Let’s talk about Domestic Violence

Let’s talk about it

White lady wearing a dark colour jumper with long blond straggly hair and both eyes are black and blue
Domestic violence hurts – Image by
Judith Bevan, Mirror.co.uk

You might wonder why “Let’s talk about Domestic Violence.” I never imagined having my hair ripped out at the roots, so hard, I had to restyle my hair to cover huge gaps the size of a 10 pence? Or being punched in the stomach, so hard it took the breath right out of me and made me physically sick? The times I just curled up in a ball and wished it would stop; wished he would stop? That’s why – Let’s talk about domestic violence.

If just one person reads my message and plucks up the courage to leave a violent relationship, it might just save a life.

“As one person I cannot change the world but maybe I can change the world of one person.”

Paul Shane Spear.

Domestic violence statistics

According to the UK Office of National Statistics 2020, in the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic violence in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men).

More than one-third of women (me included – and you can read my story starting here if you want) and one in 12 men have experienced intimate partner violence in their lifetime — anyone would agree that’s far too many.

I really didn’t want to mention the damn virus, but news from around the world is that Domestic Violence cases are soaring as lockdown takes its toll. Here in the UK, more than 25 organisations helping domestic violence victims have reported a surge in calls during lockdown and an increase in their caseload since the start of the UK’s coronavirus epidemic. Mark Townsend, The Guardian, 2020. S0, yes, let’s talk about domestic violence.

Myths about domestic violence

Black and white photo of lady with long dark hair. On her bare back the words written in green "Is this Love?" and written in black "Love shouldn't  hurt"
Let’s talk about domestic violence — what is it?

She’d leave if it was really bad — there are lots of reasons someone might stay. Leaving really isn’t easy, it’s a process and it takes time. It took me almost three years and then — I was ready to leave.

Domestic abuse only happens to certain women — You might have thought so, but it happens to all women, regardless of their education status, their profession, or where they live — I never thought it would happen to me!

Some women deserve it — oh, my word, you wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard this. Men often claim their wife/partner ‘made them do it’. No — the abuser alone is responsible, not the victim.

Some women like violent men — I doubt that very much, as I know I constantly lived in fear and this is just blaming the victim — again.

Stress, alcohol and drugs make the men violent — No. They’re violent when sober too and lots of men get stressed and drink without becoming threatening or violent. My ex would say he couldn’t remember the beatings, he’d blacked out because of the drugs. That was just an excuse.

Domestic abuse is between the two people concerned, it’s private — Wrong! DV is a crime, it’s a social problem not an individual one, and we all need to shout out against it.

OK, so what is domestic violence?

It’s any behaviour that is violent, threatening, controlling or intended to make you or your family feel unsafe and scared.

Domestic violence (DV) refers to violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are are currently or have previously been in an intimate relationship.

The perpetrator (more often a male) uses violence to dominate and control the other person. This causes dread, fear, physical harm and/or psychological harm.

DV is used for one thing only: and that’s to gain and maintain control over you. Abusers never “play fair.” An abuser uses shame, guilt, fear, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you right where they want you — under their thumb.

“You are so brave and quiet, I forget you are suffering.”

Ernest Hemingway

Domestic violence is also commonly known as:

  1. relationship violence
  2. physical assault
  3. intimate partner violence
  4. emotional abuse
  5. sexual assault
  6. verbal abuse
  7. financial abuse
  8. family violence
  9. technology-facilitated, online abuse
  10. social abuse – isolating someone from their family and friends
  11. spiritual abuse – stopping someone from practicing their religion
  12. child abuse

I’m sure that various organisations around the world could add to this list. But for brevity today, let’s concentrate on the DV between two people in an intimate relationship.

What you can do about Domestic Violence

Let’s talk about Domestic Violence
— what you can do about it

If you’re asking yourself what you can do to help, see the seven steps (listed below) you can take to help stop domestic violence in your own home, at a friend’s or a loved one’s and in your community:

1. Knowing the signs. DV knows no boundaries and can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, religion, sexuality, ethnicity or background, educated, uneducated. DV can start pretty early on in a relationship and sometimes it might take months, years or even long after you’ve separated.

