Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me

Remember this saying as a child, one that was chanted and said many a time at school and as a child you believe this but the reality of the deep, dark and cruel world of domestic abuse this is a lie because names do hurt.

Words cut so deep like a knife, turning and twisting deep into the skin, so deep infact that you feel it rip through to your very soul with those words dripping into your sub-conscious mind, like a leaking tap, bit by bit, filling up your soul and living deep within you.

Names hurt your feelings, live inside your soul leaving invisible scars that you can feel but society can’t see, feel or understand.  These names whirl and whizz around in your mind, words echocing in your mind, tightening around your throat, gripping it and adding pressure on it, making it hard for you to breathe, visions of your perpetrator flashing in front of your very eyes, words ringing out in your mind, you’re finding it hard to breathe, think or understand why these words have been said from the very person who claims they love you so much that you will never find anyone like them again, how you need them and how no one else loves you but them.

Psychological abuse is the type of abuse that lasts long after the victim has found the courage and strength to leave the abusive relationship, the one type of abuse that will have the longer lasting affect.  Sticks and stones do indeed break bones but names are so powerful, words crunching through your mind and living with you from the very second they are said.

This form of abuse is not taken as seriously enough as it should be because no visible scars are left for the world to see they don’t think it happens, feel it’s not important to address, think it doesn’t have an affect; it does.  More awareness and education is needed for society as a whole, especially so professionals and agencies can help support victims of psychological abuse in a more positive way.

Psychological abuse leaves behind so many barriers and hurdles that victims have to learn how to deal and cope with in order for them to overcome the mental scars that hold them back from moving on.  This is why I believe it is absolutely paramount for society as a whole to learn about the early warning signs of the complex cycle because it starts of subtly with none physical warning signs.  We need to not focus on what we already know about domestic abuse but learn about what we don’t know and what we don’t quiet understand.  Isolate is the key ingrediant which spirals out of control, with manipulation, jealousy, possessiveness, humilation and names and words that cut like a knife.

The names and words said by a perpetrator will stay with the survivor forever.  They don’t constantly think about them but they will reappear to the surface every now and again, if triggered and this is where the importance of not only education and awareness is needed by how to support and give aftercare for every victim that has suffered this type of abuse.  It has a huge affect on the future of survivors; the consequences of psychological abuse is, low self esteem, confidence and worth.  Without these how can survivors move forward?  How can they have the courage to apply for that new job, enrol on that college course or enquire about that volunteering position when they have been drained of every ounce of self being they ever had.

Psychological abuse is the one type of abuse that allows the perpetrator to continually have power and control; in order to change this awareness, education and a change in attitude must be priorty.

Are there certain triggers that trigger perpetrators

Waking up to a tweet this morning made me think back to when I was a victim of domestic abuse and how Sundays were the worst day of the week for me.

My ex perpetrator was old fashioned in a way that he still believed men worked (although he never had a job) so they should spend the whole day in the pub whilst the woman stayed at home to cook Sunday lunch.

When I left home, I had no idea how to cook, I was the youngest child and the only daughter and mum would do everything for me, so I had to learn how to cook the hard way.  If it wasn’t right, it would be thrown up the wall and I would have too cook it again and as a punishment, I would be humiliated by being told how I couldn’t do anything right, how I wasn’t a real women, I was thick, stupid and pointless.

“Thoughts are will people today.  Sundays are always bad days.  Stuck in the house unable to do anything right. ‘triggering”

The above tweet is what I woke up to and what stuck out for me was the day; Sunday.  I hated them for 3 whole years and I still do because, for me, abuse was high.  However, some victims of domestic abuse are stuck in the house unable to do anything right every day of the week, not necessarially Sundays.

Growing up we see Sundays as the Sabbath day, a day of rest, peace, going to Church yet in the world of domestic abuse this particlar day can have the opposite effect; why?

I know I said my ex perpetrator thought men would have to spend the whole day in the pub but he drank every single day, not just Sunday so why was Sundays different?

I always knew my pay day would be a good day for me and less abuse, I’m not saying no abuse at all but he didn’t abuse me so much on these days because I had money and he loved people who had money because that mean we could spend even more time in the pub.

Thinking back to those 3 years I can honestly and sincerely remember one fantastic day we had.  It was a sunny day, I was pregnant with Little Miss and we spent the time at this one pub which had a gorgeous river bank and for that one day I felt like he reallly loved me, that we were in a relationship and that we were happy.  We smiled, laughed and giggled and the wholde day was just fantastic, no physical abuse and no psychological abuse either.  But that was the only good day I can remember throughout my whole relationship with my ex perpetrator.

