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Let’s put a stop to domestic violence now!


There seems to be an ever increasing level of cases being brought to light regarding domestic violence and the devastating effects it has had on those closest to the individuals involved.




 Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive partner is the first step to ending it. No one should live in fear of the person they love. If you recognise yourself or someone you know experiencing any of the warning signs and descriptions of abuse then reach out. 



So what is Domestic Violence?



OK, so many people will think that’s a bit obvious - why ask such a stupid question. Domestic violence is commonly known to be where one person harms another person with whom they have (or have had) some sort of relationship. They do not need to be heterosexual partners and they do not need to live in the same property. Both women and men can experience domestic violence but many more women experience domestic violence and the violence they experience is more frequent and serious in nature. Domestic violence also strikes many different forms and can be where one person physically attacks the other or it may be another form of abuse such as emotional, sexual or financial abuse.



Domestic violence can include elder abuse. This is where harm is done, or distress caused, to an older person within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust. It can happen at home or within a care setting or hospital.



Understanding domestic violence and abuse



Domestic abuse occurs when one person whether it be in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and control the other person. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” Abusers use fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under his or her thumb. Your abuser may also threaten you, hurt you, or hurt those around you.



Domestic violence and abuse does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more commonly victimized, men are also abused – especially verbally and emotionally and sometimes physically as well.



The bottom line is abusive behaviour is never acceptable, whether it’s coming from a man or a woman, a teenager or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected and safe.



????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Recognizing abuse is the first step to getting help



Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive partners can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.



Signs of an abusive Partner



There are many signs of an abusive partner. The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive partner include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation.



1 woman in 4 (25%) is physically abused by a partner during her life-time (Council of Europe, 2002)



2 women are killed each week by a current or former partner (Homicide Statistics, 1998 - 2012)



On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police (Jaffe, 1982)



Nearly 30 women attempt suicide every day to escape domestic violence (Walby, 2004)



In family households where domestic violence occurs, in 90% of incidents, children were in the same or the next room (Hughes, 1992) In over 50% of known domestic violence cases, children were also directly abused (NSPCC, 1997; Farmer & Owen, 1995)



Only 16% of victims of partner abuse in 2008-09 had reported the abuse to the police (BCS, 2008-2009)



Every minute police in the UK receive a domestic assistance call (Stanko, 2000; Home Office, 2002)



Domestic violence accounts for 16-25% of all violent crime (Home Office, 2005)



Domestic violence has the highest rate of repeat victimisation of any crime (Home Office, 2002)



One in seven children and young people under the age of 18 will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood (Radford et al, 2011)



?Physical abuse and domestic violence



When people talk about domestic violence, they are often referring to the physical abuse of a spouse or intimate partner. Physical abuse is the use of physical force against someone in a way that injures or endangers that person. Physical assault or battering is a crime, whether it occurs inside or outside of the family.



Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse



Any situation in which you are forced to participate in unwanted, unsafe, or degrading sexual activity is sexual abuse. Forced sex, even by a spouse or intimate partner with whom you also have consensual sex, is an act of aggression and violence. Furthermore, people whose partners abuse them physically and sexually are at a higher risk of being seriously injured or killed.



Emotional abuse:



It’s a bigger problem than you think...



When people think of domestic abuse, they often picture battered women (and men) who have been physically assaulted. But not all abusive relationships involve violence. Just because you’re not battered and bruised doesn’t mean you’re not being abused. Many men and women suffer from emotional abuse, which is no less destructive. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often minimized or overlooked—even by the person being abused.



Understanding emotional abuse



The aim of emotional abuse is to chip away at your feelings of self-worth and independence. If you’re the victim of emotional abuse, you may feel that there is no way out of the relationship or that without your abusive partner you have nothing. Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse such as yelling, name-calling, blaming, and shaming. Isolation, intimidation, and controlling behaviour also fall under emotional abuse. Additionally, abusers who use emotional or psychological abuse often throw in threats of physical violence or other repercussions if you don’t do what they want.



You may think that physical abuse is far worse than emotional abuse, since physical violence can send you to the hospital and leave you with scars. But, the scars of emotional abuse are very real, and they run deep. In fact, emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical



It Is Still Abuse If . . .



·                  The incidents of physical abuse seem minor when compared to those you have read about, seen on television or heard other women talk about. There isn’t a “better” or “worse” form of physical abuse; you can be severely injured as a result of being pushed, for example.



 ·      The incidents of physical abuse have only occurred one or two times in the relationship. Studies indicate that if your spouse/partner has injured you once, it is likely he will continue to physically assault you.



·                   The physical assaults stopped when you became passive and gave up your right to express yourself as you desire, to move about freely and see others, and to make decisions. It is not a victory if you have to give up your rights as a person and a partner in exchange for not being assaulted!



 



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