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Is it domestic abuse?


What is Domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviours by a partner or ex-partner, which includes controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading, intimidating and/or violent behaviours. You do not have to be living with your partner to experience domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, social class, employment status, disability, or whether they have children or not.

Domestic abuse is largely experienced by women and perpetrated by men, with 1 in 4 women experiencing domestic abuse. We do recognise that men can be victims of domestic abuse. If this is you please see the “What about Men” section of our website.

More often than not when we hear the term “domestic abuse” we think about physical violence; however physical abuse does not have to be happening for a relationship to be abusive. For lots of women who live with domestic abuse there may be no scars, bruising or broken bones. Domestic abuse is a complex pattern of controlling behaviour which seeks to gain power and control through numerous abusive behaviours and tactics.

There are many forms of abuse which may exist within an abusive relationships, these can include:

All forms of abuse are serious and harmful and can affect an individual in vast and significant ways.

Am I experiencing Domestic Abuse?

If you have answered yes to any of these you may be experiencing domestic abuse. It is completely up to you what you do.

If you want to access support or talk with one of the workers at CASWA, you can contact us by any of the following ways:

  • Telephone: 0345 408 0151
  • E-mail:
  • Or the contact us button on the website.
  • You can also download and complete a referral form.

Alternatively you could speak to a trusted professional (e.g. GP, Social Worker, Health Visitor) about your concerns about your relationship and ask them to make a referral to our service. or you could also contact Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage helpline (24/7) on 0800 027 1234.