FIFA World Cup and Domestic Abuse

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Ross Barkley has been named in the England World Squad and Former England Captain Gary Linekar has said, ” Congratulations to the 23 players who have made Roy Hodgson’s England Squad.  It’s young, energetic and exciting.  Do your Country Proud.”

Football is associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication, isn’t it, with fans watching with friends and family, either at home with food and drink or at the local on the big screen with so much anticipation that our country wins.   The pure joy and exhilaration of being at football games though must be absolutely amazing, sort of up close and personal to your life long idol, someone who could be the difference between our country, winning and losing.

As a country, we also have such a hype, such a build up to the big day, don’t we.  Adverts on TV and the radio, cars showing off their flags, the England flags blowing in the wind out of windows, huge signs, flags and banners all around – people being proud of their country, hoping and praying that we win that World Cup – and lets face it, it would be pretty amazing if we did, wouldn’t it, something to be so very proud of.

I guess, some fans are actually living the experience of football, going to all the matches perhaps, breathing football, sleeping football, eating football.  For many fans I can imagine many friendships have been formed and with many still strong through the passion of football and playing a key role in family life, sharing experiences.  The thrill of taking your son or daughter to that very first football match too, the adrenaline, the passion, the buzz.

This country has so many talented footballers with so many dedicated fans, our young people not only look up to them, they respect them and want to be like them, these people are household names.

I love it when our country comes together to do something to be proud of, as Gary Linkekar said, “Do your country proud”.

My question is, do footballers actually know what impact the FIFA World Cup will have on the partners of those dedicated football fans?

You could say the England result will depend upon the severity of abuse that those victims of domestic abuse will receive from their perpetrator.

The passion will turn into anger, if England lose, the anger will turn into abuse.  Many perpetrators will see football as an excuse for abuse, of course, they won’t say that, it will completely be the victims fault.  Domestic abuse will increase if England win – is that something footballs acknowledge?

Our England footballers might do our country proud but perpetrators of domestic abuse certainly don’t.  As a national treasure, as an icon, as an idol to so many young people in our society, what would you say to perpetrators of domestic abuse who might take their anger out on their partner during the FIFA World Cup?

 

 

All abusers should face “action”

All abusers should face “action”

I think this shake up is an important one and one that has been long over due but I can hear people saying, well it’s “only online abuse” or “just block them”.  Hmmm, wouldn’t domestic abuse and abuse be easy to cope with if you could do something so simple as that and it would all go away.  But that’s the thing, it doesn’t all go away because you can’t do something simple to make it.

If you do block them, what’s stopping that perpetrator setting up another account to continue the abuse and as for it’s “only online abuse” does that not make it worse because you don’t actually know who this person is, you don’t know if they are actually outside your house, watching you, is it someone who lives close by or do they actually lives miles away from you.  Online abuse is torturing of the mind!

I still believe many people think about domestic abuse and just associate it with physical abuse taking the focus off the real meaning of domestic abuse, which is power and control.  Perpetrators thrive on abusing victims psychologically becayse they know the long term affect it will have and it will help them moving forward too.

Many young people, many people in general in fact, don’t realise that they are in an abusive relationship or being abused because it isn’t physical so I feel that this shake up is really important and hopefully it will give confidence to young people, older people and everyone in between the confidence to not only recognise that they are being abused but also to report the abuse.

It is also important to say that whether the abuse is face to face or online is irrelevant, at the end of the day if you are scared and fear for your safety then it is abuse.  Living in the unknown, looking over your shoulder and walking on egg shells is a huge part in the complex cycle and that is exactly how psychological abuse makes you feel because you don’t know when your pereptator is going to turn up and carry out those threats.  Psychological abuse will have a huge impact on your day to day life.  You might find that you stay in, too afraid to leave the house, isolate yourself further, it will affect your sleep pattern because you will be awake at the slightest noise, wondering and thinking if it’s your perpetrator outside or not.  It is an awful way to live and no one should have to live this way.

With online abuse, the perpetrator will possibly have more than one account, the real identification of the perpetrator might not be known but it is still abuse.  They are humilating you infront of the world – a huge trait of perpetrators of domestic abuse – they intimidate and humiliate victims in order to make themselves look good.  Online abuse allows perpetrator to groom victims over time, it gives them time to building up a relationship with the victim that they have targetted before abusing them.  At the end of the day, we don’t know who is sitting behind the computer screen and in these cases, they aren’t who they say they are, so they building up the relationship on lies from the outset – just like perpetrators do face to face.

Technology is part of most people’s lives nowadays and is, unfortuantely, the perfect opportunity and way for perpetrators to abuse victims because it is easy.  It’s harassment online.  It’s psychological abuse.

