In 2013, the Home Office announced changes to the definition of domestic abuse as below:
- An incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse… by someone who is or has been an intimate partner or family member regardless of gender or sexuality
- Includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional abuse; so-called ‘honour-based’ violence; Female Genital Mutilation; forced marriage.
- Age range extended down to 16.
Many people think that domestic abuse is restricted to abuse between intimate
partners, but this is incorrect. It actually extends to other family members as well and
a great deal of the safeguarding work that occurs at home is in fact concerned with
domestic abuse. This confirms that domestic abuse approaches and legislation can be considered safeguarding responses in appropriate cases.
Family members are defined as: mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and
grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.