Domestic Violence and Abuse

Adolescent vulnerability needs to be placed firmly in the context of abusive relationships and the impact that domestic violence can have on how a child or young person development.  For a child or young person growing up in such an environment, the impact of their experiences can create limited and limiting expectations with regards to what constitutes a healthy relationship; thus increasing their susceptibility to exploitation in the future.

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is: any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, 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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological / physical / sexual / financial / emotional / controlling behavior.

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 behavior.

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 is not a legal definition.