Children & Young People
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is when one person bullies and hurts another person on purpose. It happens in a relationship between people who are going out with each other, living with each other, married or in a civil partnership. Sometimes the abuse continues even after the relationship has ended.
In all relationships there are ups and downs. There can sometimes be arguments or even fighting and saying things that are hurtful. The difference with domestic abuse is that one person is trying to control another person who is their partner or ex-partner. It causes one person to live in constant fear of the other and it also doesn't just happen once. It can get worse over time.
Usually, (but not always) it is the man who is the abuser and the woman who gets hurt. It can happen to men, however, it's for different reasons and it does not have the same impact. Domestic abuse can also happen in same sex relationships. Domestic abuse happens mostly between adults, but young people can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear, and they can be hurt or bullied as part of domestic abuse between adults. Young people may also experience abuse from their own boy/girlfriend (also known as dating abuse).
Domestic abuse is not just a one-off argument it is a repeated pattern of behaviour. It can often include several different types of abusive behaviour and may get worse the longer the two people are together. People use domestic abuse to control other people.
If someone in your family is abusive, remember, it's not your fault!
If this is happening in your family, remember that you are not alone. Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people who can help you and your family. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe.
Living with domestic abuse is a difficult and frightening experience that no person should have to go through. Domestic Abuse is never okay and it is never your fault.
You are not alone
Domestic abuse knows no boundaries; it can happen to anyone whatever their age, race or whether they are rich or poor.
Many adults think that children and young people don't know that domestic abuse is happening. However, we know that 90% of children and young people are in a room close by. If you don't see it, you can still hear it. Sometimes you might be hurt directly by the person who is abusive.
If someone in your family is abusive, remember that it's not your fault and you are not alone. Domestic abuse happens in many families and can also happen in your own relationship with your boy/girlfriend. You are not alone and there are people that can help you. Click on the links page to access support in Dundee.
Domestic abuse: there's no excuse
People have a choice whether they are abusive or not. Some people who are abusive make excuses for their behaviour, for example, they were drunk or they had taken drugs. Drinking or drugs do not cause domestic abuse, although sometimes they can make the situation worse. Other excuses include that they were feeling stressed at the time or that the other person was ‘asking for it' or deserved it. Domestic abuse, there's no excuse. No one deserves to be abused and any kind of abuse is always wrong and can be illegal. It is always the abusers fault as they are the ones who choose to carry out the abuse.
Domestic abuse happens because a person chooses to use violence, threats and bullying as a way of controlling their partner or ex-partner. That same person is very likely to choose to be nice to their friends, work mates and other family members.
Types of abuse
Domestic abuse can be...
Emotional – constantly putting a person down, always wanting to know where they are, stopping a person from seeing their family of friends, stopping them from having a job
Physical – using physical force like: hitting, punching, biting, kicking, throwing or smashing things, making threats to hurt someone
Sexual – making someone do sexual things that they don't want to do, rape, calling the person degrading names such as slag or slut, making them watch sexual acts/pictures.
Financial – taking a person's money, making a person ask for money, making a person say how they spend every single penny, not allowing them to work and earn money, making all the decisions when deciding what to buy and when to buy