Domestic Violence… a step away from murder.
My pet hate is a cowardly bully, I’m putting this information out there to let victims know that they are not alone; when they are ready there is help.
Sadly, abuse from a partner or ex-partner is very common and can easily spiral out of control, affecting both men and women. What starts out as a seemingly happy healthy relationship can turn into smothering-hellish-quicksand, leaving the victim shaking their head asking ‘how the hell did I get here?’
If you suffer from abuse, or know someone who is, there are many agencies set up to help. See links below.
Domestic abuse is an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour. Coercive control is a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence - psychological and/or emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, harassment, stalking, online or digital abuse.
In the majority of cases the perpetrator is a partner or ex-partner, but can also be a family member or carer.
Survivors who experience domestic violence face many practical and emotional obstacles to leaving a violent partner. These can vary from problems of housing, children and money, to feelings ranging from love to terror. Constant abuse and criticism can also destroy self-esteem.
The perpetrator is cunning, patient and resourceful. Initially they obsess affection on the victim, making them feel special, wanted, loved.
Once the victim is hooked, the perpetrator moves onto the next stage of subtly taking over the victim’s life – learning their vulnerabilities, what buttons to press, isolating them by controlling friends, social media, finance, jobs etc, making themselves indispensable, in control, financially, mentally and physically. The victim becomes their puppet.
The victim at first is in denial, they want to please the perpetrator, to believe that all is ok – is it their fault, maybe they are doing something wrong? They tend to go along with the perpetrator’s wishes to keep the peace, to keep themselves and their children safe. The constant stress and anxiety is exhausting, draining, they become weak, malleable.
Once the victim starts to wake up to the fact that they are in danger, they have to make a decision, to be brave enough to leave (risk the possibility of losing everything short term; their home, support, finance, job) or stay and try to keep their partner happy, hoping things will change.
But once a perpetrator realises they have the victim held in fear, they may enjoy the power and up the ante, their behaviour becoming increasingly violent - because they can, the victim enables them.
Leaving a violent partner is a brave step to make. It is a vulnerable time that needs careful planning and safeguarding. But there are agencies out there waiting for the call. Short term the victim may lose everything, but long term they will gain it all back, plus dignity, safety and freedom.
Before you call a helpline, be sure that you are safely away from the perpetrator, that they are not in the same property as you (even if they are in another room, the garden or asleep). They may overhear your call, which can cause more problems. If you email the helpline, let them know when it is safe to respond and to which email address, or give the details of a trusted friend.
Web search ‘domestic abuse support’ to source your own local country agencies. But for UK, Scotland, Wales and Eire you can find a list here;
Which includes links for;
National Stalking Helpline
Respect - stop violent behaviour
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender domestic violence advice
Trafficking, rights of women, immigration, asylum legal.
NSPCC National Child Trafficking advice (CTAC)
NCDV (National Centre for Domestic Violence) is a 24hr Freephone helpline (in partnership with Women’s Aid and Refuge) helps victims obtain emergency injunctions – such as an occupation order or a non-molestation order – regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or financial situation. Providing instant, effective protection against domestic violence and advice. To apply for a Non-Molestation Order or other forms of injunction, contact 0800 970 2070, or text ‘Help’ to 60777 or visit website www.ncdv.org.uk
Flaming Heart image by Prawny of: www.freeimages.co.uk