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Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse? 

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. But it isn’t just physical violence – domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse.
It can happen in any relationship, and even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers.
If you are worried or feel threatened by your partner you do not have to suffer in silence and you should never think that it is your fault or that no one will listen to you.

Recognising domestic abuse 

Although every situation is unique, there are common factors that link the experience of an abusive relationship. Acknowledging these factors is an important step in preventing and stopping the abuse. This list can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.
They include:
  • Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling; verbally threatening.
  • Pressure tactics: sulking; threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the phone and internet, taking away or destroying your mobile, tablet or laptop, taking the car away, taking the children away; threatening to report you to the police, social services or the mental health team unless you comply with his demands; threatening or attempting self-harm and suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to your friends and family about you; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.
  • Disrespect: persistently putting you down in front of other people; not listening or responding when you talk; interrupting your telephone calls; taking money from your purse without asking; refusing to help with childcare or housework.
  • Breaking trust: lying to you; withholding information from you; being jealous; having other relationships; breaking promises and shared agreements.
  • Isolation: monitoring or blocking your phone calls, e-mails and social media accounts, telling you where you can and cannot go; preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; shutting you in the house.
  • Harassment: following you; checking up on you; not allowing you any privacy (for example, opening your mail, going through your laptop, tablet or mobile), repeatedly checking to see who has phoned you; embarrassing you in public; accompanying you everywhere you go.
  • Threats: making angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate; shouting you down; destroying your possessions; breaking things; punching walls; wielding a knife or a gun; threatening to kill or harm you and the children; threatening to kill or harm family pets; threats of suicide.
  • Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts; having sex with you when you don’t want it; forcing you to look at pornographic material; constant pressure and harassment into having sex when you don’t want to, forcing you to have sex with other people; any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.
  • Physical violence: punching; slapping; hitting; biting; pinching; kicking; pulling hair out; pushing; shoving; burning; strangling, pinning you down, holding you by the neck, restraining you.
  • Denial: saying the abuse doesn’t happen; saying you caused the abuse; saying you wind them up; saying they can’t control their anger; being publicly gentle and patient; crying and begging for forgiveness; saying it will never happen again.
 Crisis Planning  
Admitting to yourself and others that you are experiencing domestic abuse may seem very difficult but it is an important step towards getting protection for you. It is not your fault. You are not alone. You have the right to live free from fear.
Keeping a diary of events and incidents is helpful to both the police and you. A record of events can help if any action is taken against the abuser. Try to record an incident as soon as possible and include as much information as possible.
Making a crisis plan is way of feeling more in control, more positive and confident. Below is a plan of action which you can change to suit you.
  • Find somewhere you can quickly and easily use a phone (neighbour/relative/friend)
  • Make and always carry with you a list of numbers for an emergency. Include friends, relatives and local police
  • Try and save money for bus, train or taxi fares
  • Have an extra set of keys for your car, flat, house
  • Keep the keys, money and set of clothes for you packed ready in a bag that can quickly get and take. For safety it may be more appropriate to have this at a friend’s house to save keeping it in your premises
 Getting help 
There are many different organisations that can help such as
National Centre for Domestic Violence 0800 970 2070 or 0207 186 8270 
Refuge 0808 2000 247
Police 999
Or you can pop into CYP Yellow Door and we will give you advice and support that you need. You can also give us a call on 01268 683431.

Remember you are never alone and there is always help and support.

Jessica Cuthbertson CYP VOLUNTEER  

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