Types of physical abuse can include:
Types of emotional abuse can include:
- Being regularly put down in front of children or friends
- Being often told you are stupid or no good at anything
- Being often told you are ugly or fat
- Being made to feel that no one else will love you
Types of financial abuse can include:
- Deliberately being kept in the house without money
- Being forced to give up a job
- Not allowing someone to spend their own money
- Always taking someone’s money away from them
Types of sexual abuse can include:
- Being forced to have sex (rape)
- Being forced to watch sexual acts against their will
- Being touched in a sexual way against their will
Sometimes beliefs, traditions and ideas from within different cultures and communities can have an effect on how easy it is to access help for issues like domestic abuse.
‘Domestic abuse’ might be defined or understood differently within various different ethnic communities. For example, forced marriage is clearly stated as unacceptable in UK law (and also in international agreements such as the UN Declaration of Human Rights) but in places where it might happen more commonly it might not be seen as wrong.
Sometimes people are afraid that accessing support services will somehow ‘shame’ their family or community, or they might be worried about what will happen to them if they are found out. Other issues that may arise for someone experiencing domestic abuse within Black/Minority Ethnic (BME) communities could include:
- Racism & discriminationIncreased isolation (through lack of friends or people to confide in; also because of language difficulties)
- Confusion about religious or cultural ‘requirements’ (e.g. different interpretations of ‘Honour’)
- Fear of being deported (through action from a partner or family)
- Fear of being separated from their children
- Less common cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (or ‘Infibulation’)
Although there can be different interpretations of what domestic abuse is from within different community groups, this does not mean that domestic abuse is acceptable. No matter where you or your family/partner comes from, there’s no excuse for domestic abuse and you have a right to get help.