The University of Warwick’s Sexual Misconduct and Relationship Abuse Policy makes clear that we do not tolerate relationship abuse. 

We want to support anyone who has experienced such behaviours as we recognise the personal and emotional impact such abuse can have, and how difficult these experiences can be. 

What is Relationship Abuse? 

Relationship Abuse may also be known as Domestic Abuse or Domestic Violence. 

According to the University of Warwick’s policy, Relationship Abuse can be any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour and/or violence between those aged 16 or over, who are, or have been in a personal relationship with the individual(s) abusing them, regardless of gender or sexuality. 

It covers all forms of relationship and domestic abuse, including: 

  • Psychological 
  • Physical 
  • Financial
  • Emotional 
  • Stalking (online and in person) 
  • Digital and online 
  • “Honour”-based abuse (including forced marriage) and Female Genital Mutilation 

People who are “personally connected” include: 

  • Partners 
  • Former partners 
  • Family members 
  • Individuals who share parental responsibility for a child

There is no requirement for the person being abused and the person(s) abusing them to live in the same household.

 What is ‘Controlling Behaviour?’

Controlling behaviour is an act or range of acts designed to make someone subordinate and dependent by controlling their sources of support, finances, movements, health, body, means needed for independence, resistance and escape. 

What is ‘Coercive Behaviour?’

Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts which make someone feel dependent, isolated, punished, or frightened. Examples include isolating someone from their family or friends, monitoring someone’s activities or movements and threatening to harm someone.

What is ‘Stalking?’

Stalking is a specific type of harassment which involves a pattern of unwanted, fixated, or obsessive behaviour that is intrusive and causes fear or distress. Stalking can occur both online and in person.

What is “Honour”-based abuse (including forced marriage) and Female Genital Mutilation?

An incident involving violence, threats of violence or harm, intimidation, coercion, or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse) which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family and/or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family and/or community’s code of behaviour.


Examples of Relationship Abuse

Listed below are a few, but not an exhaustive list of examples of Relationship Abuse. 

If your experience is not on the list, but it has made you feel uncomfortable, threatened, or hurt, we can still support you. 

  • Someone personally connected to you telling you what to wear, where to go and who to see. 
  • Someone personally connected to you controlling your money, or making sure that you are dependent on them for everyday or essential things. 
  • Someone personally connected to you forcing you to change your behaviour because you are frightened of their reaction. 
  • Someone personally connected to you controlling your access to medicine, devices or care that you need. 
  • Someone personally connected to you monitoring and tracking your movements or messages. 
  • Someone personally connected to you putting you down or destructively criticising you. 
  • Someone personally connected to you harnessing pressure tactics such as sulking, ignoring you, withholding your mobile, threatening or attempting self-harm and suicide. 
  • Someone personally connected to you denying abuse and stating that you are to blame, that you caused the abuse and saying that they can’t control their anger. 
  • Someone personally connected to you punching, slapping, kicking, shoving, burning, strangling or being physically violence towards you in any way. 

More Information:

·       I’m not sure if my relationship is healthy. – Women’s Aid
·       Recognising Domestic Abuse- Women’s Aid


There are two ways you can tell us what happened