Domestic Abuse is any form of abusive behaviour between people who are or were intimate partners or family members.  It is used for one purpose only to gain and maintain total control.

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There are many different types including financial abuse, the use or threat of physical, mental or emotional, psychological or sexual abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour.  It included forced marriage, honour based abuse, and female genital mutilation.

I was in an abusive relationship at first, but i didn’t spot the signs.

Abuse can include belittling, insults, lack of respect, telling you what you can or can’t wear or do.  Who you can meet or talk to, needing to know where you are going and stopping you from going out without them, being allowed no privacy and temper outbursts.

There can be signs of jealousy, financial control, monitoring movements and threat or use of violence.

I felt alone when I was in this situation, but there are so many support services available.  You just need to take the first step and talk to someone.

There is nothing to be ashamed about and you certainly shouldn’t carry the blame.  It is not your fault – you are not alone and most of all you will be believed.