Domestic Abuse is as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or 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. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.

Controlling behaviour is 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.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

In the vast majority of cases domestic abuse is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men. It is deeply rooted in the societal inequality between men and women. Children can be harmed by witnessing domestic abuse and they may also be targeted directly by the abuser.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background, however women and girls from minoritised communities experiencing domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls, often face additional barriers to disclosing abuse and accessing help. Barriers include facing discrimination, restrictions relating to immigration status, no recourse to public funds and English not being their first language.

IKWRO provides specialist, support from MENA women experts, in community languages, to women and girls who have experienced, or are at risk of domestic abuse. IKWRO advocates to government and statutory authorities, drawing on our specialist expertise, for increased specialist resources for victims and survivors of violence against women and girls from MENA communities.

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