Domestic Violence FAQS
What is domestic abuse / violence?
Domestic abuse is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents where one person displays controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading, and violent behaviour towards another. This is usually towards a partner or ex partner but can include family members and carers.
Can men experience domestic abuse?
There is no stereotypical domestic abuse victim. Usually women are the victims but men can experience it also. It can happen to anyone regardless of their age, race, sexuality, financial situation or religion.
What are the early warning signs that the person is abusive?
The following signs are things to look out for (this is a partial list):
1. The person pressures you to move quickly in the relationship, perhaps wanting you to commit or move in together/get engaged.
2.They experience most emotions as anger.
3.They are very jealous or possessive, constantly monitoring your movements and asking to ‘check’ your phone.
4.They undermine your ability to make decisions.
5.They constantly criticise people you know and try to isolate you from them.
6.They blame others for their problems and put the responsibility for their emotions on them. ‘You made me angry.’
7.They have sudden mood changes.
8.They throw objects near or around you during arguments.
9.They believe in rigid gender roles.
10.They’ve been abusive in past relationships.
What are the effects of domestic abuse on children?
Children who have to live with domestic abuse are under stress. This can manifest itself in a number of ways. The child may withdraw, or throw tantrums. They may experience problems at school, abuse drugs or develop an eating disorder. Fortunately, children who grow up in this environment do not necessarily become abusers themselves or victims of abuse but they do require a lot of support.
How can I help a family member/friend I think is in an abusive relationship?
Helping someone you believe is in abusive relationship takes patience. You will not be able to ‘rescue’ them but you could improve their situation. The following is a partial list:
1.Make time for them. Taking time out for them will show that you care and value your relationship.
2.Listen to them without judgement and believe what they tell you. Abuse victims often have trouble being believed when they speak out. It’s important that they are taken seriously.
3.Be supportive even if they stay. Leaving an abusive relationship can be a long and complex process. The victim needs to do so when they’re ready.
4.Encourage your friend to talk to someone who can help such as a domestic abuse agency.
5. You could offer specific help with childcare if this will not cause trouble with their partner.
6. You could keep a safety bag with valuables for the person in case they need to flee their home suddenly.
Where can I get help?
There are a number of organisations who can offer specific help. You can speak to your doctor, midwife or health visitor. You can also ring the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. Men can call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327. Those who are victims of so called Honour Based Abuse and Forced Marriage can call Karma Nirvana on 0800 5999 247.