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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and/or violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner.

Who experiences domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is overwhelmingly experienced by women and perpetrated by men.

It doesn’t matter how old someone is, what race or ethnicity they are, what class they are, whether they are disabled, or whether they have children – anyone can be a victim of abuse.

Patterns of behaviour and ‘coercive control’

Reference to statistics about domestic abuse “incidents’ are a small part of the true picture because domestic abuse is not ‘a fight’ or a one-off act. It is a pattern of abuse.

You can understand what this means by thinking about pattern, not punches; impact, not incidents; abusive behaviour rather than abusive ‘relationship’. Most women who ask for help have been subjected to a pattern of domination that includes tactics to isolate, degrade, exploit and control them. This is known as ‘coercive control’ – it is a pattern of behaviour.

More than physical violence

Often when people think of domestic abuse they think of physical violence, but domestic abuse is very often so much more than that. For many who live with domestic abuse there will be no scars, bruises or broken bones, but for some it can take their life.

No one kind of abuse is more serious than any other.

Information taken from Grampian Women’s Aid

Who can help?

There are a range of domestic abuse services in Aberdeen that can provide non-judgemental advice, emotional support and practical solutions.

There are also several options across Aberdeen for accessing support, such as phone, online, in-person and drop-in services.

Use our website to find domestic abuse support services in Aberdeen.

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