Domestic Abuse, sometimes called domestic violence, is when an adult threatens, bullies or hurts another adult in the family. Domestic Abuse can affect young people even if they are not being directly abused themselves. Simply witnessing abuse can have a traumatising effect. It is important to remember that it is never your fault.
Domestic abuse can occur in different forms and it isn’t always in the form of violence. It can include:
• Physical – hitting, punching, kicking, pushing, slapping, hair pulling
• Emotional – threatening to hurt the other person, doing and sayings things to frighten the other person, swearing at them or saying things to make them feel bad.
• Controlling –This could include stopping someone going to work or out with friends
• Sexual – doing or making someone do sexual things that they don’t want to
• Financial – taking away the other person’s money, not giving the other person money when they need it or not letting them get a job.
• Cultural or 'honour' violence - This includes being hurt or abused as a punishment for something that's not seen as culturally acceptable by your community or family. It can include being forced to marry someone.
If you are a child or young person witnessing domestic violence in the home you may be feeling very alone, frightened, depressed, confused, isolated. Your school work may be suffering, you may be experiencing difficulties in making friends and relationships, you may be harming yourself in some way as a means of coping with the circumstances at home.
It is important to talk to someone about how you are feeling.