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What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse happens when one person hurts or bullies another person who is or was their partner. It can happen between people who are going out together, living together, have children together or are married to each other. It can happen either when people live together or separately.

Domestic abuse can also happen after a relationship has finished. Usually (but not always) it is the man who is the abuser and the woman who gets hurt. Although domestic abuse happens mostly between adults, young people can be affected by the abuse that they see and hear, and they can be hurt or bullied as part of domestic abuse. Young people may also experience abuse from their own boy/girlfriend.

Types of domestic abuse can be:


  • constantly putting a person down
  • constantly checking where someone is
  • stopping someone from seeing their friends or family
  • stopping someone from having a job


  • hitting, pushing, kicking, pinching
  • throwing or smashing things
  • making threats to hurt someone


  • making someone do sexual things that they don't want to do


  • not giving them any money
  • checking what someone spends money on
  • stopping them from working
  • taking all their money from them

If someone in your family is abusive, remember it’s not your fault.

If this is happening in your family, remember that you are not alone. Domestic abuse happens in many families and there are people that can help you and your family. Everyone has the right to be and feel safe.

Where can I get help?

You have the right to be kept safe from harm. If you are worried about something or someone you know and are not sure what to do there are lots of people who can help.

You could talk to:

  • someone in your family or a friend who you trust
  • someone in your school like your teacher
  • your school nurse
  • a social worker
  • the police or
  • you could call Childline on 0800 11 11

You can also talk to local specialist workers who deal with children affected by domestic abuse:

There are Children & Young Persons Support Workers (known as CYP Workers) who are based within South Ayrshire Women’s Aid who offer emotional and practical support to children & young people in a safe and private environment.

You can contact the CYP Workers to arrange support by:

Phone or Text: 07870 885990 or 07870 885986
Office: 01292 267067

Where else can I get help or advice?

The Hideout has been created by Women’s Aid to help children and young people to understand domestic abuse and how to take positive action if it’s happening to you.

Voice Against Violence was created by a group of young people who have first-hand experience of domestic abuse and different services. They have developed an interactive website that can provide you with lots of information on how to get help.

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Last updated: 25 February 2016

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