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What is Domestic Abuse?

Domestic abuse covers a range of behaviours but it starts with threats and intimidation to control you and make you feel powerless and afraid. Threats and intimidation can include:

This can include smashing things, destroying possessions, punching the wall or objects to frighten you, handling of guns, knives or other weapons, using intimidating body language (angry looks, raised voice), hostile questioning. They may also threaten to take their own lives or harm or take the children. It may also include harassing you at your workplace, persistent phone calls or sending text messages or emails.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is an act where one person uses their body in order to inflict intentional harm or injury upon another person.

Punching or slapping you.
Using weapons, such as knives or hammers against you.
Using household items as weapons, such as throwing a phone at you.
Biting you.
Pinching you.
Kicking you.
Pulling your hair.
Pushing or shoving you.
Burning you.
Strangling or choking you.
Raping you.

Emotional & Psychological Abuse

Behaviour that deliberately undermines your self-esteem and confidence, leading you to believe you are stupid, or ‘a bad mother’, telling you you’re going crazy or insane. Threats may include harm to you, self, children or others. Criticising your cloths, hair, body, the way you clean, the way you cook. Behaving so erratically and unpredictably that you feel like you are "walking on eggshells". Manipulating and controlling you by making you feel guilty.

Constantly putting you down and calling you names in private and/or in front of others.
Not listening or responding when you talk.
Restricting where you can travel to or who you can see.
Monitoring the petrol or diesel you have used in your car or the distance you have travelled.
Not allowing friends or family to the house or stopping you from spending time with them.
Telling your family and friends lies about you.
Sulking or not speaking to you when you do something they don’t approve of.
Lying to you or withholding information from you.
Being jealous of your other relationships with family, friends or colleagues.
Having other relationships.
Breaking promises and shared agreements.
Threatening to harm themselves.
Stalking you.
Monitoring your whereabouts by following you or using tracking devices on your phone.
Monitoring your online activity or opening your post and emails.
Making threats to hurt you, your children or others you care about including pets.
Destroying or threatening to destroy your property, belongings or car.

Financial Abuse

Controls all the income and money that comes into the house, this is done slowly. It will progress that you are relying on him for everything and have to ask him for money and justify why you need it. Social welfare payments will be paid to him and he might claim for children leaving you with no financial support to meet the needs of you and your family.

Controlling the family finances.
Not being allowed to have independent income.
Having to account for all purchases including providing receipts and account for all spending.
Not being allowed to buy personal items such as tampons and sanitary towels.
Taking all of the woman’s bank cards and emptying joint accounts.
Non-payment or erratic payment of child maintenance.
Women’s signatures being forged on cheques.
Withholding money because women do not want to have sex.
Denying money for food for women and the children and money to pay household bills.
Using the recession to justify the abuse.

Sexual Abuse

Where there is a dynamic of control and abuse in an intimate relationship. Where sex is expected and not a choice that you have. where consent is not given for a sexual act to happen.

Raping you.
Using force, threats, or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts.
Making you feel guilty for not having sex.
Any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation.
Withholding contraception or controlling your access to it.
Making you watch pornography or forcing you to participate in the making of it.
Sharing, or threatening to share, intimate images online or with friends, family or colleagues.

Social Abuse

Includes isolating you from your social networks and supports either by preventing you from having contact with family or friends or by verbally or physically abusing you in public or in front of others. It may be continually putting friends and family down so you slowly disconnect from your support network.

stopping you from seeing friends, family, or other people, etc.
Will argue with you if you see your friends.
Make you feel guilty for spending time with other people.
Accuse you of having an affair when you go out.
Constantly checking up on you when you are out.
You find yourself not going out because your afraid of their reaction.

Digital Abuse

Includes online and technology abuse, online shaming and stalking and the non-consensual sharing of explicit images (‘revenge porn’).

Sharing intimate and private pictures or messages online
Harassing you by sending insulting or threatening texts or messages.
Making fake profiles to harrass you.
Monitoring all of your online activity, examples include who comments or likes your posts.
Checking your search history.
Using technology to track your whereabouts.
Demanding you give them your passwords to your online accounts.

If you suspect but are not sure that a friend or family member may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, TAKE OUR QUIZ.

Anu Wicklow Helpline

+353 86 059 7560

Bray Women's Refuge

+353 1 286 6163
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