Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of sexual identity, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background and domestic abuse can take place inside or outside of the home. The government has issued statutory guidance to provide further information for those working with domestic abuse victims and perpetrators, including the impact on children. All children can witness and be adversely affected by domestic abuse in the context of their home life where domestic abuse occurs between family members.
Experiencing domestic abuse can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result. Young people can also experience domestic abuse within their own intimate relationships. This form of child-on-child abuse is sometimes referred to as ‘teenage relationship abuse’. Depending on the age of the young people, this may not be recognised in law under the statutory definition of ‘domestic abuse’ (if one or both parties are under 16). However, as with any child under 18, where there are concerns about safety or welfare, child safeguarding procedures should be followed and both young victims and young perpetrators should be offered support.
Types of Domestic Abuse
- Psychological/emotional abuse: Includes name-calling, threats and manipulation, blaming you for the abuse or ‘gas-lighting’ you.
- Economic abuse: Controlling your access to money or resources. He might take your wages, stop you working, or put you in debt without your knowledge or consent
- Sexual abuse: Doesn’t have to be physical. He might manipulate, deceive or coerce you into doing things you don’t want to do.
- Coercive control: When an abuser uses a pattern of behaviour over time to exert power and control. It is a criminal offence.
- Physical abuse: Not only hitting. He might restrain you or throw objects. He might pinch or shove you and claim it’s a ‘joke’.
- Tech abuse: He might send abusive texts, demand access to your devices, track you with spyware, or share images of you online.
Safety Check helps people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others. Safety Check resets system privacy permissions for apps, and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device at hand.