Domestic abuse can destroy family pets too

They certainly have the cute factor, don’t they and they are more than just pets, they are part of our family, aren’t they?

A lot of us have pets for out children, don’t we, for companionship or to help learn about responsibilities.  Whatever the reason, we bond with them, love them, accept and welcome them into our home because they become a family member.

I believe a child and pets can interact in so many ways and a pet can be such a great comfort to a child, even just by talking to them could make all the difference to that child, especially if the child has no one else to speak out too.

One trait that perpetrators have is jealousy and they they are even jealous of their own children and pets can be seen as a target of abuse.

Pets are extremely loyal – and like children, soak up the environment, have divided loyalties and know no difference – and can be used as a weapon and tool in an abusive relationship so the perpetrator gets what they want by using power and control to get it, not caring who or what gets hurt in the process.

The human-animal bond provides the family with many benefits, including child development, however, the strength of this bond can be used to manipulate vulnerable people wuch as victims of domestic abuse.  A perpetrator will use violence and threaten the family pet as a means of imposing control. 

Perpetrators are more than likely aware that many victims are unable to take pets with them if they are fleeing from domestic abuse and with many victims feeling reluctant to leave their home or relationship, they will stay in that abusive relationship rather than abandon the family pet.

In many abusive relationships, sadly, pets are intimidated, injured or killed by perpetrators. 

My ex partner killed a pet bird I brought for him as a birthday gift.  He stabbed him with a knife, came into the bedroom to show me before he threw him out of the window – all because I wouldn’t stay up with him and went to bed.

People nor animals should ever tolderate domestic abuse – stronger laws are certainly needed.

I believe there is a link between a child and an animal relationship, not only because they have a special bond  but because they are so beneficial to children too, especially those living in abusive environments.  The child will feel more comfortable with the family pet because they are safe, help with social skills and help build up self esteem – a family pet can bring so many positive things to a child but all those positive things are things that perpetratos want to destroy.

We see having a pet in a positive light, in fact it cam help children in so many ways but perpetrators destroy this in order to maintain their power and control.

Pscyhological abuse leaves long lasting scars that don’t always heal

Psychological abuse can be more damaging in the long term, yet why are we finding is so difficult to focus on these signs?  Looking no further than the end of our nose is simply not enough to spot a perpetrator.

Negative attitudes of it’s just a domestic and it’s only physical, means we are losing sight and focus of what domestic abuse is actually about, power and control  Being aware is an important issue, however, domestic abuse must be a priority in practice rather than on paper.

Psychological abuse is where perpetrators, male and female, are clever bcause to the outside world there are no visible signs and because there is too much focus on physical abuse, we take our eye of the psychological abuse making it easier for the perpetrator to abuse.

Body languauge is key here: Is the perpetrator speaking on behalf of the victim?  How does the victim look?  Walking behind the perpetrator, head bowed down?  Frightened to make eye contact with anyone of the opposite sex?  Have they stopped wearing their favorite clothes, going out with friends and family?  All consequences of power and control, resulting in psychological abuse.

Being isolated and brainwashed into thinking your family and friends hate you, being told you are fat, ugly and useless drains you of your self worth and being told this constantly, makes you think and believe it because you have been isolated, you have no one else to rely on, other than your perpetrator, you withdraw into yourself, you begin to question yourself and more dangerously, you being to believe your perpetrator.  They are psychologically abusing you, making you feel worthless, stripping you of your identity, revealing a skeleton, leaving you in existence rather than living.

For any victim, any type of aubse will leave psychological scars, preventing the victim to carry on living their life.  The constant criticsms, put me downs and humiliation will have a huge affect on the victim, just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Victims will tell you that physical abuse stings for a while and can leave a scar but psychological abuse is much worse.  These scars never go away, even if you try and forget them, they live in the back of your mind and crop up when you least expect it, but there is always a song, time, a place, will always be a trigger to a survivor and for some who are still in isolation it can be hard to deal with psychological abuse alone.


Perpetrators Punishment

We don’t hear of many perpetrators actually admitting tothe abuse they carry out but in the likely event they did hold their hands up and admit the crime, what is the next step?

A lenient sentence, then what?  What steps are actually put in place to securely stop a perpetrator re-offending?

Admitting the crime doesn’t make everything ok and nor should it make punishment any more lenient either, but punishment must be put in place to prevent perpetrators from abusing again, otherwise, what is the point?

Perpetrators must learn that domestic abuse is not acceptable and if they have been punished that is justification to carry on abusing.

Non molestation orders, are they really strong enough alone or do they need something else to stop perpetrators breaking the conditions.  Do they physically stop harassment, intimidation, stalking or do they just give the perpetrator more access to abuse?  Conditions on a piece of paper, with all due respect, doesn’t stop the abuse.

Once a perpetrator has been convicted of abuse, the purpose of punishment must be to stop them abusing again.

