What is Domestic Violence and Abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse is a pattern of behaviours used by one partner to maintain power and control over another partner in an intimate relationship. Anyone of any race, age, sexual orientation, religion can experience Domestic Violence and Abuse. It can happen to people who are married, living together or who are dating.

Often in the early stages of a relationship, a woman may not realise she is in an abusive relationship. By the time she realises it, there are often many barriers to her leaving. What may start as verbal put-downs and controlling actions may well become physical assaults over time. Domestic Violence and Abuse harms the physical and/or mental well-being of women and children.

Different Types of Abuse

Coercive Control
Coercive Control is now a Crime in Ireland. Coercive Control is more than an argument; it is a persistent pattern of behaviours which has the purpose of removing a woman’s sense of self and can include the loss of liberty and freedom of movement. Coercive control tactics can include:
• Threats or intimidation
• Isolating/destroying the partner’s outside relationships with friends and family
• Controlling access to information and services
• Stalking, whether actual or remote via surveillance
• Unwanted face-to-face, telephone or electronic contact
• ‘Where are you now’ and ‘take a picture and prove where you are now’
• Monitoring of telephone calls

Emotional Abuse
Emotional Abuse undermines a person’s feelings of self-worth and independence. In an emotionally abusive relationship, you may feel that there is no way out or that without your partner you’ll have nothing. You may be in an emotionally abusive relationship if your partner:
• Continually criticises you, calls you names, and shouts at you
• Does not trust you and acts jealous or possessive
• Makes it difficult for you to spend time with your family or friends
• Withholds approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment
• Threatens to hurt you, your children, your family, or your pets

Physical Abuse
Physical Abuse often starts with a push, shove or slap that escalates over time. An abuser will often blame you for saying or doing something that ‘caused’ their violent or abusive actions. Abusers will also blame drugs, alcohol or stress for ‘causing’ their behaviours. You may be in a physically abusive relationship if your partner has ever: •Damaged property when angry including throwing objects, punching walls, kicking doors
• Grabbed, pushed, slapped, bitten or kicked you
• Choked, punched or burned you
• Forced alcohol or drug use on you
• Used a weapon to threaten or hurt you
• Trapped you in your home or kept you from leaving
• Prevented you from calling the Gardaí or seeking medical attention
• Hurt your children
• Prevented you from sleeping

Sexual Abuse
Sexual Abuse is any unwanted sexual behaviour that makes a person feel uncomfortable, threatened or scared. Sexual Abuse is a crime and is never the fault of the survivor. You may be in a sexually abusive relationship if your partner:
• Coerces sex by manipulation or threat of physical force
• Demands sex at a time you are not willing
• Accuses you of cheating or is often jealous of your outside relationships
• Wants you to dress in a sexual way that makes you uncomfortable
• Insults you in sexual ways or calls you sexual names
• Wants violent sex
• Demands sex when you were sick, tired or after beating you
• Hurts you with weapons or objects during sex.
• Records you during sexual interactions without your consent
• Threatens to circulate sexual videos of you if you try to leave the relationship

Financial Abuse
Financial Abuse is a form of abuse in which the abuser uses money as a means of controlling their partner. It is designed to isolate a woman into a state of complete financial dependence. By controlling a woman’s access to financial resources, the abuser ensures that she will be forced to choose between staying in an abusive relationship or facing extreme poverty. Without money, options dwindle: no place to go, no means to get there, no way to provide for basic needs. You may be in a financially abusive relationship if your partner:
• Refuses to allow you to work or access education, or engages in activities that make it impossible for you to do so
• Forges your name on cheques or documents
• Withholds money or credit cards
• Uses ‘money problems’ to justify abuse
• Making you account for every penny spent or gives you an unrealistic weekly budget which you struggle to stay within
• Taking control of any child maintenance payments

If you are experiencing domestic violence and abuse, Contact Us