Are there really trigger points such as days, the weather or places that can actually trigger a perpetrator’s behaviour?

What are your thoughts on this?

To suffer in silence or not?

I suffer in silence because when I do speak up, I am the one who is blamed for what is happening to me.  How is this fair, how is this helping me and how is this standing up to my perpetrator of domestic abuse? After finding the courage, I call the Police in the hope that they can help keep me safe, support me or at least listen to me, hear me and believe me.  It feels as though I am fighting two battles, one against my perpetrator to stop hurting me and one against professionals, agencies and society to hear me, believe me and help me.  Why should I have to go through this trauma when I am the victim, the one who has done nothing wrong? Not being heard, believed, listened to or supported makes me feel even worse!  Why won’t anyone believe me, why do they always believe my perpetrator, why?  I keep asking that question over and over again, but no one can seem to answer me.  I know it’s not me, it can’t be me, it’s not my fault this is happening to me, he said he loved me, he said he wouldn’t do it again, but he knows society doesn’t understand the complex cycle, this web of deciept and lies that I find myself in the middle of and something I have to live day in and day out. No one really knows how I feel inside, what it’s like to wake up every single morning, constantly walking on egg shells and waiting for that bomb to explode all over again.  No one really knows how empty, lost, frightened and scared I feel inside, no one really cares because they don’t want to, they don’t have too because it doesn’t affect them. All I get in response to asking for help is, why don’t you just leave and all I feel is that society doesn’t understand this worldwide epidemic and how I am being punished even futher; if I leave, where do I go? How do I cope and deal with the harassment, stalking and manipulation that will follow and if I stay, what then?  Who can I talk to, who will listen to me, hear me, believe me? I might as well just suffer in silence, hadn’t I because no one cares, there’s no support or aftercare for victims of domestic abuse and we live in a society that just buries our head in the sand, just hoping the issue will magically disappear, but it won’t, will it? But if I do speak out, I can make people listen to me, can’t I?  I don’t have to move house, leave my job or change my mobile number, do I because I’m the victim, I’m not the one committing a crime every single day of my life.  If I speak out, I am standing up against my perpetrator and telling him that I’m not always going to be a victim, there will come a time in my life when I will leave and I will survive without you.  Building up that portfolio against my perpetrator, helps society understand and see the bigger picture, doesn’t it?  Shows them what my perpetrator is like behind closed doors, how he isn’t the caring person they think he is but how controlling he is instead. If I speak out, I’m getting things out of my system, making people listen to me and understand what I am going through,  By speaking out I am telling myself how stronger I am, how I am goig to be in control and how I am worth so much more.  Bottling things inside won’t make me feel any better, but the slow release of my thoughts and feelings will help me, I guess it’s just having that faith, courage and confidence to speak out int he first place, isn’t it? Who do I speak to, what do I do, when should I do it?  Only I will know when the time is right, won’t I and only I can do something about it, can’t I? If I fear for my life, I know I have to dial 999 but what about if I just need someone to talk to, what then? National charities such as Women’s Aid and Refuge have websites with useful advice and tips, they can signpost me to support groups in my area too.  They will listen, understand and won’t judge me. To suffer in silence is telling me the same as what my perpetrator tells me, I’m worthless, useless and no one loves me but speak out, tells my perpetrator that I don’t have to tolerate this behaviour any more because I’m worth so much more.

8 years a survivor

Today I celebrate 8 years of being a survivor of domestic abuse and I have my daughter to thank for that. Even if you are reading this and you are in an abusive relationship, please, don’t even feel guilty because we all get our wake up call at some point.  Whether it’s today, tomorrow or next week, you will get yours too.  As a victim, we can only take so much from our perpetrator before that time comes when we really cannot take any more. Mine was when Little Miss was 11 months old and he slapped me, splitting my lip open – boy, was that my wake up call!  I just thought, if he had missed me and had hit her, I couldn’t live with myself as a mother and there and then, as quickly as it started, I ended it. Life takes some adjusting when you have been a victim of physical and psychological abuse for 3 years.  You have been brainwashed, controlled, manipulated, blamed for so long that you are existing and not living and that does take time to change, but when it does, it feels so good! I sincerely believe in the quote, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger because it does and we have our perpetrators to thank for that because in time we do grow stronger and so does our heart too.  You take control again, you have freedom and more importantly, you have your life back and you can live it however you want. You can speak to whoever you want without be accused of anything, you can wear what you like, say what you like, do what you want, because you are in control.  You no longer have that fear feeling rip through your stomach every single time you hear the key in the door, you feel safe once again in your own environment.  You can choose to do so many things too; start a college course, become a volunteer, make new friends, what the your favourite television programme, go out with the lads/girls, learn a language, change your career or take up those driving lessons again. You feel like a little rebel all over again, rebelling against your perpetrator for telling you no one will ever love you the way they do or how you won’t be able to do anything without them in your life, when in fact, the world is your oyster and you just have to cherish every single moment like it’s a brand new life every day. You see life in a completely different way, don’t take those little things for granted, see people for who they really are and are really thankful and grateful for everything in your life.  It makes you stronger as a person too knowing you are worth so very much more than what your perpetrator told you that you wasn’t.  People respect you for what you have overcome and who you are, not who you was and when the confidence comes back into your soul, it lights up your whole life.  Being a survivor of domestic abuse is the best feeling in the whole wide world.  It is like you have been given a second chance in life and have just completely proved your perpetrator so wrong!  That is the best revenge any survivor can give to their perpetrator and believe you me, it feels so good! You have good days and bad days, but the good days certainly outweigh the bad because you are in control again and that feels like a breathe of fresh air.  You just think back of all the negative things your perpetrator brainwashed you with and replace them with positive ones and that not only proves to you that you can cope and live life without them but it is also your way of standing up to your perpetrator and giving them the V sign….for victory! In 8 years, I have slowly but sure learned to love life again but more importantly I have learned to love me.  I have climbed that hill, and knocked down all the barriers that were in my way and now it feels like I am living on top of the world and it feels good to be alive again!

Acknowledge, accept and act that men can be victims too

Stereotyping gender is socities most negative attitude, where domestic abuse is concerned.  It doesn’t help the victim, it just allows the perpetrator to carry on abusing.

Domestic abuse knows no boundaries this worldwide epidemic affects anyone, including men.  We have to acknowledge, accept and act upon that, not turn a blind eye, bury our head in the sand and laugh about it; domestic abuse is no laughing matter.

For any victim suffering domestic abuse it’s difficult, it’s hard and it’s tough to even admit to yourself that you are a victim, let alone speaking out and admitting that you are a male victim.  We still live in a very male domineering society, the man is the stronger sex, matcho and masculine and women are weak and vulnerable (seen by societies eyes, not mine) so when a male victim does find the courage to speak out, they are mocked, ridiculed and laughed at not only by their perpetrator but by society too.  They simply do not have the faith to speak out because domestic abuse against men is not taken as seriously as it should be.  Again, another barrier for victims.

Domestic abuse isolates victims immensley, they shouldn’t feel alone and afraid when speaking out, they should have faith, encouragement and support in getting out of the relationship not being told to go back home and sort it out because it doesn’t get any better, it won’t simply stop or go away.  In time, the frequency and severity of the abuse will get worse.

It can be difficult for men to speak out and say they need help, often feeling reluctant to say they are victims, worrying that they won’t be believed, let alone heard.  Domestic abuse is a serious crime, whether it happens to men, women or children and no victim should ever feel that they have to put up with it, they don’t.

There is so much stigma attached to male victims of domestic abuse and little understanding faced by victims with male abuse being minimised, excused and blaming the victim, we need to focus on the issue not who or what gender the victim is.  We need to acknowledge, accept and act on the issue at hand and it must be tackled in a way that gives all victims the confidence and faith to speak out against their perpetrator; domestic abuse knows no boundaries.

One in six men will be a victim in their lifetime and one in three of all victims of domestic abuse are men; a father, brother or son.  The complex cycle of physical, psychological, sexual and financial abuse is still the same for them too.  Domestic abuse is all about power and control, starting off with isolation, manipulation, jealousy and possessiveness the cycle of abuse doesn’t alter but the perpetrators come in all different shapes and sizes.

