PRINCIPLES

About Domestic Abuse & Violence

What is domestic abuse?

It is often thought that domestic abuse only relates to being physically attacked or abused in some way, but this simply not the case. There are several types of domestic abuse and each is harmful to the victim.

Physical abuse.

This covers everything from slaps, punches, kicking that can cause cuts and bruises, burns and in some rare situations, death. The extent of the violence does not have actually to leave any marks or bruises to be categorised as physical abuse. Actions such as the pulling of hair or manhandling to the ground for instance, are also classed as physical abuse.

Emotional abuse.

To be a victim of abuse it is not necessary to have suffered physical abuse from a partner. When emotional abuse is involved then victims often think that they are not being abused or worry that they will not be taken seriously if they speak out or try to deal with it.

Emotional methods are often used by a person, the abuser, to destroy a victim’s self-esteem and confidence and create a situation whereby they can be controlled or coerced more easily. The abuser may criticise them, try to isolate them from friends and family, force them to give up work or change careers. They sometime try to humiliate them in front of people and they often try to put the person down.

Over a prolonged period, this will reduce the victim’s confidence and self-esteem until they become reliant, co-dependent or scared of their partner. This then gives the abuser the ability to control them.

Financial abuse.

This can be a powerful form of abuse and is often why victims feel trapped with no way out of the situation because they have no or limited access to funds. The abuser may take control of all finances, they may stop them from earning independently or working, and will often monitor their spending.

Sexual abuse and control.

No person should be or feel that they are forced into any kind of sexual activity. Being in a relationship or marriage does not permit automatic consent for sex. If a person is made to feel threatened or coerced into sexual activity, that is a form of abuse.

In addition, using sex to control a person is also a form of abuse. Much like financial abuse this involves controlling when and if sex happens. Forms of this involve withholding sex as a punishment or for some other reason. Using sex as a reward for doing things the victim does not want to do, a form of coercion.

What to do if you are suffering

If in doubt, get out:

I hope anyone who reads this and is in a similar situation, does not make the mistakes I made. If it’s bad and you have tried to make it work but it has not, then get out. If someone hurts you or your children, then get out. There are several good organisations that can support both men and women to extricate themselves safely from such situations.

A simple Google search for “domestic abuse help” or words to that effect will bring up national and local support organisations but remember to clear your browsing history if you believe your abuser is going to access your web history.

For men in the UK Mankind is the best and only real place to go http://www.mankind.org.uk/

 

For women in the UK Womens Aid is prominent: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/

 

 

Always keep your hope:

There is always the chance to start again and be happy, don’t stay where you are not happy. Everyone deserves to be happy and can be happy. There is love after divorce. There is a possibility of a second chance at life. Take it because life is too short to be unhappy.

You could choose to work with a life coach. I have trained as a life coach just so I can help others and will always try and help if I can.

 
If you are struggling to deal with the mental pressure:

If you are in a really tough place and thinking about suicide or self-harm, then please seek support. There are many organisations out there that can support men and women going through mental struggles. You can also go and see your doctor or GP and explain what is going on. There should be no shame in seeking help. Mental illness is an illness and it can be treated.

In the UK the most prominent organisation is Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/

How to get out – Planning and Support.

  1. Seek help and support (see previous chapter).

    • There are organisations that can help, use them.

    • Use any friends or family support networks you have but always be careful who you can and cannot trust

  2. Gather evidence over a period of time.

    • Keep a log or diary as I did with records of what happened and when.

    • Keep notes and any evidence, photos of injuries etc.

    • Visit the doctor and record and injuries sustained.

  3. Research how to make and escape plan.

    • Many of the websites that support domestic abuse victims offer details on how to plan your escape.

    • Research these or Google – “how to escape an abusive relationship”.

    • Think about what might be the best and safest way for you to get out and whose support you will need.

    • Remember to be careful in deleting or covering your search history on the device you use so as the abuser is not able to access what you have been researching.

  4. Make your own escape plan.

    • Plan carefully

  5. Follow the escape plan through when the time is right.

    • Make sure you are prepared and ready, that the support you need is in place. Get your ducks in a row and then go for it.

    • Try not to make the mistake I made, I was unable to break free on many occasions, and stay out.

  6. Afterwards - Limit contact as much as possible and go no contact if you can.

    • This is where I failed in my first attempts, I gave the opportunity to be persuaded and convinced to return.

    • You cannot reason with these people and so no contact is best, never face to face and use email as much as possible. This is what has worked for me when I finally got out and is still working for me almost 3 years later.

  7. File for divorce or any legal action you wish to take.

    • Once the dust is settled and you are secure in a safe place then consider how you want to proceed.

    • File for divorce, custody of the children or whatever legal process suits your situation.

  8. Stay calm and in control at all times.

    • Don’t let the abuser get to you and try not to react or overthink any of the situation. It was not your fault.

    • Once you have left remember you are no longer a victim, it’s in the past you are a survivor.

    • Don’t look back, be free and get on with your life, the future can be so much brighter.

James Mackie - AUTHOR

Location: Harrogate, UK

eMail: jamesmackie.author@gmail.com

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© 2018 by James Mackie - AUTHOR

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