Domestic Abuse

Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner.

The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused.

This list may help you to identify whether you are experiencing domestic violence

• Are you afraid of your partner?

• Do you feel isolated? Does he cut you off from family and friends?

• Is he jealous and possessive?

• Does he humiliate or insult you?

• Does he verbally abuse you?

 

• Does he say you are useless and couldn’t cope without him?

• Does he physically hurt you? Does he shove, slap, punch or kick you?

• Has he threatened to hurt you or people close to you?

• Does he constantly criticise you?

• Does he have sudden changes of mood which dominate the household?

• Is he charming one minute and abusive the next? Like Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde?

• Does he control your money?

• Do you change your behaviour to avoid triggering an attack?

• Are you unsure of your own judgement?

• Does he damage your possessions?

• Does he smash up the furniture?

• Does he threaten to harm or kill the pets?

• Does he threaten to kidnap or get custody of the children?

• Does he drive fast because he knows it scares you?

• Does he lock you out of the house during an argument?

• Does he tell you what to wear or how to do your hair?

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Domestic violence takes many different forms.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is the most recognisable form of abuse. It can range from a slap or shove to a black eye, cut lip, or broken bone. In the most extreme cases it can result in death.

Physical abuse doesn’t always leave visible marks or scars. Having your hair pulled or an egg thrown at you is domestic violence too. Don’t underestimate what is happening to you. Over time the violence usually gets worse.

Emotional abuse

Many women experience domestic violence without ever being physically abused. Sometimes they’re not sure if what is happening to them is domestic violence. They worry that no-one will take them seriously if they talk about it.

If you alter your behaviour because you are frightened of how your partner will react, you are being abused. Emotional abuse is an attack on your personality rather than your body.

Emotional abuse can be just as harmful as physical abuse. It often leads to physical violence over time.

Sexual abuse

Your partner should not use force or threats to make you have sex. He should not make you perform sexual acts with which you are uncomfortable. He should not criticise your performance.

If he does any of the above, he is using sex to assert his authority and control you.

Financial abuse

One of the most powerful ways a man can control his partner is by using financial abuse.

There are many different forms of financial abuse, but it might include things like your partner taking your money; stopping you from working; placing all the bills or debts in your name; or monitoring how you spend money and other financial resources e.g. the telephone.

If you feel that your partner is limiting your financial independence, you are experiencing financial abuse.

Recognising that you are being abused is an important step. Where you go from here is up to you.

You don’t have to decide whether to leave the relationship right away. Only you know what is the right decision for you. Take it one step at a time and with each achievement you’ll feel stronger. We will support you whatever you decide. We won’t judge you or tell you what to do. We won’t tell anyone you’ve been in touch with us.

Although it may feel impossible now, you can rebuild your life free from violence and fear. We are here to help you.

How we can help

• Assist you in planning a safe move

• We can advise you on the process of finding suitable accommodation and signpost you to appropriate organisations.

• Help you to access benefits

• Emotional Support

We understand that being the victim of domestic or sexual violence is a horrific experience and severely impacts the emotional health of both you and any children. Our award winning methods will teach you to come to terms with the trauma and empower you to become emotionally resilient – taking control of yourself and taking those positive action steps forward.

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*A further 4 to 8 sessions at specially discounted rates may be suggested for maximum benefit

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