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What is domestic abuse?

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse can be a single incident, or a pattern of incidents or behaviour, that is some or all of the following:
  • controlling,
  • coercive,
  • threatening,
  • degrading,
  • violent.

It can include sexual violence and is usually carried out by a partner or ex-partner, but can also be committed by a family member or carer.

Domestic abuse is not always physical and can also include:

  • coercive control and ‘gaslighting’,
  • economic abuse,
  • online abuse,
  • threats and intimidation,
  • harassment and stalking,
  • emotional abuse,
  • sexual abuse.

Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.

At First Light, we want to help and support everyone who has experienced domestic abuse now, or in the past.

If you live in Cornwall and you’re unsure whether what you are experiencing is domestic abuse, please call our helpline on 0300 777 4 777 to talk to one of our team. Alternatively you can make an online referral.

If you do not live in Cornwall please contact the freephone, 24hr National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

More information

About First Light

First Light is a charity supporting people in Cornwall, Devon and Wiltshire who have been affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

Get help

If you or someone you know have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence it can be difficult to know where to turn. First Light is here to help.

Our locations

We offer different services in different parts of the UK; including Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon and Wiltshire.