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Domestic violence and abuse includes 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. It also includes so called ‘honour’ -based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

Coercive or controlling behaviour is a core part of domestic violence.

Coercive behaviour can include:
• acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation
• harming, punishing, or frightening the person
• isolating the person from sources of support
• exploitation of resources or money
• preventing the person from escaping abuse
• regulating everyday behaviour.

Possible indicators of domestic violence or abuse
• Low self-esteem
• Feeling that the abuse is their fault when it is not
• Physical evidence of violence such as bruising, cuts, broken bones
• Verbal abuse and humiliation in front of others
• Fear of outside intervention
• Damage to home or property
• Isolation – not seeing friends and family
• Limited access to money

A considerable proportion of safeguarding adults work relates to the abuse or neglect of people with care and support needs who are living in their own homes. Domestic abuse is perhaps most commonly thought of as violence between intimate partners, but it can take many other forms and be perpetrated by a range of people. Much safeguarding is therefore also domestic abuse.

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