Domestic Abuse

Trigger Warning: this page includes information regarding domestic abuse, harassment, sexual abuse, honour based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

All the information, research and advice has come from Employers initiative on domestic abuse (EIDA)

LUU recognises that its employees may be amongst those affected by domestic abuse; for example as a survivor of domestic abuse, an individual who is currently living with domestic abuse, someone who has been impacted upon by domestic abuse or as an individual who perpetrates domestic abuse. By encouraging open conversation about domestic abuse we help to tackle the problem. Please do not hesitate to speak to the People Team or your Manager for further support if you need it or visit our Mental Health Support page too.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse is defined by the Home Office as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or who have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.

However, it is important to recognise that domestic abuse goes beyond a simple definition and is complex, taking many forms. It often goes unidentified by families, friends and even those who are experiencing it. Domestic abuse does not only occur in couples, it can be experienced from both close and extended family members. It is not gender specific and occurs regardless of sexual orientation. It can involve, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, economic and emotional forms of abuse. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience domestic abuse.

What forms can domestic abuse take?

A common misconception of domestic abuse is that it always involves violence. Domestic abuse can take many different forms and often includes some of the following behaviours: physical violence, controlling behaviour, coercive behaviour, threats, verbal abuse and more. How often these behaviours occur and how severe these are may also vary.

Some useful definitions

Coercive behaviour

This is defined as an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten the victim. This definition includes ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. Victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

Controlling behaviour

This is defined as 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.

Stalking and harassment

This is repeated behaviour which is unwanted by the victim and causes the victim alarm or distress. It encompasses a wide range of behaviour and can include frequent, unwanted contact; following or watching the victim; damage to the victims property, and threats of harm.

Financial/economic abuse

Control of finances, often used to prevent a victim from having the money to pay for transport to get to work, or to buy suitable clothing for work. Without financial independence, it can be very difficult to leave a violent or abusive relationship.

Psychological abuse

Includes name-calling, threats and manipulation, blaming you for the abuse or ‘gas-lighting’ you.

Tech abuse

The perpetrator might send abusive texts, demand access to your devices, track you with spyware, or share images of you online.

Identifying someone who might be facing abuse

It can be difficult to identify when someone may be facing domestic abuse, as there is not a ‘standard’ victim. Whilst there are no definitive signs, those who are suffering may seem anxious, have unexplained injuries, changes in demeanour, may seem more nervous than usual or may be absent from work or social events.

If you do think someone may be experiencing domestic abuse, it is important to remember they may not want to disclose this. The best thing you can do is make sure the person knows you are there to support and listen to them.


24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline

0808 2000 247: Offer support, help and information regarding domestic abuse and can refer individuals to refuge accommodation.

National LGBT domestic abuse helpline

0800 999 5428: Dedicated to fighting domestic violence and abuse within and against the LGBT communities.

Mens advice line enquiries

0808 801 0327: Provide advice and support for victims of domestic abuse who identify as males.


0808 802 4040: Offer Help and support for perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Stalking helping

0808 802 0300: A national helpline specialising in providing information and guidance to victims of harassment and stalking as well as their friends and family.

Survivors UK

Offer a range of support services to male rape and sexual abuse victims including counselling and therapy appointments as well as web and SMS chat.