Citizens Advice Telford & the Wrekin

What is Domestic and Emotional Abuse?

In England and Wales, the cross- Government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:


  • Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.


  • Also includes different forms of family violence such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so called “honour crimes” that are perpetrated primarily by family members, often with multiple perpetrators.


On 29th December 2015, coercive control or controlling behaviour was recognised and considered a criminal offence.  Coercive control is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them for sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.


Domestic and emotional abuse has a long-term and devastating impact on families and particularly children. 


For an overview of what is domestic and emotional violence, click this powerpoint presentation?

Coercive Control Factsheet