This is Abuse
Are you afraid of what a partner, ex-partner or other family member will do if you put a foot wrong?
Domestic violence or abuse is not only about being beaten and/or pushed around it is also about emotional or psychological control, financial control and unwanted sexual contact. If you feel unable to just be yourself without being threatened with animosity, aggravation or argument, you may well be facing someone with abusive traits.
You may need to think not only about your own safety, but that of your children too. The fact that you are questioning 'What is abuse?', shows that you may be experiencing it.
It’s not your fault
Whether or not you decide to stay in the relationship, being abused and controlled is not your fault, it’s not about you being an imperfect person that causes the abuse. It is about your partner, ex-partner or other family member choosing to frighten and force you into doing what they want you to do, regardless of what you want.
It’s commonly a long, slow process of repeated events that gets you feeling confused, ashamed and feeling worthless. It can cause mental ill health as well as physical injuries. Some people seek escape in alcohol or drugs. It’s frightening and confusing for children and can damage them, as well.
Domestic violence and abuse happens to all sorts of people, whatever your education, wealth, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation. If you are pregnant, disabled or have learning difficulties, you may be at greater risk.
Most domestic violence and abuse is carried out by men against women, but it also happens in same-sex relationships and women abuse men too.
Whoever you are, you are entitled to help and support. Both adults and children can show great natural resilience that can triumph, with support.