This shake up is very much needed because psychological abuse has a long term affects on the vicitm.  I am glad psychological abuse is being acknowledged and something is being done about it, hopefully, giving the victim more confidence to speak out.  Awareness is extremely important for all aspects of domestic abuse.

Although the title sounds quiet positive, I am now thinking what actually is the “action” to take place – a telling off, a slap on the wrist or an actual punishment?

I am hoping the action that is taken against the perpetrators is one that will give the victim Justice but realistically I think we are still a long way from that happening.

Perpetrators fear rejection and react to it by stalking victims

Stalking is unwanted or obsessive attention, usually by the perpetrator because the victim has left the relationship.

Having someone watch your every movement, where ever you go they are there, not being able to live your life through fear, intimidation, constantly looking of your should, simply because you have found the strength to leave the abusive relationship.  They don’t like reject and hate the fact they could be losing power and control over victims.

Imagine going through that but not being believed by those that should be helping keep you safe, so yet again, victims are being isolated not only by perpetrators but by society too.

Society believes the abuse magically ends when the victim leaves the abusive relationship.  Unwanted attention is a perpetrators way of clinging on to that power and control they still want.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-27159637

A woman jumped to her death from a motor way after living in fear and torment of her EX boyfriend who was stalking her.

Stalking is a tactic used by perpetrators when victims try and find the courage to leave them.  Perpetrators don’t like the fact that the victim wants to live their life without them and by tormenting them with every move they are still abusing them, psychologically.

The effects of stalking are the consequences of psychological abuse and proof that aubse does not stop, portraying that it is not easy to “just leave”, however muchthe victim really wants too.

Stalking is not about love, it becomes an obsession, unwanted and malicious contact, which is not about showing love, it is not care, but having co-hersive behaviour, it is about control.

Stalking is a form of psychological abuse, resulting in depression, anxiety, paranoia and PTSD, hence why support and aftercare is an absolute must.  These are the silent issues that society just does not see or understand.  Victims have to learn to cope with these issues as victims and through their journey to becoming a survivor too.  Being isolated, with very low self esteem, confidence and self worth is a difficult thing to to do, with many victims thinking and feeling that there is no way through the long dark tunnel.

There is nothing flattering about unwanted attention of gifts, it is about the perpetrator not understanding no means no and the fear of rejection by the perpetrator that they stoop to such explicitive and intimidating behavior.  Rejection means not being in control, a refusion to acknowledge that the relationship is over.

Imagine living life as a victim of stalking, it is horrific and results to death!  Domestic abuse is a complex cycle where judgmental attitudes and stereotypical people just don’t help anyone, least of all the victim.  Awareness of domestic abuse and all types of abuse, especially psychological abuse is paramount.  If there was more awareness there might be, just might be, less deaths.

 

This is the affect psychological abuse had on SammieB….

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I guess, looking at that photo, you see a young woman sitting in a chair having a photo taken.  But what do you see when you really look?

That photo is of me when I was a victim of domestic abuse.

What I see is a victim. Someone frightned, lost, empty, scared.  Looking at that makes me feel sick.  That isn’t me, I used to be bubbly, happy, smiling, talking, full of beans, full of life. My face seems so long and drawn, my neck looks skinny – I lost so much weight, propably weighing about 5 and half stone, 6 at the most.

The finger in the mouth a sign of not wanting to speak, not knowing what to say, too frightened to speak. 

I remember when I did sneak to my parents house, I could never rest, never settle, was always on edge.  Constantly clock watching, making sure I was home before he got back because if I wasn’t there were too many questions I would have to answer.  At the one place I should have felt safe, I felt as though I was still walking on egg shells.  Scared.  Being there in spirit perhpas but always having to think ahead.

My appearance was awful.  I no longer cared about myself then way I did before because if I dressed confidently, the way I did, I would be drawing attention to myself, I would be asking for attenting from other men and that was somehting I shouldn’t be doing.  Some days I didn’t wash, let alone put nice clothes on.  Other days I wouldn’t leave the flat, just sit in the chair staring into space.  I became a robot, adapting to his every command, living, not existing.  If he wanted food, I would feed him, if he said the flat was a mess, I would clean, if he wanted beer, I would get it.

I was scared of not doing what he wanted. 

I would lie in bed next to him, praying to God to help me.  Hoping he wouldn’t kick off tonight.  And yes, I did “just leave” but wouldn’t have anywhere to go and would end up sleeping rough – yeah I did that a few times.  I remember sleeping rough and just walking around the streets, going into the local library and falling asleep whilst “reading the newspaper”.  I remember sleeping on some steps by a main road and sitting on a wall as if this was normal.

