What is domestic abuse What is domestic abuse? We define domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence. In the majority of cases is it by a partner, but can also be by a family member or carer. In the vase majority of cases, it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men. Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following: Coercive control - a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the threat of physical or sexual violence Psychological and / or emotional abuse Financial or economic abuse Harassment and stakling Online or digital abuse.