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I’ve Been Accused of Domestic Abuse, What Should I Do?

Last updated May 16 2024 | Criminal Law

by Rojin Tasman

by Rojin Tasman

In this article
Victims and perpetrators must be “personally connected”

To be classed as domestic abuse, the victim and perpetrator must be personally connected. The court does not class abuse from strangers and acquaintances as domestic abuse.

A personal connection includes married couples, engaged couples, cohabiting couples, civil partners, intimate partners, relatives by blood, relatives by marriage, and parents or carers of the same child.

What is classed as domestic abuse?

People often associate domestic abuse with violence. But there are actually various types of abuse, all of which the court considers and can lead to charges.

Regardless of whether the abuse is repetitive or a one-off event, it is still domestic abuse.

Mental and Emotional

Mental and emotional abuse is where the perpetrator behaves in a way that negatively impacts the victim’s mental and emotional well-being.

Examples:

  • Abusing the victim’s trust to their detriment
  • Using their worries and anxieties to manipulate them
  • Silent treatment
  • Insults in private or public
  • Prevention of sleep
  • Intimidation
  • Gaslighting
Control and coercion

Controlling and coercive abuse is a repetitive behaviour that significantly impacts the victim’s usual daily life.

Examples:

  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Reducing communication with other people through restriction or misinterpretation
  • Monitoring behaviours and activity
  • Substance abuse towards the victim
  • Threats of sectioning or putting them in a care home
Physical, violent, and threatening

Physical abuse is characterised by violent and threatening behaviour towards the victim.

Examples:

  • Direct violence to the victim e.g. punching, kicking, pushing, strangulation
  • Threats of violence
  • Using weapons to inflict pain e.g. knives, lighters
  • Throwing objects
  • Preventing the use of crucial medications or medical equipment
Economic

Economic abuse is the interference with someone’s ability to use resources such as money, utilities and transport.

It is typical for the perpetrator to control resources to the point where the victim depends on them for daily living and prevents them from accessing a means of escape.

Examples:

  • Controlling all finances
  • Preventing benefit claims
  • Controlling access to the internet, household utilities, food etc
  • Damaging personal property
  • Interfering with employment
  • Putting debt in the victim’s name
Sexual

Sexual abuse is any type of abuse of a sexual nature, usually involving tricking, forcing or pressuring the victim.

Examples:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Filming sexual acts without consent
  • Intentionally giving the victim a Sexually Transmitted Infection
  • Pressuring or deceiving the victim into unsafe sex
  • Violent acts during sex

Even if the perpetrator thinks they’re acting in their partner’s best interests, it doesn’t release them from blame or criminal convictions.

What are the causes and are any of them excusable in court?

Perpetrators of domestic abuse often have the feeling that they are acting in the best interest of the victim or that the abuse was the victim’s fault.

Some other reasons for abuse include:

  • Wanting to gain power and control
  • Past experiences of abuse
  • Drug or alcohol-fuelled behaviour
  • Religious interpretations
  • Mental health conditions
  • They didn’t realise that what they were doing was abuse

Regardless of the reason someone gives, the court’s stance is that the perpetrator should avoid blaming the victim and take responsibility for their actions.

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Like it, share it.

If you found the contents of this blog useful, please feel free to share it on social media. Sharing our article helps others in need find the same information.