Domestic violence and abuse (DVA)

The UK government definition of DVA is

“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.”

DVA can include but is not limited to:

-          Physical abuse

-          Emotional abuse

-          Financial abuse

-          Sexual abuse

-          Harassment and stalking (encompassing online abuse)

DVA also now includes coercive control within its definition. Coercive control is an incident or pattern of behaviour designed to punish, threaten, intimidate or humiliate a victim, leaving them often isolated and subordinate. In 2015 the Serious Crime Act established coercive control as a criminal offence, carrying up to 5 years imprisonment.