Millions of people experience domestic abuse every year. Housing organisations house and employ millions of people across the UK and that means in UK housing we house and employ many thousands of people affected by domestic abuse. But right now, staying at home may not be a safe place for some people. 

But what is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. An abusive relationship isn’t just physical violence, it’s also when someone purposefully controls, manipulates or threatens another person, such as monitoring where you spend your money or your social media accounts.

Anyone can be affected no matter who they are, where they come from or what they do: neighbours, friends, family members, colleagues or you.

How do you spot a victim of domestic abuse?

When it comes to understanding whether or not you or a friend are in an abusive relationship, always trust your gut. Chances are if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. However, here are some of the common signs we recommend you look out for.

Does someone close to you:

  • Threaten or humiliate you, alone or in front of others?
  • Damage your belongings?
  • Control what you do?
  • Control who you talk to and what you do online?
  • Control how you spend or access money?
  • Follow or visit you without your permission?
  • Criticise you and constantly put you down?
  • Blame their culture, religion or personal problems as an excuse for their behaviour toward you?
  • Push, bully, slap, kick, punch or seriously hurt you?
  • Force you to have sex with them?
  • Force you to make decisions you don’t want to?
  • Make you fear your safety?

Abuse affects everyone differently, so, even if you don’t think any of these signs apply to you, if you feel something isn’t right speak to someone and get support.

Read Dave's story

Read Sam's story


Where to seek support if you need help

You can contact Glow on 0330 0945 559 or text our support line (open 10am to 10pm 7 days a week) on 07451 288 150.

Alternatively, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999.

For more information about domestic abuse and support available, visit


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