Domestic violence happens when someone is physically, emotionally or sexually abused by another person they are close to.
It often happens to women in a relationship, but it can involve the abuse of a male partner, spouse, brother or sister, daughter or son
If someone is being hit or otherwise injured, constantly put down, forced to perform sexual acts or look at pornography, bullied or controlled in a close relationship, then they are experiencing domestic violence
If you or a person you know is in an abusive relationship, it can be hard to tell someone what is going on. You might hope the abuse will stop on its own, or be frightened for yourself and your family if anyone finds out. You might worry that you'd be on your own if you told, or you might feel guilty or responsible for what is happening to you. Domestic violence is never your fault, and the abuse needs to stop.
Both the police and social services take abuse seriously, and they will work to make sure that you and your family members are safe. If you aren't ready to report abuse, then at least find someone to talk to. You can email or telephone someone from the contacts that are listed, and you won't have to give your name.
A lot of people only think domestic abuse is something adults and married people do but remember it is also if a boyfriend or girlfriend is doing any of the things we have mentioned.
Further information is available by clicking on the "Other sites" and "Contacts" tabs below.