It can vary in severity from a slap or a shove through to black eyes, cuts and bruising and broken bones. In the most serious cases, it can result in death.
Physical abuse doesn't always leave marks or scars – having your hair pulled or something thrown at you is domestic abuse as well.
It is important to remember that if a partner or family member demonstrates any kind of violent conduct toward you – no matter how minor you may perceive it to be – that is abuse and it is unacceptable. You should not underestimate what is happening to you, as physical abuse often gets worse the longer it goes on.
You may go to extreme lengths to hide the signs of physical abuse from your friends and family, because you may feel ashamed, embarrassed or weak because of what is happening to you.
But if you are the victim of abuse it is important to remember it is never your fault, and there is help out there.
You have taken the first step by visiting this website, and you now have a choice about whether you are ready to seek further help.
Leaving a relationship is hard, especially if you have children and are worried about how it will affect them. But there is support available to help you find somewhere to live and plan your exit from the relationship safely – for both you and your family.