Types of domestic abuse

Domestic Violence and Domestic Abuse – is not just about physical abuse  – it also includes emotional and psychological, coercive control and isolating people.

Most men do not believe or feel they are a victim until sometime after they no longer have control of their life and have become isolated. One survivor said they felt they were being ‘groomed’. Remember though you are not to blame, you are not weak and your are not alone. There is help available and you (and your children) can escape.

The list below highlights examples of the type of abuse that male victims suffer.

The Government definition of domestic abuse is:

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

• psychological
• physical
• sexual
• financial
• emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.”

It can happen to any man, no matter what background, age, job, race or sexuality, we are here to give all the support we can. We get calls ranging from builders to bankers, dustman to doctors, teachers to tradesmen.

(1) Examples of physical abuse include:

• Being kicked, punched, pinched, slapped, choked and bitten
• Use or threats of use of ‘weapons’ including knives and irons
• Being scalded or poisoned
• Objects being thrown
• Violence against family members or pets

(2) Examples of isolation:

• Limiting outside involvement such as family, friends and work colleagues
• Not allowing any activity outside the home that does not include her or him
• Constant checking up on your whereabouts

(3) Examples of verbal abuse:

• Constant yelling and shouting
• Verbal humiliation either in private or in company
• Constantly being laughed at and being made fun of
• Blaming you for their own failures

(4) Examples of threatening behaviour:

• The threat of violence
• The threat of use of ‘weapons’ including knives and irons
• The threat of use of violence against family members or pets
• Threatening to use extended family members to attack you
• Destroying personal items
• Threatening to tell the police that you are the person committing the domestic abuse
• Threatening to remove your children

(5) Examples of emotional and psychological abuse:

• Intimidation
• Withholding affection
• Turning your children and friends against you
• Being stopped from seeing friends or relatives
• Constantly being insulted, including in front of others
• Repeatedly being belittled
• Keeping you awake/stopping you sleeping
• Excessive contact, for example stalking
• Using social media sites to intimidate you (such as Facebook and Twitter)
• Wilfully stopping fathers from seeing their children by breaching court orders
• Persuading you to doubt your own sanity or mind (including “Gaslighting” – read more here)

(6) Examples of power and control:

Abusers believe they have a right to control their partners by:

• Telling them what to do and expecting obedience
• Telling you, you will never see your children again if you leave
• Using force to maintain power and control
• Not accepting responsibility for the abuse – not their fault
• Continual and purposeful breach of family court orders
• Forced marriage

(7) Examples of financial abuse:

• Totally controlling the family income
• Not allowing you to spend any money unless ‘permitted’
• Making you account for every pound you spend
• Running up huge bills such as credit/store cards in your name – including without you know.
• Purposely defaulting on payments
• Setting up false companies, accounts or credit cards
• Deliberately forcing you to go back to the family courts as a means of costing you additional legal fees

(8) Examples of sexual abuse:

• Sexual harassment/pressure
• Forcing sex after physical assaults
• Sexually degrading language
• Rape
• Forcing you to have sex (or commit a sexual act) against your will

(9) Examples of false allegations:

• Telling the police (or threatening to) that you are the one committing the domestic abuse when it is the other way around
• Telling friends, families, your employer and others (or threatening to) such as sports clubs that you are the one committing the domestic abuse
• False allegations of another ‘crime’ such as abusing children

(10) Examples of being stalked:

Stalkers will often use multiple and differing methods to harass their victims. Stalking can consist of any type of behaviour such as:

  • following you to and from work
  • checking your email and phone calls
  • regularly sending gifts
  • making unwanted or malicious communication
  • damaging property or clothes
  • physical or sexual assault

(11) Examples of digital and social media abuse (often this can be with former partners):

  • stalking you
  • placing false and malicious information about you on your or others’ social media
  • being trolled
  • having no control on your content or not allowed to  have access
  • revenge porn
  • monitoring or controlling e-mail and phone calls (including work email and calls)

(12) Types of Coercive and Controlling Behaviour

Such behaviours might include:

  • isolating a person from their friends and family;
  • depriving them of their basic needs;
  • monitoring their time;
  • monitoring a person via online communication tools or using spyware;
  • taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they
    can go, who they can see, what to wear and when they can sleep;
  • depriving them of access to support services, such as specialist
    support or medical services;
  • repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless;
  • enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise
    the victim;
  • forcing the victim to take part in criminal activity such as shoplifting,
    neglect or abuse of children to encourage self-blame and prevent
    disclosure to authorities;
  • financial abuse including control of finances, such as only allowing a
    person a punitive allowance;
  • threats to hurt or kill;
  • threats to a child;
  • threats to reveal or publish private information (e.g. threatening to ‘out’
  • assault;
  • criminal damage (such as destruction of household goods);
  • rape;
  • preventing a person from having access to transport or from working

For further information on coercive and controlling behaviour (Serious Crime Act 2015), please see the Government guidelines or the Crown Prosecution Service guidelines.

We are campaigning to see parental alienation and the wilful, deliberate and persistent breach of Child Contact Arrangement Orders classed as domestic abuse.