Looking back at myself now, I wish I had spoken out sooner

I remember as a victim of domestic abuse I really wanted someone to look at me, know and understand what I was going through, take me under their wing to keep me safe.  Of course that never happened because at the time I didn’t even know I was a victim of domestic abuse and what was happening to me I thought was normal behaviour and simply accepted that. Almost 8 years later and as an advocate raising awareness I would urge any victim, male or female, to speak out. The most important and foremost thing for *any* victim to know, remember and understand is, this is not your fault.  No matter what your perpetrator has said to you, no one deserves to be abused.  Another important thing to learn is, it will never, ever get better.  No matter how many times your female or male perpetrator promises it won’t happen again, begs for your forgiveness and tells you they will change, it won’t happens; false lies to carry on abusing you. Isolation is the main ingrediant for any victim of domestic abuse and it is horrific being in such a postion because not only are you alone, you are lonely too and no matter how much you want to, you have no one to turn to because your perpetrator has brainwashed you into thinking no one loves or cares for you, which simply isn’t true. Looking back at myself now, I wish I had spoken out sooner but because I wasn’t aware of domestic abuse, I didn’t actually know what it was, what was happening to me or why, I simply accepted it be normal behaviour, thinking it happened in all relationships; with more awareness I would have learned that domestic abuse is never acceptable.  I am more aware now, of national domestic abuse agencies such as Mankind, Women’s Aid and Refuge, if I had known about them 8 years ago I would have taken advanaged of their services by looking at their websites for information and advice. Althought West Midlands Police were supportive of me, if I had known my x perpetrators words were just false lies, I would have reported him much sooner and not dropped the charges, but the thing is as a victim you sort of just get on with it in the hope that someone will reach out to you, unfortnately, it doesn’t work out that way. I would urge any man, woman or child to speak out against domestic abuse their perpetrator.  You are a victim of a crime, you have done nothing to be treated this way and you don’t deserve it.  If can be really difficult talking to friends and family because they don’t quiet understand the cycle, speak to your local Police Officer, dial 101 to talk or 999 if you are in fear of your life.  Perpetrators and domestic abuse take away victims voice, freedom and life, they need someone to stand up, speak out and save them but to get this, first, you must #TalkToUs I know how difficult it is speaking out, it takes guts and courage to even admit to yourself that the person you love is abusing you, but you must find the strength to overcome the shame to speak out, no one should suffer in silence, it doesn’t help you and it won’t get better.  Speaking out isn’t about being weak, it’s about being courageous, standing up to your perpetrator, telling them that you won’t tolerate this behaviour any more.  It’s about ackowledging and accepting that this isn’t right, that you know it won’t get better, that you want help and support to leave; you can’t do that alone. Report it, report it, report it and don’t ever drop the charges, build up that portfolio against your perpetrator – whether male or female – there is support out there, you are not alone and you don’t have to suffer in silence. Specific organisations for male victims, female victims, children and young people who are affected by domestic abuse, do understand, won’t judge, will listen and support you.  Take a look at the websites but remember to cover your tracks and erase your history, just to be safe.  Pick up that phone call Childline, NSPCC, Mankind or Women’s Aid who will be able to sign post you to local agencies because together, we can do this, we can tell perpetrators we won’t tolerate this and we can stand up to domestic abuse. Report it and speak out are just two steps that any victim can take in order to become a survivor.

16 reasons why all victims of domestic abuse must speak out and report it

Because 1. It will never, ever get better 2. You cannot and will not be able to change your perpetrator 3. When your perpetrator tells you they will change, they are just telling you lies 4. Your perpetrator will blame you for everything 5. Your perpetrator doesn’t want to change 6. They will use your children as weapons and tools through the Family Court 7. Domestic abuse does have an affect on children and young people 8. Domestic abuse is a crime that should never, ever be accepted or tolerated 9. Even the invisible scars that psychological abuse leaves behind will prevent you from moving forward 10. It’s not your fault 11. You don’t deserve it 12. You have a right to be who you are. to have your own friends and live in a safe environment 13. Your perpetrator will never change 14. Having a baby or getting married won’t make things better 15. In time the frequency and severity of the abuse will increase 15 Domestic abuse will kill you

Perpetrators must be punished

Not one person ever asked my ex perpetrator, why do you do it, why do you abuse your partner?

Thinking back, I’m not even sure how he would of responded if someone did actually ask him that question and even if he had of answered the question it still would not have made his behaviour toward me (and his many other partners too) acceptable.

Yet, that is a common question many people ask victims, isn’t it, however no one seems to question the perpetrator who in reality is the instigator of domestic abuse.  They are the person who is always in control, the person who has the power over the victim every single day, yet they are allowed, quiet literally, to get away with murder.