Whenever I met my mum in secret, should always say, you look like ***t, I always remember feeling like it too, but whenever she asked why I stayed or why I wouldn’t leave I always said the same, because I love him.

I now know that feeling was not love, that was fear.  Fear of staying and fear of leaving. 

In time I did leave, but don’t think for one moment, I just “got over it”.

Whenever I saw him in the street, I would physically shake and some times week myself.  Every noise I jumped at, I couldn’t sleep because I thought he would come for me and I got it into my head that he was going to have me killed by getting someone to run me over so he could get Little Miss from me.

I always worried about how I would react if I came face to face with him again.  That happened.  We were literally face to face.  I was petrified, but stuck, I couldn’t move, I was shaking all over.  I can’t remember what he said but I can see him standing right in front of me, his face in mine, he is speaking to me, all I can remember is saying something back to him.  I can’t remember what but that didn’t make any difference because I never, EVER said anything back to him when we were together.  But I did that day.  He looked more shocked than I felt.

After that, inside I got a little bit stronger.

The second time we came face to face, in my loudest voice I told him to **** **f.

You don’t get “over it” you just learn to deal with things differently.

That photo is the consequence of me being a victim of physological abuse.  His coercive tactics and behavior had a huge impact on me.

He intimidated me and I was frightened of him.  He knew that.  He knew I loved him and because of that fact, he knew he could abuse me.  He destroyed my possession, threw my clothes down the chute, cut up my shoes, sold my perfume – he got rid of my identity, who I was, he wanted to destroy me.  He did destroy me.  He isolated me from friends and family.  I was loved and popular when I met him.  He wasn’t.  He hated that I was.  He took that away from me to make him feel better about his life.  He degraded me to continually use his power and control over me.

When I look at that photo those memories come back and I can remember most of them vividly.  The psychological abuse.  The physical abuse not so much, a few black eyes and I remember him knocking me out cold once but that don’t hurt me now. The psychological scars sub consciously live in the back of my mind.

 

 

Nominated For The Liebster Award!

Nominated For The Liebster Award!

Can you believe it?!  I have been nominated for the Liebster award – a first blog award, ever! 

Thank you to Mark Faizey for the nomination!

liebster2

Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  • Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  •  Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  • Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  •  List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  •  Inform the people/blogs that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it!

Here are the 11 questions Mark asked…

  1. What is the purpose of your blog? Or is there any? The purpose of my blog is to raise awareness about domestic abuse and share my own experiences with others to not only help them learn about domestic abuse but to show that there is life after domestic abuse.
  2. What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time? I am a single mom, so I like to spend as much time as I can with my Little Miss
  3. What would you do if you was a Member of Parliament? I would be honoured and make sure those without a voice got heard!
  4. Would You Bungee Jump? I have been contemplating for a very long time now to do something for charity but can’t quiet decide what I would do, maybe I could do a Bungee Jump for Refuge….
  5. What is your favorite food? Urgh, I am a fool for savoury food, usually crisps and food that isn’t very healthy for you
  6. Do you watch the soaps? I must admit, no I don’t watch the soaps and I know how weird that might actually sound but sometimes they are just so much more depressing than life itself.  No, I’m not a soap person but I love my music!
  7. Where in the world would you most like to live? Honestly and straight from the heart, it’s gotta be by my parents 🙂
  8. How do you feel right now, and why? Right at this moment in time, I am actually smiling from ear to ear because I got my signed Michael Barrymore autograph through the post today and I love his picture! 
  9. 1-5 words that describe you. Erm, hate describing myself but here goes – Genuine!
  10. Who/what is your favorite song/singer/band? I like Pink and her music
  11. last one Do you like to read? I do like to read, but don’t read as much as I used to.  I enjoy reading autobiographies because I find them quiet inspiring, especially Mrs O’s!

 11 Random Facts About Myself!

1. I am a single parent

2. I can’t ride a bike

3. I am a text-a-holic

4. I like helping others

5. I cant wait for the day Ant and Dec tweet me

6. I used to be a Legal Secretary

7. I met David Cameron before he became the Prime Minister

8. I am 4ft9

9. I am a dog lover

10. I sing like I can when in the house on my own

11. If I could have a secret talent, it would be to be able to dance!

AND THE NOMINEES ARE….

https://twitter.com/amanda_stand

http://bubbablueandme.com/

http://travellingcoral.wordpress.com/

HERE ARE MY 11 QUESTIONS FOR YOU…

1. What is the main reason for your blog?

2. How do you relax?

3. What is the most embarrasing thing that has ever happened to you?

4. What is your most memorable achievement to date?

5. Who is your secret celebrity crush?

6. Who inspires you?

7. What is your pet hate?

8. If you could have a superpower for a day, what would it be?

9. Do you have a claim to fame?

10. What one thing are you really good at doing?

11. What is your favourite colour?

 

 

 

 

A response to those that ask, why do they stay….

