Is it domestic abuse?
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is the actual, or threatened, physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse of a person by a partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been, a close relationship. It isn’t just physical and it is usually an ongoing pattern of behaviour. It’s about someone you know trying to control your life. Abuse can affect you long term by damaging your self-esteem and wellbeing and that of your children. Domestic abuse isn’t rare, research shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men, regardless of age, ability or lifestyle, will be affected during their lifetime.
Domestic abuse can happen to anyone.
Are you safe?
Does someone you love:
- Hurt you or threaten to hurt you?
- Humiliate and criticise you?
- Prevent you from seeing friends or family?
- Follow you or constantly check up on you?
- Insult you and call you names?
- Force you to do things you’re not comfortable with?
- Blame you, or anybody else, for their behaviour?
- Promise to change, time and time again?
Do you think your own relationship is abusive? In a healthy relationship both partners treat each other with respect, you should feel safe and free to be yourself with your own opinions and interests. You should not feel intimidated, scared or controlled.
Abuse is never your fault and regardless of what promises the perpetrator may make, it will probably happen again. We can help.
If you are still together:
- Keep your mobile phone charged and near to you.
- Keep support numbers stored, use a false name i.e. hairdresser.
- Keep some money safe for a taxi or to use a public phone.
- Plan an escape route, somewhere you can flee to in an emergency i.e. a trusted neighbour, nearest phone box, supermarket or petrol station.
- If you have a trusted friend, neighbour or family member agree a code word or message that you can text in an emergency and make sure they know what to do if you send it.
- If you have a trusted neighbour, agree an emergency sign to alert them i.e. a red t-towel on the washing line, make sure they know what it is you want them to do when they see it e.g. ring the police.
- If you are planning an escape then gather important documents and information together, such as birth certificates, bank details, benefits etc.
- Prepare an emergency bag with clothes, school uniform, favourite possessions, if it’s not safe to have the bag at home can you keep it at a friend’s or family member’s home?
If the relationship has ended:
- Make sure you have your mobile phone with you, keep it charged and easy to reach.
- If your ex is aware of your regular routine and routes home try to vary it.
- Always park your car in a built up and well-lit area.
- If you plan a social night out try to avoid places that you know they go to.
- Change your phone number or block their calls.
- If you receive any threatening texts, emails or messages always keep them, but never respond.
- When at home keep the doors locked and close the curtains after dark so no-one can see you are alone.
- If they ever turn up at your doorstep, do not open the door. If you feel threatened call the police.
- If you have to call the police, take yourself to either an upstairs or secure room in your home and let the police know where you will be, this could give you valuable extra minutes of safety until the police arrive.
- Build new friendships and social networks in order to break away from joint contacts you both had.
In an emergency telephone 999
Violence is a crime
Concerned for someone you know?
There isn’t any definite sign that someone you know, a family member, friend or work colleague is experiencing abuse, but there are some signs you can look out for especially in changes to their behaviour. Examples may be:
- Isolating themselves, becoming withdrawn from their normal circle of family and friends.
- Continually turning down or making last minute excuses not to attend social occasions or planned activities.
- Changes to their normal social networking sites, deleting friends, family member’s photos and not posting or responding to posts.
- Not as open or as keen to talk about personal issues or about their partner as usual.
- Not as happy or outgoing, showing signs of anxiety or depression.
- Unusual amount of phone calls or texts that they have to reply to.
- Unexplained injuries.
What can you do?
If you suspect someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse there are things you can do to help and things you shouldn’t do.
Never try to intervene on your friend’s behalf with the abuser, it could put your friend in greater danger and could put you at risk too.
If your family member, friend or colleague can open up and confide in you, then they trust you and it will help them knowing they have someone they can turn to. You can ring MFCC to discuss the situation. We can explain our service provision and what we do when taking a referral so that you can inform your friend and hopefully encourage them to ring in. If they are not ready to discuss the situation with anyone other than yourself then be patient as it has to be their decision, keep talking to them as you are helping. We can support you to support them.
If they have not confided in you or accepted they are experiencing abuse then still contact us as we can send you awareness material such as leaflets, posters etc. which could be useful. Your friend needs support for whatever decision they make regarding their relationship.
If they are a work colleague then familiarise yourself with your employer’s Domestic Abuse Policy and Procedure
Remember if you actually witness an assault then ring the police, it is a crime.
What to do next
Help is out there, please call today, you will be listened to and guided to the right support for you and your family.
|Montgomeryshire Family Crisis Centre (MFCC)
Specialist Domestic Abuse Support Provider for North Powys for male, female and child victims.
|01686 629 114|
|Live Fear Free Helpline
24hr National Helpline for Wales
|0808 801 0800||Web site|
|National Domestic Violence Helpline||0808 200 0247||Web site|
|The Man Kind Initiative National Helpline||01823 334 244||Web site|
|Dyn Project Wales
Helpline for men experiencing abuse
|0808 801 0321||Web site|
In an emergency telephone 999
Violence is a crime