However, in reality where domestic abuse is concerned, is it not the victim who is punished?  They aren’t believed, supported and constantly live life in fear whilst the perpetrator is allowed to continue to live their life and carry on abusing.

A perpetrator can be accused of their crime but what follows is more important.  A perpetrator might be able to carry on with their life but do you really think it is so easy for a victim?  The psychological scars left behind are immense and whatever punishment a perpetrator gets will not make these invisibile scars disappear or be any easier to deal with.

Our Justice System is weak and doesn’t give Justice to victims so in reality who is wasting tax payers money – victims find the courage to speak out yet are hugely let down.  Strong Justice laws would save money and lives.

41 years and still domestic abuse is seen as “just a domestic”

41 years and still domestic abuse is seen as “just a domestic”

A brilliant and positive headline making victims want to speak out – yay – but don’t be decieved, where domestic abus is concerned it seems we aren’t moving forward at all.

Jenny Smith is living proof that refuges are needed and more importantly they work, they do the job, they keep victims safe – so why are we seeing them close and disappear making domestic abuse harder for victims but easier for perpetrators – it is illogical.

Ignorance froms doctors and psychiastrists haven’t moved on through the years, has it and being told to go home and make peace with your husband is societies edition of saying, oh, it’s just a domestic.  41 years later and culture it’s judgmental and stereotpical attitude hasn’t changed, has it?

“58,000 women in England and Wales at high risk of homicide or serious harm and two women dying a week on average” yet those victims are still being let down.


Awareness, understanding, empathy and training is not too much to ask for, is it?  Learn about the complex cycle instead of being judgmental and crytical.

We are still living in a society that accepts domestic abuse, turns a bling eye and sees it as a domestic, this is such a negative attitude to have and helps no one, let alone the victim.

Surely this article has to be a wake up call for proessionals and agencies?  Does this not put things into perspective now and we really should be seeing the walk rather than just hearing the talk.  We need to stand united on this epidemic with all agencies and professionals working together.

When will victims be protected?

When will victims be protected?

Linah Keza death stabbed model told police she was petrified of boyfriend

For those victims that have experienced domestic abuse will relate to the key word here – petrified.

Domestic abuse does not care if you are 6ft5, 4ft9, male, female, rich, poor, employed or unemployed, it knows no boundaries and your perpetrator petrifies you.  To understand this, you have to become a victim.

Linah’s death highlights too many similarieis that we see in other abusive relationships.  We can see patters of where victims are being let down by professionals and agencies, we now need to change this quickly and effeciently to stop this from happening again, we have learned from this is getting tiresome now as well as killing more and more women.

Society often sees domestic abuse through rose tinted glasses and still believes it is a physical issue, this is untrue and goes much, much deeper than that.  The two main ingrediants to any abusive relationship, whether the perpetrator is male or female, is power and control, this has a significant role to play in the relationship.  There is never, ever any justification for domesticabuse.

Perpetrators hate losing that power and control over victims so at the point the victim tells them the relationship is over, they lose power and control, with the abuse spiralling completely out of control.

Linah Keza’s death shows society how the abuse does not simply stop.  She told her perpetrator their relationship was over, tried to obtain a non-molestation order from court but was stabbed by her EX partner all because she could not take any more abuse and wanted to be free.

The victim had previously contacted the police although due to added fear, pressure and intimidation along with false promises of change, she dropped the charges.  Her perpetrator used his power and control to make her change her mind and when she did “just leave” the end result for Linah was death because there is a pure lack of understanding and not enough safety precautions in place to protect victims but all the freedom in the world to allow perpetrators to kill – a radical change must be priority.

Linah Keza was a beautiful model who had her whole life in front of her but her perpetrator has done the ultimate betrayal – ruined her daughter’s young life – what support and aftercare will she receive and how will her family ever get closure on Linah Keza’s death when there are so many gaps and so many failures in the system, left unanswered.

Her pereptrator was very controlling and made her lose confidence and self esteem – a similarity in all abusive relationships.

I can also see another similarity, not enough systems in place to protect victims.  All victims need protecting from domestic abuse, especially high risk victims, DASH must be put in place to see more survivors of domestic abuse and less deaths.

Agony Aunt Sam SODA Club Why does the perpetrator continue to DV in every relationship they have?

I believe, in reality, that only the perpetrator knows the real reason why they abuse, this does not make their behavior acceptable or normal.

Domestic abuse is never the victims fault, no matter what the perpetrator may say and many perpetrators do continue to abuse in future relationships with many who have abused in previous relationships too.  I feel that this in itself tells our judgmental society that it cannot be something that the victim has done or said because not only is that victim blaming it is also giving the perpetrator a reason to abuse the victim.

From the way a perpetrator behaves toward a victim, a victim will believe it is something they have said or done, this is part of the complex cycle, this is the power and control that perpetrators have.