There are some warning signs to be wary of – an abuser might exhibit some of these at any point in your relationship or someone else’s:

  • Discouraging you from spending time away from your family or friends
  • Being jealous of your friends or time you spend away from him
  • Telling you what to wear or not
  • Making you feel guilty for any problems in your relationship
  • Being charming and witty one minute and intimidating or threatening the next
  • Threatening violence against you, or someone you love to ensure you comply; do as you’re told
  • Embarrassing or shaming you, making snide remarks when in company of others
  • Pressuring you to have sex, even if you don’t want to
  • Intimidating you physically, possibly with weapons
  • Taking charge of you money, controlling banks accounts so you have little or no access
  • Stopping you from working, or if you do work, being jealous of your colleagues and watching what time you get home
  • Intentionally damaging your property; jewellery, clothes or your car
  • Do you always feel like you’re walking on eggshells for fear of upsetting him/her?

 2. Check in with loved ones, friends or neighbours. If you know someone is in danger, reach out regularly, either in person or by phone to ensure their safety.

Picture of lady's ear with open hand up against it, showing she's listening
Let them talk about Domestic
Violence and just listen

3. Be a shoulder to cry on; a good listener. If someone ever tells you in confidence that they’re experiencing DV, just listen actively without interrupting and don’t pass judgement. Trust what they’re saying is true and ask if there’s anything you could do to help.

4. Be there. If someone you know is afraid of the violence escalating or is thinking about leaving, be ready to help. Keep your phone nearby with the sound on, make sure you’ve got petrol in your car and perhaps have a pre-planned escape and somewhere you can meet.

5. Have resources available. You might help them getting a bag made up with necessities and have it ready to hand or keep it somewhere safe for them. You could help by doing some of the running around needed to arrange things like a mobile phone and sorting out any finances.

8. Write it down. Document every incident you either witness or know of, including the time, date, where it happened, and any injuries. This information might prove useful if at a later date you or someone you know wants to proceed to court.

5. Know numbers to your local shelters. You or someone you know might need immediate refuge. Keep numbers to a hotline in your phone — the UK freephone, 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247

7. Shout out about Domestic Violence. Help a local DV service in raising awareness in your community. Talk to your family, friends, colleagues, at work meetings and local community groups. Organise posters for your workplace rest areas.

Some good news

Only a few days ago, our Home Office Secretary, Priti Patel announced help for domestic abuse victims during lockdown. She’s launched a new campaign to help victims of domestic abuse after a national helpline reported a 120% increase in people seeking help during the lockdown. Patel said the data was ‘extremely concerning’ and she told victims ‘you are not alone’.

ClipArt.com

So, if it’s happening to you, you’re not alone and help is available. Do you know someone who’s experiencing domestic violence? Would you know what to look for and be able to help some now? I’d appreciate your thoughts and I’m happy to answer any questions. Let’s talk about Domestic Violence.

This article is one of a series, looking at the various forms of abuse, which I hope you’ll find interesting and useful.

You might like this list of Useful list of Mental Health Contacts here.

Author: mentalhealth360.uk

Mum to two amazing sons. Following recovery from a lengthy psychotic episode, depression, anxiety and anorexia, I decided to train as a Mental Health Nurse and worked successfully in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager. I am a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Mental Health Awareness Trainer, Mental Health First Aid Youth and Mental Health Armed Forces Instructor. Just started my mental health from the other side blog.

56 thoughts on “Let’s talk about Domestic Violence”

  1. Really important… no one is ever responsible for someone’s abuse of them. Doesn’t mean it’s not possible to change it or that they didn’t ever play a part in the dance, but whatever the case, you’re never responsible for what someone does to you.
    💕💕💕

  2. This is a really great post. I was thinking about this earlier, about how thankful I am that I’m not stuck in my abusive relationship anymore during this pandemic… I’ve been thinking about writing about it but I don’t even know where I would start. It’s great to bring awareness to this, especially right now!

    1. I’m glad you were able to gete away from it A. If you want to write about it, and I know it’s not easy to lay yourself bare, you’ll find a place to start and if someone else can take something away from your story, great job! x

      1. Thats what I tell myself, that maybe something I have to say could help someone else. Maybe I’ll try again to write about it.

      2. Yay! Great – start somewhere and you can always cut and paste sentences or paragraphs from that. 🙂 You could always use parts of mine or someone else’s story to make comparisons or arguments, like you would an essay at school. Example, Smith said……….. but in my opinion……….. etc. Look forward to reading your story – not the topic, obviously, but how you overcame it 🙂 Caz x

  3. My first husband was a sweetheart who treated me like a queen. Right up til he started using cocaine, then became someone I didn’t recognize. I asked him to leave and one night he showed up wasted and broke in the door and tried to strangle me because I wouldn’t let him come back til he got help.Cops were involved. His family was involved. He tried suicide twice to manipulate me. All he had to do was be open to getting clean and he instead thought it’d be a good idea to strangle me into submission.
    That was all it took for me to know it was over.
    Whatever attention can be drawn to the topic, good for you bringing it to light.

