Abusive behaviour is any of the following:
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Violent of threatening behaviour
- Controlling or coercive behaviour
- Economic abuse
- Any psychological, emotional or other abuse.
Whatever form it takes, domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim.
Typically, the abuse involves a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, which tends to get worse over time. The abuse can begin at any time, in the first year, or after many years of life together. It may begin, continue, or escalate after a couple have separated and may take place not only in the home but also in a public place. Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography.