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Domestic abuse isn't love.

Victims of domestic abuse are repeatedly abused in a number of ways. Over time they become isolated from the people they love and are forced to become dependent on their abusers.

You can read more about each type of domestic abuse we are focusing on in our campaign further down.

Right to Ask / Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme:

If you're concerned someone has a violent or abusive past you can ask us to tell someone about it. Click here to read more.

I'm experiencing domestic abuse:

Please click here.

I'm worried someone else is experiencing domestic abuse:

Please click here. 

Different types of domestic abuse:

Psychological domestic abuse

 [Click here to view the discussion on Facebook

​​This type of abuse is often very subtle. Threats of violence might be implied but not acted upon by the abuser.

It could start off with your partner or someone you live with repeatedly making you believe that you’re making things up or that you’re not remembering things properly. Are items being moved around the house that no-one owns up to? Do they always dispute your version of events or have they tried to convince you that you have a health problem?

Your abuser might offer you evidence and try to convince you that they love you and that you should trust them. They may pretend to be hurt if you question that trust.

Next your partner might start to subtly prevent you from leaving the house. Does one of your shoes always seem to be missing so you can’t leave? Does the pushchair always seem to be in your partner’s car so you can’t take the kids out? Do they make you feel bad for wanting to spend time with other people or tell you that you shouldn’t see someone?

You might not realise it or think it’s happening to you, because why would someone who’s supposed to love you do this, but they’re making you believe that you can’t look after yourself and that you need to rely on them. Your abuser will likely have isolated you from your friends and family too so you’re forced to depend on them.

Now that you’re isolated and dependent on your abuser, they may begin to enforce rules on you about how you spend your time. They might tell you how and where to eat, how much sleep you can have and threaten to hit you or tell people private information about you if you don’t do what they ask.

This isn’t love. It's domestic abuse and you need to tell someone.

Victims of this type of abuse might not believe that it’s happening to them. Family and friends might be the only people able to help.

Help, support and advice for both men and women:

GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service):

Glos Take A Stand:

Emotional domestic abuse

 [Click here to view the discussion on Facebook

“You’re fat, ugly and stupid”, “You’re worthless and you’re useless to me”.

Emotional domestic abuse which focuses on how someone repeatedly makes you feel.

Abusers will continually use insults and put downs as a way to break down your self-esteem and lower your confidence. This makes it much harder for victims of this type of abuse to leave or move on because they don’t feel that they deserve to and that no-one else will want them. They will become isolated and reliant on their abuser.

The effects of this type of abuse can be long-lasting and has been described by some victims, along with psychological abuse, as being the most distressing. Victims can suffer from the effects of this type of domestic abuse for years after it’s stopped.

Maybe your partner, your ex or someone you live with humiliates you in front of other people, or do they purposely keep telling your kids how much of a bad parent you are in front of them?

Abusers may shout at you and threaten to hit you if you don’t do what they say or act in a certain way. They might choose to use a fear you have to upset and control you, or purposely ignore you and use silence to upset and isolate you.

The abuse might then be followed with the abuser confusing the victim by telling them “I love you and I’m sorry”, and “Why did you make me do that?”.

Sadly this type of domestic abuse can be difficult to prove and victims may even believe that they deserve or are responsible for it even though they never are. What’s important is that victims, as well as friends and family of victims, are aware of it and know how to get help through service providers such as GDASS.

Are you or is someone you know suffering from emotional domestic abuse? Please don’t wait to do something about it, report it today.

Help, support and advice for both men and women:

GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service):

Glos Take A Stand:

Financial domestic abuse

 [Click here to view the discussion on Facebook

Does he make you give him all your money? Is she forcing you to leave your job and rely on her earnings? Or does someone you live with keep taking out loans in your name?

Financial abuse is a type of domestic abuse that isn’t widely understood. It’s often used to control and trap victims along with other types of abuse.

Without money or other resources victims can be completely dependent on their abusers. If they need new clothes or food they will have to get permission, or do things they don’t want to do to receive it.

