Physical abuse in an abusive relationship could be the stereotypical black eye, but it can be very wide-ranging.

Physical abuse that we see as part of partner abuse ranges from slaps, scratches, kicks or punches, to serious physical assault or murder.

It can be choking or strangling, holding her down, suffocating, cigarette burns, cuts and biting. Pushing or throwing down the stairs, banging her head against the wall. It can be starvation, or force-feeding. 

It can involve restriction of movement, including tying her up, or locking her in cupboards, rooms or in the home. Withholding her passport so she cannot travel is another restriction of free movement.

Physical abuse can mean injury to unborn children, particularly as 35% of all domestic abuse begins in pregnancy. Our clients are attacked while holding children, so that children get hurt. Sometimes children in an abusive relationship are physically abused themselves.

These are just some of the ways that a perpetrator can physically harm their victim. 

It is vital to remember that domestic abuse usually escalates over time.

This means that it is vital for friends/relatives or professionals to believe a woman the first time she tells you there has been a physical attack.

And it is vital that women themselves feel able to tell someone the first time it happens.

Call us on our anonymous freephone helpline 0808 801 0500 if you want to discuss this in confidence.

Or alternatively, ring our client support team directly at the office, 0208 445 8060.

Jewish Women's Aid is here for you.