Neurodiverse people and domestic abuse
Recognise the signs of an unhealthy relationship and what you can do to get help
Anyone can be a victim of abuse but research shows that those who are neurodiverse may have a heightened risk of violence, bullying or controlling behaviour.
ADHD, Autism, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dysgraphia, and Tourette’s syndrome are all examples of neurodiversity. People with learning disabilities and or autism are more likely to suffer from domestic violence and abuse than other people and are less likely to report it when they do.
There are many forms of physical, emotional and sexual abuse and it can be really hard to spot when this is creating a problem in a relationship. Not being able to understand social ‘rules’ for relationships and less ability to recognise good and bad behaviour can lead to bad relationships. Often it is relying on others to help them with everyday tasks, which can make it harder for someone with a learning disability to leave an abusive relationship.
Coercive control is common in people who are neurodivergent. This is an ‘act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim’. You can find out more on our types of abuse page.
Find out how we can help you and how you can get in touch.
Myths and misconceptions about domestic abuse
They do not hit me so it is not abuse
Find out more about the different types of abuse.
Domestic abuse always involves physical or sexual violence
Other abusive behaviours include:
- Coercive control
- Psychological abuse
- Financial or economic control
- Emotional abuse
- Online or digital abuse
Short free online awareness courses are available to help you understand more about domestic abuse.
Alcohol and drugs make people more violent
They can be a good parent even if they abuse me, it does not have to affect our children
An estimated 90% of children whose parents are in an abusive relationship witness the abuse. When a child witnesses domestic abuse it is child abuse.
Find out more about children and domestic abuse.
All couples argue – it’s not domestic abuse, it is just a normal relationship
Find out more about Recognising unhealthy relationships.
Domestic abuse only occurs in impoverished, inner-city areas.
Only women experience domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is a rare occurrence
Domestic abuse is often a one-off incident
People experiencing abuse often provoke assaults and therefore “ask for it”
Domestic abuse is a private matter that others should not get involved in
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse phone 0800 69 49 999.
In an emergency you should always dial 999, if you are unable to speak because you are worried you will be overheard you can press 55 and the operator will know that you need assistance.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship
Recognising unhealthy relationships
What to look out for and signs that there is domestic abuse in a relationship
Domestic abuse e-Learning
Somerset Council on behalf of the Safer Somerset Partnership organises a range of training courses, from basic awareness to more specialist courses.
8am to 8pm
7 days a week
0800 69 49 999
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call the Police
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