Renfrewshire Council

What domestic abuse is

What domestic abuse is, call us for help, examples of abuse.

Domestic abuse is a form of controlling and aggressive behaviour carried out by someone you live with and can include:

  • physical abuse, such as assault and physical attack
  • sexual abuse
  • mental and emotional abuse.

This abuse may get worse during pregnancy.

If you are experiencing or at risk of domestic abuse of any form, including coercive and controlling behaviours, you can leave the home to escape or avoid a risk of harm or as part of your safety planning strategy.

If you want advice or help, call us on 0300 300 0345.

If you are a neighbour and hear any form of domestic abuse taking place, please report it. This may encourage the victim to disclose that they are being abused.

Examples of abuse

Below are examples of what form this abuse may take. It doesn't include everything, you may suffer from other forms of abuse.


  • Verbal
  • Humiliation - often in front of the children
  • Controlling and monitoring the woman's movements
  • Playing mind games
  • Distorting the woman's sense of perspective
  • Rejection
  • Denying her sleep
  • Threatening deportation
  • Extreme jealousy and possessiveness


  • Slapping
  • Pushing
  • Kicking
  • Hitting head of floors or walls
  • Assault with a weapon
  • Stabbing
  • Choking
  • Thrown downstairs
  • Holding under water
  • Neglect
  • Suffocated


  • Rape (including vaginally, anally and orally)
  • Sexual assault
  • Unwanted sexual intimacy
  • Penetration with objects
  • Coercive involvement in acts of pornography or unwanted sexual acts
  • Forced to get pregnant or have an abortion
  • Prostitution


  • Keeping women and children short of food/clothing
  • Controlling family income
  • Not allowing woman to work

No one deserves to be abused and you don't have to live with it.

Women and Children First is a project which could help you. If you would like more information or advice from them please contact them on 0300 300 0345 or