It is a startling statistic that 1 in 4 women will experience abuse in their lifetime but domestic abuse can take many forms.
Essentially domestic abuse is about control – one person trying to control another by any means. This can be over finances, friendship, interaction with family and of course the more commonly recognised forms of physical and sexual violence.
Domestic abuse is not confined to marriage either, the recent NSPCC report uncovered the hidden abuse amongst teenage relationships and Broken Rainbow, a charity for gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgender people, say that it is prevalent in same sex relationships too.
Swain & Co.’s domestic abuse solicitors say that it is important for victims to realise that they are not alone and that abuse can occur in any relationship. The key is to look out for the signs.
With control being the goal of the perpetrator, there may be control over finances, questioning why and how money is spent, or seizing control of the finances of another person.
It may by emotional abuse, making the victim feel worthless, putting them down so there self-esteem and confidence is broken. Or, the perpetrator may make the victim feel guilty for seeing friends and family and not spending time with them. Obsession can be closely linked to abuse and become intimidating. It can also seriously affect the victim’s relationships with friends and family members.
Then there is the more commonly recognised form of physical abuse, but it does not have to be just punching and kicking, it can be slaps and shoves also.
And there is the hidden side of sexual abuse, where perpetrators can rape a victim but also make them feel guilty for not engaging in sex or being violent whilst having sex. It is important to remember that no one has the right to have sex with you just because you are in a relationship.
No means no.
Domestic abuse is about manipulation. The perpetrator uses abuse to manipulate the victim to act in a way that the perpetrator wants.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse, there is help out there. Teenagers can look to ChildLine (and this does include 17 and 18 year olds); and there are many adult services such as Women’s Aid and ManKind.
If you are a friend or family member concerned for your loved one, just be there for them. You can’t make them leave but you can support them and let them talk to you.
Don’t suffer violence in silence, you are not alone and help is out there.
We also know that you many need help out of office hours, so have an emergency text and phone line operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
So drop in, call or text us to get the help, support and advice you need:
Call us on 02392 492967
Or text/call the emergency line 24/7 on 07435 969798