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Domestic abuse

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is when someone wants to control and have power over someone else – and it can get worse over time. Sometimes, people find it hard to accept that they’re experiencing domestic abuse, and it can take a long time for the reality of the situation to sink in. That’s because domestic abuse doesn’t just mean physical violence. It can also include emotional, sexual and financial abuse, which can be even more difficult to come to terms with.

Who is affected?

Anyone can be affected by domestic abuse, regardless of age, class, race or religion. There is no typical abuser – and no typical victim.

What are the effects?

The effects of domestic abuse are far-reaching and can last many years. Physical pain is just the tip of the iceberg. Women may suffer from poor health, lose their homes or their jobs, and suffer from low esteem, depression and feelings of worthlessness.

Domestic abuse affects children and young people, too. They may be physically hurt if they try to protect you and traumatised by what they see and hear. Living in an abusive situation can cause children to have serious emotional problems and suffer long- term psychological damage. Research shows there is a link between domestic abuse and child abuse.

No woman or child should be subjected to domestic abuse. If it is happening to you, please remember, it’s not your fault and we can help. If you can contact us safely, please get in touch with Edinburgh Women’s Aid on 0131 315 8110.