Home > What we do > Preventing and tackling crime > Crimes against the person > Domestic abuse > Abuse is not just physical

Abuse is not just physical

Abuse is not just physical – it can take many forms such as emotional, sexual and financial abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse

Emotional abuse is an attack on you as a person, rather than a physical attack. It can be as harmful and damaging as physical abuse.

It can involve;

  • name-calling
  • putting you down
  • blaming you
  • gaslighting you or making you doubt yourself and your own judgement
  • making you feel guilty
  • making you feel worthless
  • making you feel scared or threatened

Emotional abuse can erode your sense of self to the point where you believe your abuser. It’s wrong and you can contact the police about it. Report emotional abuse to us – call police on 101. In the case of an emergency dial 999

 

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is where an abuser uses rape, sexual assault or sexual exploitation to control you.

Any form of sexual activity, whether physical, verbal or taking pictures – that takes place without consent is abuse.
Forcing you to have sex when you do not want to or touching you in a sexual way without your permission is sexual abuse.
Report sexual abuse to police. We can put immediate measures in place to safeguard you and support you. Call police on 101 or in the case of an emergency dial 999.

 

Financial abuse

Controlling access to money or resources is another way abusers control their victims.

Abusers may stop or prevent their victims from being able to access their wages or any bank accounts, prevent them from going to work or successfully getting a job. They may spend their victim’s money without consent or build up debt in their victims name.

Controlling your access to money is abuse and you can report it to the police.

Contact the police on 101 or in the case of an emergency dial 999.

 

Honour based abuse

Honour based abuse is where a victim is abused and their behaviour is controlled, in order to protect religious or cultural beliefs or prevent perceived shame being brought upon the victim or family.

It can happen within a family, extended family or community.

A victim is controlled by ;
• Preventing their freedom of movement ie; not allowing them to leave home or attend school or college to withholding their passport
• Forcing them to travel abroad – forced repatriation
• Forced marriage
• Kidnapping
• False imprisonment
• Rape
• Female genital mutilation

We can help break the cycle of abuse. Contact police on 101 to report honour based abuse or in the case of an emergency always dial 999.

 

What is coercive and controlling behaviour?

Coercive behaviour is where an abuser uses a number of different forms of behaviour to control their victim.

They may use threats, intimidation, humiliation, physical abuse and use overbearing, domineering and controlling behaviour to make their victim subordinate.

They may also isolate their victim and remove their independence by cutting them off from friends and family and removing access to money or transport, monitoring phone calls or text messages in order to take control their victim’s lives.

Coercive and controlling behaviour is an offence and the police can take action. If you are a victim of coercive and controlling behaviour, you can contact the police on 101. In the case of an emergency always dial 999.

 

We understand that not everyone wants to contact the police. Help, advice and support is available from IDAS – www.IDAS.org.uk or Supporting Victims in North Yorkshire – www.supportingvictims.org

The most important thing is to get some help and not to live in silence – please speak out to end abuse.