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What is Domestic Abuse?

What is Domestic Abuse?


Domestic violence lawyers specialise in family law cases in which an individual is subjected to domestic violence or other forms of abuse by another family member.


Dealing with domestic abuse may involve a domestic violence solicitor advising a victim of domestic abuse on their rights under the law – or offering help in obtaining an injunction to prevent further domestic abuse.


Duncan Lewis domestic abuse solicitors specialise in advising on abuse which occurs in family relationships such as between spouses or parents and children, or when people co-habit or live together – or when two people have a close relationship such as boyfriend/girlfriend.


In domestic abuse, one person acts in a way that may be controlling, bullying, physically abusive, sexually abusive, verbally abusive, psychologically abusive, financially exploitative or in some way belittles or undermines the other person or robs them of their confidence or self-respect – or restricts their normal daily activities such as going out or socialising.


Domestic abuse can be a terrifying and emotionally destructive experience and that is why people who have been abused are often referred to as domestic abuse survivors, rather than victims of domestic abuse.


Different forms of domestic abuse


When people think of domestic abuse or domestic violence, they often assume it means one partner in a sexual relationship being physically violent towards the other.


Duncan Lewis domestic violence solicitors understand there are many other forms domestic abuse – and if a partner or family member or someone close to you is deliberately or intentionally is behaving in a way that causes you physical pain or emotional distress and makes you feel you are being controlled by them, it may be that you are in an abusive relationship.


Duncan Lewis domestic violence lawyers also realise that abusive relationships can also affect elderly members of a family who are abused by relatives – as well as parents who abuse their children physically, psychologically or sexually; or in some cases, children who abuse a parent physically, psychologically or financially, or abuse other family members, such as a sibling or grandparent.


Abusive behaviour which may lead to a person needing a solicitor’s help with obtaining an injunction includes:

  • Controlling behaviour– restricting the actions or daily life of someone, or preventing them from making and carrying out plans independently.
  • Domestic violence– physically attacking a partner or family member.
  • Emotional abuse– using emotional blackmail – such as a threat to leave or even commit suicide – to make a family member do what the abuser wants them to do, including using emotional blackmail to get a partner or family member to carry out crime
  • Financial abuse– refusing to provide financial support to a partner, or refusing to involve a partner in financial decision making, preventing a partner having access to money or a bank account, or extorting money from a family member using emotional blackmail, the threat of violence or lies
  • Physical abuse– may be violent physical abuse towards a partner, or more subtle physical abuse such as inflicting minor injuries like bruises on a person
  • Psychological abuse– using psychological tactics or mental cruelty to make a family member feel hurt, depressed, confused, betrayed, dependent, scared, trapped, fearful, lacking confidence and unable to seek help or support
  • Relationship fraud– where a person is conned into believing they are having a genuine relationship with someone who may be trying to obtain money or property from them, including when a person has moved in with another person or married them and it has become clear that the relationship is not a genuine emotional attachment
  • Religious abuse/spiritual abuse– preventing a family member from following their religious beliefs, bullying or persecuting a family member for their religious beliefs
  • Sexual abuse– forcing unwanted sexual activity upon a partner or family member or close friend or flatmate
  • Social isolation abuse– controlling where a family member goes or whom they see
  • Verbal abuse– belittling (e.g. calling someone derogatory names), undermining or shouting at a partner or family member in a way that causes them to be scared, robbed of confidence, unhappy or emotionally distressed.


If you suspect or know you are involved in an abusive relationship, Duncan Lewis domestic abuse solicitors can help you deal with the abuse under the law – including protecting any children of an abusive relationship under the law and offering help with obtaining an injunction.


You can call the Duncan Lewis Domestic Violence Solicitors on 03337722409 for specialist legal help with domestic abuse and domestic violence, where you will be treated sympathetically and be given expert legal advice.


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