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UK. 2013 ‘Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse.’ Guide on Firearms Licensing Law. London: Home Office. 31 July

Relevant contents

Definition of domestic violence and abuse

The new definition was introduced on 31 March 2013. This is a non-statutory definition, the purpose of which is to apply across Government to ensure there is a common approach to tackling domestic violence across different agencies.

The definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:

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 or 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.

* This definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

ID: Q7168

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