It’s likely the abuser will have isolated the victim from their friends and family too, so there’s no-one else they can ask for help.

Maybe you’ve been forced to quit your job and been given an allowance, or forced out to work and told that your earnings or benefit payments have to be paid into your abuser’s bank account.

There isn’t a physical bruise with financial abuse which makes it easier for abusers to hide. That doesn’t mean that physical abuse isn’t used alongside financial abuse though.

If a victim does manage to leave, they often have to live with mountains of debt for years as loans and bills have been put in their name. An abuser may even be able to still control their victims by withholding child maintenance payments.

Financial domestic abuse can happen to anyone. Older people are particularly vulnerable.

If you know someone this is happening to please try to offer them help and report it to police. They could really struggle to escape from this type of domestic abuse on their own.

Help, support and advice for both men and women:

GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service):

Glos Take A Stand:

Sexual domestic abuse

 [Click here to view the discussion on Facebook

Sexual domestic abuse includes rape, unwanted touching, being forced to watch things you don’t want to, verbal threats of sexual assaults and ignoring your consent.

Abusers will often coerce and force their victims into performing sexual acts to assert control and power over them.

It’s really important to remember that sex without consent is rape. Just because you are or have been in a relationship with someone doesn’t change that. And, if someone has given consent because they’ve been threatened to in some way, that’s still rape and it’s illegal.

Unwanted sexual touching and hurt to intimate areas are also used by abusers

This type of abuse doesn’t have to involve contact though. Perhaps someone you know keeps forcing you to watch things you don’t want to, or do they film you without your consent? Do they stop you from using contraception or protection? Or do they threaten to sexually assault you or share intimate images?

This type of abuse, as well as every other type of domestic abuse, can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender or sexuality. It can leave long-lasting physical and mental damage to victims.

If you suspect it, please report it to police or contact a support service as soon as possible.

Help, support and advice for both men and women:

GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service):

Glos Take A Stand:

Physical domestic abuse

 [Click here to view the discussion on Facebook

Physical domestic abuse is the type most of us think of; the split lip, the broken bones and the black eye.

However, just like the other types of domestic abuse, physical abuse doesn’t always leave a mark and might not be that obvious to family and friends.

Being spat on, grabbed, experiencing suffocation and drowning attempts, getting pinched, pushed and slapped, having your hair pulled, being falsely imprisoned or forced to take drugs or alcohol. These are all ways abusers physically abuse their victims that might not leave the bruises or marks that many of us immediately think of.

Abusers use this type of abuse, along with other types, to cause pain, suffering and injury to their victims. Victims live in fear, too scared to try and leave or to seek help and are often isolated from anyone who can.

Sadly we know that physical domestic abuse can escalate quickly and result in severe threats to life. If you or someone you know is ever in danger you should call 999 immediately.

We all need to be aware of all the different types of domestic abuse and report it or seek help if we suspect it. Abusers will often repeatedly use a combination of each type to make their victims feel isolated, controlled, scared and dependent.

You might not feel like a victim, you might truly believe that the person doing these things to you loves you and that it will get better soon, but it probably won’t. Domestic abuse isn’t love, and you deserve to be loved. Please seek help from support services such as GDASS​. If you think something isn’t quite right, please visit their website ( or tell someone you trust.

To family and friends our plea is this – please, never stop trying to help. An abuser will isolate their victims from you and make them dependent. Always report your suspicions to us, either by calling 101 or using this form on our website:

Help, support and advice for both men and women:

GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service):

Glos Take A Stand:

Our campaign:

The aims of our campaign are:

  • To raise awareness of five different types of domestic abuse (psychological, emotional, financial, sexual and physical)
  • To raise awareness of the 'Right to Ask' (Clare's Law/Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme)
  • To raise awareness of the services GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service) offer and increase the confidence of victims to report domestic abuse.

The campaign will run between June and July 2018 across print, radio and digital.

Facebook posts and comments:


GDASS (Gloucestershire Domestic Abuse Support Service)

Page last updated: 27 June 2018