What Is Domestic Abuse? | Is My Partner Controlling Me?

Domestic abuse or violence is abusive behaviour of one partner towards the other in an effort to gain and maintain control. The behaviour may include physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial abuse.

Types Of Domestic Abuse


Physical abuse can include hitting, kicking, biting, burning, punching or hair-pulling.


Sexual abuse and violence can include forced or coerced sexual acts or degrading treatment.


Emotional abuse often includes put downs, name calling, criticism or efforts to lessen a person’s sense of self worth.


Psychological abuse includes threats of violence or preventing the partner from seeing their friends or going to work, or threatening suicide as a method of manipulation.


Financial abuse often includes controlling a partner’s finances or restricting access to finances.

Signs Of Domestic Abuse

Many people might experience problems in their relationships from time to time. However, if you are in a relationship, where you feel manipulated, scared or unable to express yourself freely, you may be experiencing signs of domestic abuse.

Here are some signs that you might be in an abusive relationship:

  • Your partner constantly criticises you, and makes you question your skills and abilities.
    Your partner’s presence makes you feel anxious and nervous. You may be scared of his reaction to a certain situation, thus you may start avoiding spending time with them.
  • You may feel Intimidated or scared of your partner when he gets angry, especially if they have shown signs of aggressive behaviour in the past.
  • Your partner makes you feel guilty if something goes wrong, or they don’t allow you to freely express yourself, or do the things that you enjoy. Your partner may manipulate you by not allowing you to see certain people, or emotionally coercing you.

Effects Of Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse can have a negative effect on your mental and emotional health, and your ability to form or maintain healthy relationships.

Here are some of the effects of domestic abuse:

  • Feelings of depression
  • Anxiety and panic attacks
  • Feeling lonely and isolated
  • Low self-confidence, and low self-worth
  • Problems at work or in your other relationships
  • Sleep difficulties

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse, it is important that you seek treatment.

Our experienced team of therapists can provide you with a safe and supportive environment where you can share your story, express your emotions and find a solution to help you move forwards.