Cornwall Womens Refuge Trust : for our 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline telephone: 
 01872 225629

What is Domestic Abuse?

Abuse can take different forms, many associate domestic violence with solely physical acts such as punching, hitting and kicking.

However, domestic abuse can be sexual, emotional/psychological, financial e.g. withholding money and/or isolation e.g. preventing you from working/studying or seeing family and friends.


New government definition as of 31st March 2013:

“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 the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from 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.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.*

*This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group”

The women who have survived domestic violence and helped to make this website felt the best way to demonstrate the different forms of domestic violence is the Duluth Power and Control Wheel.

Duluth Power and Control Wheel

Cornwall Women's Refuge Trust Tel: office hours (01872) 277814
24hr Helpline/fax (01872) 225629

Registered charity No: 1105270. Registered as a limited company at Companies House No: 5178212