Abuse Bill was signed into law and the Domestic Abuse Act will provide further protection to the millions of people who experience domestic abuse everyday. Domestic Abuse is defined under the new legal definition as any incident or pattern of incidents of physical or sexual abuse, violent or threatening behaviour, controlling or coercive behaviour, economic abuse, psychological, emotional or other abuse between those aged 16 and over or personally connected to each other.

Abuse might be between married couples, boyfriends and girlfriends or between lesbian or gay couples or even child to parent abuse.

Domestic abuse doesn’t just mean physical violence, and it can include:

  • Coercive control: a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual Assault and abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse
  • Forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so called honour based abuse that are perpetrated primarily by family members.

Find out more about the different types of abuse and if you are being abused.

You can learn more about what domestic abuse is on the Black Country Women’s Aid website which provides a range of services and support to women and men experiencing domestic abuse from all communities, ethnicities and backgrounds.  You can call them 24 hours a day on 0121 552 6448 or via Webchat and WhatsApp on 07384 466 181. They provide a full range of services including access to specialist domestic abuse refuge accommodation and access to a range of specialist domestic abuse advice and support.

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