Many perpetrators are in denial and don’t see anything wrong with their own behavior and they don’t acknowledge how damaging their behavior actually is.

The outer shell of a perpetrator might seem cool, calm and collected but deep inside they are insecure and inadequate, they choose to become a perpetrator and treat victims the way they do in order to feel good about themselves.  This is no justification at all.

Agony Aunt Sam SODA Club thinks perpetrators continue to believe they abuse for many different reasons, however, none of which are ever acceptable. 

Some perpetrators are not only in denial about there own behavior but they don’t want to nor will they change.  Many perpetrators will tell the victim all the things they want to hear and believe but the reality is, they rarely change.

Some perpetrators may have been brought up in an abusive household and therefore might think that domestic abuse is acceptable.

These are blame factors, things that perpetrators will say for victims and society to accept this type of behavior, when in reality the only thing that can stop a perpetrator continuing to abuse is punishment and justice.


Agony Aunt Sam SODA Club Does anyone or has anyone restarted their life again, by relocating?

Domestic abuse is a complex cycle that no one can understand unless they have been a victim.  It is a crime that always seems to punish and blame the victim, rather than the perpetrator accepting and acknowledging that their behavior is unacceptable; perpetrators don’t seem to get punished.

All too often we hear the victim being told to move area or to change mobile number, but does this actually stop the perpetrator abusing the victim again or just make it easier for everyone else but the victim.  I don’t think society really understands the complexity of domestic abuse and wrongly believe that the victim is in the wrong and therefore think if they are out of the way, the abuse will magically stop.

Agony Aunt Sam SODA Club was asked, why don’t you just move.  Living, the reply was, why should I?  In time, she moved from the house where she lived with her perpetrator to a house in the same street but on the opposite side of the road, Victim Support told her she was stupid and he would find her.  Almost 8 years later, he has never found her.

It should be the genuine choice and want of the survivor to relocate, after taking everything into consideration.  Relocating, for anyone let alone a survivor of domestic abuse, is a stressful time and shouldn’t be done on the spur of the moment.

It is morally wrong that victim relocates for something they have not done wrong, leaving behind familiar surroundings, friends and family, moving into a new area to start all over again.  If victims were supported correctly, they wouldn’t feel the need to have to relocate.

Would relocating actually benefit the victim in the fact they are geographically away from the perpetrator , or in reality, is it just buying time for the perpetrator to find them again.

Domestic abuse is all about power and control, something a perpetrator thrives on, what they don’t like is, the survivor living and surviving without them.  It is wrong and unacceptable that a victim should have to relocate.

However, if the survivor does want to relocate, Agony Aunt Sam SODA Club believes that the decision must be researched and planned beforehand.  Is the relocation to an area where relatives live, for example, is the schooling sufficient, what is the job market like a lot needs to be taken into consideration. Relocating might seem inviting on paper but would it be beneficial in reality?

Job Wanted….

I have been volunteering for a number of years now and have met some interesting, experienced and professional people along the way, many of them say, if there is *anything* I can do to help, let me know…


I have a positive outlook on life and can offer any organisation my skills and experience of several years as a Legal Secretary and 5 years as an advocate for others. With an enthusiastic, determination, motivation and an open mind I will be an asset to any company.

If you have a job to offer me, or knows someone that can, ideally in the Stourbridge area and as a paid and permanent role, I would love to hear from you.

Please and thank you.

Aftercare shouldn’t be an after thought


SODA Club wants to run a campaign called “Aftercare shouldn’t be an after thought” because I feel it is one of the most important things anyone can offer a victim.

Support and aftercare should not be a postcode lottery but instead a mandatory option for all victims because by doing this, it is just endangering the victims’ life further. However, with support and aftercare the victim has someones hand to hold and guide them through the final steps of their journey.

When you have been at rock bottom the only way is up but *all* victims need a helping hand and if society took the time to acknowledge and understand the complex cycle this would be understood clearly.

My overall aim is to set up a support and aftercare pack through SODA Club as I feel that these two things are vital to any victim of domestic abuse, male or female but first I need your help please.

Please take part in this short domestic abuse survey. You do not have to include your name or any personal contact details; you don’t even have to tell me you have taken part. I just want to know your experience (or lack of experience) of support and aftercare.

Please and thank you xx


Dear Birmingham Mail…

Not taking responsibility for your actions is a classic perpetrator trait.

A columnist writing an offensive article for YOUR newspaper IS your responsibility, with you having the power NOT to print the article, therefore makes you responsible for the damaging effects this will have on any victim of domestic abuse.

Of course people are entitled to their opinion but there was absolutely no even balance, no statistics or true facts at all – that article was a personal attact to all victims of domestic abuse – an utter disgrace!

Anything that is printed in YOUR paper obviously reflects upon you and I believe an apology to all victims of domestic abuse, a donation to Refuge and a new columist might just be appropriate to clear this mess up!

With regard to the new columnist, my email address is

Best wishes,