Also commonly known as domestic violence, this sort of abuse can happen against people of all genders. These are behaviours by your partner or family member that are controlling, coercive, threatening, violent or abusive. 

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Types of relationship abuse are generally referred to under these categories:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • academic
  • emotional

The aim of this sort of abuse is to isolate someone and make them subordinate and/or dependant on the abuser in some way.  They can convince the person that they are to blame for the abuse and that they are unable to leave which means that on average there are 35 incidents of abuse before someone will report the perpetrator.

Here are some (but not all) forms of relationship abuse:

  • keeping someone isolated from your friends and family
  • checking through someone's phone or computer for messages from others
  • talking in a derogatory way to a partner or family member
  • telling someone what they can/can't wear and where they can/can't go and who they can/can't spend time with
  • taking control of someone's finances without their consent or without their best interests in mind
  • physical abuse of any kind, including rape
  • stalking behaviour such as following someone, repeatedly contacting them against their wishes etc.

A third of domestic violence and abuse againist women starts during pregnancy. If the relationship is already abusive, it can get worse. For more information, visit NHS Choices. Galop have further information about LGBT+ relationship abuse support, and Safer Places offers a range of different services for people of all genders and sexualities.


What to do if you are affected by any of these issues

If you:

  • experience serious assault or sexual violence and are hurt or in danger,
  • witness a serious assault or sexual violence and the person involved is hurt or in danger,

then you must seek help immediately.  If you are on campus then you should report it to the university in the first instance and they will call the emergency services if necessary.

If you are on

  • Colchester campus contact the information centre on Square 2, either in person or by calling extension 2222 or 01206 872222
  • Southend campus contact University Square Reception either in person or by calling 01702 328400 or 07827 988085
  • Loughton campus contact reception during office hours on extension 5983 or 020 8508 5983 or security from 5pm til midnight (Monday to Saturday) on 07825 670709.

If it is a non-emergency then you can report it online and someone will contact you within 3 working days, or you  may decide to report an incident anonymously. This means that the incident will be logged for statistical purposes, however we are unable to take any direct action on anonymous reports. 



There are two ways you can tell us what happened