NICE quality standards describe high-priority areas for quality improvement in a defined care or service area. Each standard consists of a prioritised set of specific, concise and measurable statements. They draw on existing guidance, which provides an underpinning, comprehensive set of recommendations, and are designed to support the measurement of improvement.

This quality standard covers domestic violence and abuse in adults and young people aged 16 years and over. It covers adults and young people who are experiencing (or have experienced) domestic violence or abuse, as well as adults and young people perpetrating domestic violence or abuse. It also covers children and young people under 16 years who are affected by domestic violence or abuse that is not directly perpetrated against them. This includes those taken into care. For more information see the domestic violence and abuse topic overview.

The term ‘domestic violence and abuse’ is used to mean any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling behaviour, coercive behaviour or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are family members or who are, or have been, intimate partners. This includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. It also includes 'honour'-based violence and forced marriage.

This quality standard does not cover violence and abuse perpetrated against children and young people under 16 years by adults (‘child abuse’). This will be covered in a future quality standard on child abuse and neglect.