According to the UK's government definition domestic violence and abuse is:
"...any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
For more information visit Government's guidence on domestic violence and abuse.
Well, the answer is as the Home Office has described but it is not always so cut and dried. Many people think that because they have not been physically attacked (violence), it isn't domestic abuse. Others believe that domestic abuse can only be between intimate partners such as husband, wife, boyfriend/girlfriend. In fact domestic abuse occures between mother to son, sisters and brothers and any combination of family, including ex partners.
It is common for some victims of domestic abuse to normalise abusive behaviour. For example, in some relationships, the partner will take the wages of his partner and she is not allowed to protest or decide what her money should be spent on. Another example is the constant threat from one partner who may have British Citizenship or Indefinate Leave to Remain (ILR) may threaten a partner who does not have legal or longterm status with immigration or deportation if they do not conform to their (the abusive partner) wishes.
Often there are warning signs, but sometimes there are none.
Warning signs might be diffult to spot and it might be difficult for victims themselves to realise and admit that they are in an abusive relationship. Hence, often victims of abuse do not ask for help.