    1. Mmm, mine too, coke and E’s where the downers were awful. I’m glad you had the courage to leave him as quickly as you did. Sadly I (and many others) let it continue – until I thought I would kill him! Thanks for sharing Morgs x

  4. I was thinking about this subject earlier, and while I’ve seen so many advertisements for charities, I don’t think it’s spoken about enough. Especially as victims really can’t escape the situation right now. I feel very fortunate to be where I am, and want to help as much as I can!

    1. No, of course it’s not spoken about enough and charities can only do so much. Mind you, the police are much better around DV these days. I’m glad you’re safe and well, you might to call the charities to see if there’s any way you can help? What a lovely idea Kitty x

  5. Great post, I look forward to the series. DV is always needed to talk about and to bring awareness to it. Every new generation will need this information. It’s good to know the symptoms as you don’t always realize (you don’t have the chance to!) what is going on.

    1. Thanks Kacha. I remember when I was studying DV and I was allowing it to happen to me! And I knew the symptoms as I’d watched my mum go through it but I was only small then. The services are more widely available now and the police take much more notice – it’s now a criminal offence. C x

  6. I’m so sorry you have gone through these things…

    Also what’s important is understanding what is causing these men and women to say, and do what they do.

    Many of these people are Narcissists’s, who have no empathy, no conscience and feel no guilt.
    They have to always have control. They feel entitled to do as they please and treat you and any children like you are objects rather than humans.
    There are many manipulations they use, and different types of abuse depending on the type of narcissist they are.
    There are usually three stages that you go or live through with a narcissist.
    There is: the golden period, the devaluation and then the discard, (although they never truly discard you).
    But for more information on this whole dynamic go to:

    H.G. Tudor – Knowing the Narcissist

    Or email him: narcissist1909@gmail.com

    I hope this helps…

  7. Just a word of caution though, don’t get caught up on him as many women do find this a temptation in finding out who he is, because he is mysterious and dark. He is a Narcissistic Psychopath who runs an efficient business.
    But pretend he is a robot. Because he might aswell be.

    But make use of his work. Absorb it and learn what you can from it.
    It is the best out there.

      1. Good job I’m not a young girl then haha…
        The only thing I wish for is to be left alone. I feel I have reached a time in my life when this will happen now.

        I don’t know if this person is macho or not. Have no idea. He is whatever people wish him to be I suppose and has the intelligence to be that.

        It is just wise to keep a distance, because he is predatory by nature. And no matter how much this person says they are totally professional, (which they are)… his dominant persona will always come through, IF there is some kind of benefit for them to do so.

        Having said that his writing is worth learning from so you can protect yourself and others and understand what and why these predators do what they do, and to do that, you have to get into their mind and learn the way they think.

        BUT you cannot ever take the predator out of the man unfortunately.
        And it would be unwise to ever think you could, and many have gone down that path only to regret it dearly.

        I care too, and therefore I feel I have to give this caution whenever I direct them to his work.

        Xxx

      2. Who is this person? I gather from your words, that you follow him? I don’t mean troll lol. Is he the narcissist? Might be able to learn – yes please. Caz x

      3. I do not follow him no.

        I sometimes have or will look at his site, if something interests me.
        I hope you can learn as knowledge is power as they say.

      4. I do not know if you could see my blog, but I really hope not because its very private.
        It’s like a personal diary and I will not allow anyone in there.
        But I saw you in viewers and so deleted you.
        I do not want ANY people looking at my stuff.
        I have to be careful!
        I wish you well Caz x

      5. Haha thanks…

        I need to often vent yes, and express different thoughts and feelings all the time.
        But I do that privately in my blog or through prayer now.
        I have learnt from several bad experiences in the past that it is not wise to tell someone stuff they really do not need to know.

        But thank you x

      6. I can’t because I need it.
        More than ever…
        I just didn’t need an audience. Nor views, nor followers. I feel much freer and happier since they are gone.