The support I had from West Midlands Police were outstanding even though I was asked why don’t you move home, to which I quiet honestly said, why should I it’s taken me months to save the deposit.  If I had moved home, the abuse would never have stopped, he still had my mobile number, although I was asked to change that too.  I did.  But not because I was told to but because a so called friend actually gave my number to my ex perpetrator and he phoned me!  I was shocked and scared so I changed over the sim and didn’t give that friend my new number.  So although victims are told to move are, change our numbers and leave, even if we did all those things it stil would not stop the perpetrator abusing us.

If you actually sat down and spoke to every single victim of domestic abuse and asked them to describe the characteristics of their perpetrator, you would think they were all talking about the same person.  There are so many similarities yet, we still live in a society that allows perpetrators to get away with murder.

Most perpetrators will have a history of domestic abuse yet will have been released on bail, or not sufficient evidence in court and allowed to walk free and out into the big wide world to carry on abusing, yet victims will be accused of dropping charges!  We live in a hypercritical society which wants victims to just leave, not to drop the charges and to move area yet refuges are being taken away, funding cut and victims are left with little faith to speak out, whilst still nothing is said to the perpetrator!  Very frustraiting indeed.

I see the media, especially magazines, asking for survivors of domestic abuse to speak out about their experience and hopefully give inspiration to others and so many want to but then the perpetrator has to have been convicted for their crimes.  Now you tell me, how many perpetrators have actually been given a custodial sentence for their actions?!  Yet again, we see another barrier for survivors.

The sad reality of domestic abuse for victims is, they don’t see victory and perpetrators don’t get punished and that is why domestic abuse will continue to be part of our society.  Perpetrators can quiet clearly see what they can get away with and they do get away with it.  That is a strong and powerful message being set for our next generation and the truth is, it’s not a positve one.

Perpetrators must be punished.

Domestic abuse isn’t about being angry or losing your temper because perpetrators are in control all of the time; they don’t lose it with Police Officers, they are cool, calm and collective; it’s always about power and control and we need to be focusing on the early warning signs to prevent perpetrators having the time to actually abuse their victim and when they do abuse they should be punished for the crimes they have committed, telling them that we won’t tolerate domestic abuse and what they have done is wrong.

We talk about strengthening laws yet, we don’t seem to be utilising the ones in the correct manner as it is, so what’s the point.  Laws should be there to protect the innocent and not to allow perpetrators to do what they like, regardless of the consequences and then not punishing them for crimes they have committed.

Domestic abuse has an effect on children and young people too

Children, so precious and so pure, a gift to so very many and so innocent, soaking up everything around them.  Each child a unique character growing up in their own way, amazing us, every single day of their life, yet sadly, I fear we still live in quiet a negative society where children are concerned and maybe one of, don’t speak until you are spoken too.

We live in a society where many people think that domestic abuse doesn’t affect children whenin fact many children witness and hear domestic abuse at home.  They don’t have to be physically hurt to be affected by domestic abuse but all children who are witnessing domestic abuse are being psychologically abused.

Children and young people will have divided loyalties for their parents, still loving mum and dad yet feeling that they are to blame somewhat for what is happening at home.  It is incredibly important to make children and young people learn to understand that is not there fault, that’s it’s not because of something they have done or said.

Children and young people will hear slamming of doors, smashing of plates, screaming and shouting, all having an affect on them, whether it be fear of going to sleep because they are afraid of what might happen if they do go to sleep, they might crying themselves to sleep riddled with guilt or perhaps they will avoid their parents completely.

Children and young people can quiet easily become withdrawn, become anxious or depressed not only because they feel this is all there fault because, also, they might not have anyone who they feel they can turn to talk about what they are experiencing and how they are feeling.  If they aren’t actually aware of what domestic abuse is, they might accept it as normal behaviour, thinking it happens in all relationships and when they start to form their own relationships might tolerate it themselves.

Children and young people might begin to self harm as a way of a coping mechanism, a way to try and block out what they are experiencing and see it as an escapism from the reality of life.  This is why awareness and education is absolutely vital for children and young people within our society; it is our duty to care and protect them.

Domestic abuse has an effect on children and young people which could cause behavioral, social and emotional problems for them later on in life.  Some children and young people who are exposed to domestic abuse are more likely to engage in domestic abuse as adults, therefore becoming victims or perpetrators.  This is why acknowledgment that this epidemic is unnacceptable is parmount to our future generation.

