Domestic abuse can take many forms, it is a very broad spectrum rang from psychological to physical, but fortunately, the law is more clued up these days and WalesOnline have published a list of the 11 things that are classed as abusive and are illegal for a partner to do whilst in a relationship.
1) Share sexually explicit images of you online or amongst friends. With the number of social media platforms and everything being about pictures and recordings on mobile phones, it is no wonder that ‘revenge porn’ offences were going to happen. Thankfully, the government recognised this and made it illegal to share intimate photos and videos of you be it online or between friends.
2) Restrict your access to money. The law clearly states that one partner cannot prevent the other from accessing money and should not give them ‘punitive allowances’. Charities have stated that they’ve heard of cases where victims were forced to provide receipts to account for any money they spent, or were given such small allowances that they couldn’t afford to feed themselves or their children.
3) Repeatedly putting you down. You may not think of persistent name calling and put downs as domestic abuse but the law states that this, as well as mocking and other insulting behaviour towards your partner is illegal.
4) Isolating you from family and friends. This could be done by monitoring your emails, social media accounts and blocking your phone calls, they may even tell you where you can and cannot go or what you can and cannot speak to. This behaviour is against the law and classed as domestic abuse.
5) Scare you. If you are feeling frightened by the way your partner is treating you then they are committing an offence. The acts they may carry out in order to make you feel frightened include; making angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate you; shouting you down; destroying your possessions; breaking things; punching walls; wielding a knife or a gun; making threats to kill you, your pets or your children; and also threaten suicide.
6) Threaten to reveal private things about you. This can be done by them divulging details about your health or sexual orientation and repeatedly threatening to reveal personal information about you to friends, family and also online.
7) Track your mobile devices. The CPS has stated that it is illegal under the new legislation to ‘monitor a person using online communication tools or spyware’. Therefore if they insist on checking your social media accounts or tracking your mobile devices then they are committing an offence.
8) Being extremely jealous. If your partner constantly accuses you of cheating just for looking at another person, then this could be grounds for prosecution under S.79 of the Serious Offences Act 2015.
9) Making you obey their rules. If you are forced to abide by rules your partner has set, it could mean that they are committing an offence. Examples of this sort of behaviour include; rules which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim as well as telling the victim that they have no choice in decisions.
10) Control what you wear. Taking control over any aspect of your life is highlighted in the new legislation, this also includes controlling the clothes you wear as well as having control over how you look.
11) Forcing you to do things you don’t want to do. This can include forcing the victim to commit crimes, forcing them to neglect or abuse the children, or simply forcing the victim not to speak out about the abuse that is happening within the relationship.
It can also include forcing the victim into watching porn, having sex when they don’t want to or forcing them to have sex with other people.
The article goes on to say that if you have any concerns about yourself or anyone you know being in an abusive relationship then you can report it to Samaritans or the police on 101… Personally, and speaking from experience, phoning the police or Samaritans on behalf of someone else, without their permission, could put them in an even more dangerous position when it comes to the abuse as the abuser will believe that the victim spoke out about what has been happening. So please, before you report anything, make sure the victim wants you to otherwise it can make the abuse 100 times worse for them.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, I was the victim of domestic abuse and the level of support I received from the police, as well as local domestic abuse charities, was amazing. It was difficult speaking about what was happening at the time but once I had, and once I had left the marriage, I felt like I was starting a whole new life. It might have taken me six months to get my home back for me and my daughter but the fight was well worth it.
Now I live in a beautiful home with my new partner, who is the most caring and loving man I have ever met, and my daughter, who has nothing to do with her abusive father. We are a little family and the abuse is behind us. So you see, life can get better after abuse, if you fight for it enough.
I would also recommend signing up to your local Freedom Programme course if you are suffering or have suffered domestic abuse as the course provides you with information about abuse and also gives you warning signs to avoid getting into another abusive relationship.