        I’m sorry for so many comments on your post. x

      7. It’s hard to trust. I second guess everyone and everything! I hope you can connect with my story and offer some help

  8. That myth that someone in an abusive relationship can “just leave” is an important and frustrating one. Many abusers only show their true colors once their partner is dependent on them. And then there are the emotional shackles. Some are threatened, and some have been convinced it really is their fault that things aren’t “working.” We, as individuals and as a society, need to do all we can to give people caught in such terrible situations resources and support so that they can finally leave and start the process of recovery.

    1. Thanks for your great comments, as always. I like to think that the more people read or listen to other people’s story, the more understanding and awareness there is. People might learn to step forward or walk away from their abusive situation.

  9. I am on my way out of a domestic violence relationship and leaving was harder than staying. Staying I might get pushed around a bit, bruises, black eyes, etc but leaving was when he made attempts to actually take my life. Writing about my experiences has been heavy and hard and so emotionally draining but once I get it down on the page, I can leave it there. I don’t have to carry around that heaviness in my day to day life, One day I hope when people ask I can just give them the blog and walk away and not relive the abuse by sharing my story over and over. The writing is atrocious at times and I’m sure I’ll go through and edit, clarify, and fix when I have the mental energy, but right now it my story and it’s allowed to get as messy as it needs to while I get it all out. I am pretty honest about how long and how many times it took for me to leave and I think that is really important for survivors to know. We’re not ready until we’re ready and that is the best we can do. and no matter how many times it takes to leave it is still strong and powerful and it is okay not to be ready yet. nameredacted.blog

    1. Thank you for sharing part of your story here, i’ll be over to take a look at your blog to read more. In the meantime, I’m glad you were finally able to get out. I know how hard it is, especially if you have children. When I did some work with local Domestic Violent Units, the figures show that it takes on average – 28 beatings before a person will leave the abusive relationship. So you’re right, anyone still in a violent relationship, you are not alone and there is support available, However, it’s still not easy because often we love our abusers and that’s tough to walk away from. I know that anyone who hasn’t been through it won’t understand. Thank you for your comments. Caz x

  10. I’m not sure where I’m supposed to comment on this but: I am on my way out of a domestic violence relationship and leaving was harder than staying. Staying I might get pushed around a bit, bruises, black eyes, etc but leaving was when he made attempts to actually take my life. Writing about my experiences has been heavy and hard and so emotionally draining but once I get it down on the page, I can leave it there. I don’t have to carry around that heaviness in my day to day life, One day I hope when people ask I can just give them the blog and walk away and not relive the abuse by sharing my story over and over. The writing is atrocious at times and I’m sure I’ll go through and edit, clarify, and fix when I have the mental energy, but right now it my story and it’s allowed to get as messy as it needs to while I get it all out. I am honest about how long and how many times it took for me to leave and I think that is really important for survivors to know. We’re not ready until we’re ready and that is the best we can do. and no matter how many times it takes to leave it is still strong and powerful and it is okay not to be ready yet. be it financial, emotional, mental health or anything else standing in our way the important part is the small steps that move us closer and closer to leaving until our day comes. Obviously we want everyone to leave ASAP but sometimes that’s not the reality AND THAT IS OKAY. do not feel ashamed for not leaving until you’re able. nameredacted.blog

  11. I have recently joined and wrote something that I have never spoke about… I hope people can relate and connect to me

    1. Well done for leaving him, I know how much strength that must have taken. Don’t prove anything to him – do it for yourself, for you only. You’re still young and you can go back and study, yes even with children. I did, so I wish you good luck with your journey and I’m looking forward to reading how you get on. Caz x

      1. Thank you for taking the time to read my story!
        It took a lot, half of the stuff I put in this I haven’t even told my own mother.
        The strength i never knew I had came flooding back xx

      2. No, it’s not easy telling you mum but I’m sure she’ll be supportive of you and the little ones when you do tell her.
        Great that your strength came back and I know you’ll find more to get through the next phase of your life. That might be going back to study? I did – when I was 36 and a single parent and if you haven’t read my blog yet, I trained to be a mental heaslth nurse – helping people like me and you!
        You can do this! Caz x

      3. I have read your blog, well some of it!! I definitely will be keeping in touch
        Thank you so much x

  12. I love your site. My thanks for sharing such a good post. I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday. I will come back to read more and inform my coworkers about your site. Do you know “Mexican Food Crevel Europe” is most selling food in COVID-19. If you don’t, then search for it.

  13. You are one strong woman in your power and sharing what happened to you will help others. I was nearly killed at the end 2009. I still struggle talking about it. Sometimes people see it is my weakness to talk about it. But it is not. It is strength and courage. Keep going. x

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.