What is Abuse & Types of abuse?

“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.”

Physical abuse

Physical abuse could be the following;  punching, pulling hair, burning, and choking.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse could be the following; being verbally abused and humiliated, being constantly blamed, being put down in front of others and being kept away from family and friends.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse could be the following; being kept without money, having wages, benefits or pensions taken away from you and having to account for all your spending.

Sexual abuse

Sexual violence and abuse is any behaviour of a sexual nature which is unwanted and takes place without consent or understanding. It could include the following; rape, sexual assault, being forced to watch our act out pornography, being talked to in sexually degrading ways, indecent phone calls and text.

Controlling or Coercive behaviour

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: “a continuing act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

Threatening behaviour

Threatening behaviour could be the following; verbal threats, physical threats, being watched and being pestered.


Stalking or harassment could be the following; following a person, contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means, publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person, or purporting to originate from a person, monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication, loitering in any place (whether public or private), interfering with any property in the possession of a person and watching or spying on a person.

Harassment that includes one or more of the above features is not automatically stalking

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

All procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs whether for cultural, religious or other non-therapeutic reasons.

Honour based violence (HBV)

A crime or incident that has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of a family and or a community. (ACPO definition)

The Hampshire HBV Multi-agency guidance explains that “honour relates to the concept that the reputation and social status of an individual, a family or community is based on the behaviour and morality of its members”

Forced Marriage (FM)

A forced marriage is a marriage that is performed under duress and without the full and informed consent or free will of both parties.

Being under duress includes feeling both physical and emotional pressure. Some victims of forced marriage are tricked into going to another country by their families. Victims fall prey to forced marriage through deception, abduction, coercion, fear, and inducements.

A forced marriage may be between children, a child and an adult, or between adults. Forced marriages are not limited to women and girls, as boys and men are also forced to marry against their will.