What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is recognised today as a form of Domestic Abuse, it is incredibly difficult to prove as it is well hidden and coercive, it affects the mental health of an individual and there are no actual physical bruises or marks. It is a dangerous weapon and can potentially damage an individual’s mental health, wellbeing and identity. It is now recognised under the Serious Crimes Act 2015 and can have serious implications, with potential of imprisonment of up to 5 years.

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Different Forms of Abuse

Domestic violence and abuse can is defined as:

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. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional



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Reporting Abuse

Call 999 if you are in immediate danger or contact your local policing community team.

Below are links and contact information for organisations that can also help you:

English National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247


Galop (for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people)
0800 999 5428

Men’s Advice Line
0808 801 0327

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline
0800 027 1234

Scottish Women’s Aid
0131 226 6606

Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline
0808 80 10 800

Women’s Aid Federation (Northern Ireland)
0800 917 1414


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Living Free

Living Free is a support network designed to help and educate people of any age and gender who may have been subject to an emotionally abusive relationship. Our aim is to provide information, support and guidance for any person who may have been affected by emotional abuse. Start living your life today, free from abuse.


Share your Story

Would you like to share your story and feature in our blog? Contact Living Free; livingfree.org.uk@gmail.com