1. Why can’t you protect me?

2. Why can’t you tell I am being psychologically, sexually, financially abused?

3. Why do you believe my perpetrator and not me?

4. What do you think will happen to me when you leave?

5. Why can’t you take my perpetrator away, arrest them and put them in prison?

6. Why will my perpetrator be allowed to use our children as weapons and tools through Court?

7. Why is my perpetrator allowed to harass and stalk me, even though I have ended the relationship?

8. Why am I being abused?

9. Why should I leave?

10. Why don’t you understand the complex cycle?

Maybe if you were aware of domestic abuse, learned what the early warning signs were and understood the complex cycle, you wouldn’t have to ask, why do they stay…

Prevention is education

Wheter we like it or not, young people are sexualy active – although, breaking the law if under 16 but we have to be realistic and at least acknowledge this fact – young people are having sex.

If we wade in with our huge size 12s and tell them to stop seeing that person and tell them not to have sex with them again, that would be a fantastic approach in an ideal world, but we don’t live in an ideal world.  Telling young people what to do or what not to do will not have affect we want it to have, the situation will not get better because they will carry on regardless, even if it is just out of spite.

Our young people are going to do things in life, we don’t want them to do but as long as they are aware of the consequences of the actions, what else can we do – we can’t chain them in there bedroom forever, they have to learn, develop and grown in there own time and yes, that includes making mistakes – no matter how hard that might be for us!

Talking, disgussing and having debates about sex and relationships is not telling young people not to form these relationships but it is making them aware of the differences between a healthy relationship and an abusive relationship in order to keep our young people safe.  PSHE is about explaining the options available to them.  It is about finding the right balance when taking about relationships.  Being sexual is not all about the biological side, feelings and emotions go hand in hand with sexual relationships and it is important to talk about the good and bad that relationships bring. 

Sex education should not be avoided because of embarrasment but should be spoken about openly because without it, we would not be here – it’s part of life.

Talking about contraception, having sex when you are ready, teenage pregnancies, unwanted STI’s  are all important issues, let alone talking about the emotional side of relationships, talking about love too is also important because some people abuse this emotion to get what they want, without thinking about the other person.

Sex education is important because it is making young people aware of domestic abuse and what steps they could take if they were in an abusive relationship.  If we, as adults, are ashamed or embarrased about talking about this issue, what hope have our young people really got?

 

In reality, all professionals are failing domestic abuse victims

Police are the ones to be seen as the only agency to let down victims, when in reality it is all of the agencies, but the Police get the harsh cricism because they are the first port of call when a victim finds the courage to speak out.

I believe all call handlers must have intense and regular training when responding to any victim of domestic abuse calling in.  Understand and empathy are a must, there is no time for judgments or victim blaming.

Sensitivity and tack must be used at all times by all agencies, but  more importantly, all procedures must be followed correctly.

Professionals are letting victims down because they don’t understand the complex cycle, nor do they know what warning signs to look out for and because they believe the perpetrator rather than the victims – this is because perpetrators use their power and control to their advantage by using victim blaming methods.

Awareness of domestic abuse is paramount in order for professionals and agencies to know how to support victims.  Specialised training is needed, if you don’t understand something, how can you offer the support that is needed?

All professionals and agencies need to work together and communicate on all levels.

Coercive tactics – what are they then?

Recommendations and suggests are what victims want, not dictation and decisions made for them.
First to validate and empower victims, we need to listen and believe them, difficult to do when focusing on physical abuse.
Domestic abuse is all about power and control; physical, psychological, sexual, financial.
All perpetrators will use coercive tactics on their victim. Are you even aware of these tactics? Do you know what they are or feel like?

• Fear
• Intimidation
• Violating physical integrity
• Denial of respect
• Stalking
• Degradation
• Destruction of possessions
• Isolation
• Deprivation of money/food

These tactics are just the tip of the ice-berg for many victims suffering this psychological abuse every single day – that’s not even including physical abuse, sexual abuse or financial abuse. THIS is why victims are so reluctant to leave the abusive relationship.
Let’s face it there are just not enough safety, support or aftercare procedures that give victims the faith in professionals and agencies. This has got to change or else we are simply going to be a country that lives with blood on its hands because we prefer to save money rather than lives.