Recognise The Signs
What is Abuse?
Domestic abuse is not limited to physical violence. It can include repeated patterns of abusive behaviour to maintain power and control in a relationship. It includes abuse carried out by a partner, ex-partner or family member.
The government’s definition of domestic violence and abuse recognises this and defines domestic abuse as:
“Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality”
Stark facts (taken from a range of published reports):
Almost one in three women aged 16-59 will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime
Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone
One in two young women have experienced controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship
A third of young people have stated that a controlling partner had prevented them living their life
1 in 3 say they find it difficult to define the line between a caring action and a controlling one
Over a third (37%) would not know where or who to turn to for support if they were experiencing Domestic Abuse
Up to 500,000 girls and women living in the European Union are affected or threatened by FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), 75,000 of them live in Great Britain, 65,000 in France, 30,000 in Germany”.(Desert Flower Foundation).
Some signs of Domestic Abuse may be easy to identify such as physical marks, But others can be easily explained away or overlooked. Domestic Abuse affects every person differently, but it impacts everyone both physically and psychologically. Domestic Abuse also happens to anyone regardless or their social, educational, or financial status.
While red flags aren’t always proof that someone is suffering from Domestic Abuse, they are worth knowing.
If someone is being physical abused they will likely have frequent bruises or physical injuries, and they will likely have excuses for these injuries. Some signs of physical abuse are:
Red/Purple Marks on Neck
It’s also common for someone to try to hide these symptoms with heavy make-up or clothing. For example you may notice someone wearing more make-up than usual or big coats/long sleeves in hot weather.
Domestic abuse can take a serious emotional toll on a person, making someone feel helpless, hopeless and lost. It can cause people to believe that they will never escape control of the abuser. They may also exhibit a constant state of alertness to the point that they can never relax. Other signs of emotional abuse may include:
Agitation, anxiety or constantly on edge
Changes in sleep patterns
Developing drug/alcohol dependance
Extremely apologetic or timid
Loss of interest in activities
Low self esteem
Showing signs of depression
Thoughts or talking about suicide
These symptoms, of course, could be due to many different conditions or factors, but they are typical of a person who feels trapped.
If you notice that someone who was once outgoing and cheerful has gradually become quiet and withdrawn, it could be a sign of domestic abuse.
You may notice that the person:
Becomes reserved and distant
starts to isolate themselves by cutting off contact with friends and family
cancels plans at the last minute
often drops out of activities they would usually enjoy
exhibits excessive privacy in regards to their relationship or personal life
Showing signs of fear:
People who are being abused may seem anxious or nervous when they are away from the abuser, or they may seem overly anxious to please their partner. If they have children they may seem timid, frightened or extremely well-behaved when the partner is around.
People may not mention actual abuse, they might refer to their abuser as “moody” or having a bad temper. They may reveal that the partner is particularly bad-tempered when drinking alcohol.
Sometimes when the fear gets so intense they feel paralyzed to make decisions or to even protect themselves or their children. when it gets to this point they will even turn down any help offered to them be it friends, family or professional services.
What does controlling behaviour look like?
Domestic Abuse is not just about violence, it's also about control. if you notice that someone seems to be controlled or extremely manipulated in all areas of their life, it could be a sign they are being abused at some level. Here are some examples:
Having to ask for permission to go anywhere or to meet and socialize with other people
Constant calls, texts or tracking by their partner wanting to know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with
Having very little money, or no access to money, having to account for every penny spent.
Referring to their partner as “jealous” or “possessive” or always accusing them of having affairs.
If you or anyone you know is suffering domestic abuse you can contacts us us for help or cal 999 if you are in immediate danger
Call Grace: 07932415635
For immediate, out-of-hours support please contact the following national helplines:
Rape Crisis - 0808 8029999
Women's Aid - 0808 2000247
Samaritans - 116123
Galop, the LGBT+ Anti-Violence Charity
LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline
020 7704 2040
National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans+ Domestic Abuse Helpline
0800 999 5428
Useful links to other organisations. If you want to access support over the phone, you can call:
National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 – www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/ (run by Refuge)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327 (run by Respect)
The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428 (run by Galop)
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123
Rights of Women advice lines, there are a range of services available