Some children and young people could become drawn into the physical side of domestic abuse if trying to protect younger siblings or trying to protect a parent from the perpetrator.  It is impossible to prevent children and young people from witnessing domestic abuse at home when they can so easily see or hear the abruption.  It is important to remember that they are just children, they are completely dependent upon the adults they live with and will take and accept that their behaviour toward each other is right, normal and acceptable, yet if they don’t feel safe in their own home environment, the consequences could have many negative physical and emotional effects on the child or young person.

All children and young people will react differently to the abuse they are witnessing at home, yet the feelings they will have could vary from, shame of bringing friends home, fear of them being physically hurt, the family splitting up, mum or dad leaving.  It will affect there everyday life, they won’t be able to concentrate or function properly at school or college through worry and fear of what’s going to happen when they get back home.

Some children and young people be resilient and not show signs of any negative effects. However, the longer the abuse goes on, the worse the outcomes for them.

We need to find a way to not only keep children and young people safe from domestic abuse but this needs to be done in a way where there is support and aftercare given to the victim too.  Most children and young people will acknowledge the abuse and know that something isn’t quiet right, at that point it’s important that the victim speaks to the child about what is happening to them, reassuring them every step of the way that this is not there fault and explain that domestic abuse is never, ever right.  However, at the same time it is equally important for the victim to tell themselves that it isn’t their fault either but still trying to stay strong for the children and young people that are being affected by this complex cycle.

Help is available, whether it is via National Organisations such as Women’s Aid or Refuge or other support agencies such as Childline and NSPCC but it’s really important that all children and young people know that it’s ok to ask for help and that they can talk to someone in confidence without giving there real name.  Asking for help is never, ever a sign of weakness but a sign of knowing that something isn’t quiet right and that something needs to be done in order to change the situation that they are in.

Society needs to change its attitude towards all victims of domestic abuse

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude – Maya Angelou Domestic abuse is never acceptable under any circumstances whatsoever and you do not have to be physically harmed to be a victim.  It is all about power and control, with the perpetrator treating their victim in such a clever and subtle way they they don’t know they are actually being abused.  Many victims of domestic abuse are not harmed physically at all, making it even more difficult for the victim to realise that they are being abused. Domestic abuse doesn’t simply happen because of something the victim wore, something the victim said or something that the victim did, domestic abuse happens because we live in a society that does not understand the complex cycle what so ever who would rather turn a blind eye and bury their head in the sand before acknowledge that domestic abuse even exists, let alone understanding it.  We live in a society where domestic abuse lives because we allow perpetrators to do this to victims. We live in a society that finds it highly amusing when men are hit and slapped in the street by their female perpetrators, we live in a society that finds it the female victims fault that she got raped because of something she wore and we live in a society that thinks that because children are not physical harmed, they are not affected by domestic abuse.  We live in a society that radically needs to change its attitude towards all victims of domestic abuse. But first we need to live in a society that is aware of this epidemic, often, domestic abuse will go unreported, simply because many victims do not know they are being abused – how can society victim blame, when society itself doesn’t know what the early warning signs are? The attitude that domestic abuse against men is invisible because we live in a society that chooses not to see or hear it, we still have a society with an attitude that men are the “macho one”, the “masculine one” and “he’s a man, why would he let a woman treat him like that”, yet when domestic abuse again a woman is talked about, it is always the victims fault. If time was taken not only to raise domestic abuse awareness but to also educate society, it would understand that domestic abuse is not as straightforward as it thinks it is.  It’s not as “simple” as a black eye, it fades, you leave the relationship and live happily ever after, it is much more complex than that.  It doesn’t even start with physical abuse, it starts with isolation, power, control, manipulation, jealousy, possessiveness; all the things society cannot see but only the victim can feel and before the first slap has taken place, the perpetrator has completely brainwashed their victim into thinking and believing that they are the only person in the whole wide world that loves and cares for them, all friends and family are completely isolated from the victim, that they have no other alternative than staying with their perpetrator. Unfortunately we live in a society that judges far too quickly without walking just one step in a victim’s shoes and until we see a rapid change then, we are still going to see 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men become a victim of domestic abuse at some point during their life time. Changing societies attitude toward domestic abuse as a whole, must be a priority and would be a step in the right direction; what right does society have constantly blaming the victim when society just does not understand the complex cycle?