Practitioners and professionals

Domestic Violence and Abuse


What is domestic violence?

The 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 of 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.

The East Riding Domestic Abuse Board strategy which outlines the multi-agency response to domestic abuse can be accessed below.

East Riding Domestic Abuse Board strategy



Who does it happen to?

Research shows that domestic violence or abuse is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men. However anyone can experience domestic violence or abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, disability or lifestyle.

Domestic violence or abuse can also take place in lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender relationships, and can involve other family members, including children.


What are the effects of domestic violence on children and young people?

The majority of children and young people witness the violence that is occurring and in about half of all domestic violence or abuse situations, they are also being directly abused themselves.

A child or young person can experience both short and long term cognitive, behavioural and emotional effects. Each child and young person will respond differently to trauma and some may be more resilient and not exhibit any negative effects.

A child or young person's responses to the trauma of witnessing domestic violence or abuse may vary according to a multitude of factors including, but not limited to, age, race, sex and stage of development. It is equally important to remember that the common effects experienced by a child or young person can also be caused by something other than witnessing domestic violence or abuse and therefore a thorough assessment of a child or young person's situation is vital to ensure appropriate treatment.


Where can I find out further information?

The Domestic Violence Service provides three different services that are able to assist those affected by domestic violence:

  • Domestic Violence Adult Services;
  • Domestic Violence Children Services; 
  • and PODAS (Prevention of Domestic Abuse Service).

East Riding of Yorkshire Council - Domestic violence (external council website)


Other Useful Contacts and Resources

Providing practical and emotional support to all victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour based abuse.

Karma Nirvana (external website) 

Home Office information on female genital mutilation:

Home Office - Female genital mutilation (external website)

The Home Office has launched a free online training package dealing with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) developed with the Virtual College. The training gives teachers, police, social workers, health workers, border force and others the training they need to help them identify and assist girls who are at risk of FGM. You can access this free e-learning below and please select Humberside as your location:

Female Genital Mutilation E-learning (FGM) (external website)

Awareness of Forced Marriage E-learning (external website)


This online course has been developed with the Forced Marriage Unit of the Foreign Office and aims to raise awareness, challenge perceptions and inform you of the correct actions to take should you suspect someone is at risk.

Four disturbing facts about forced marriage