Indicators of Domestic Abuse in victims

Domestic abuse is never the victims fault with many unaware they are being abused, however, there are so many indicators of domestic abuse which can be easily confused with care so it’s vitally important to learn to not only read between the lines but to also be aware of the complex cycle that is known as domestic abuse.

  • Victim reports, or partner displays intense, irrational jealousy, possessiveness or may appear over-concerned
  • Frequent admission to hospital/appointments at Doctors for apparently minor complaints
  • The victim denies or minimises abuse.  Exaggerated sense of personal responsibility including self blame
  • Inability to communicate independently of the partner.  Accompanied at all times, partner insists on answering questions although directed at victim
  • Frequent use of prescribed tranquilizers, anti-depressant or pain medication.  Alcohol or substance misuse
  • Gynecological problems, STD, urinary tract infections.  Evidence of rape or assault
  • Displays stress related symptoms, depression, anxiety.  Feelings of isolation, inability to cope
  • Self harm, suicidal thoughts
  • Repeated or chronic injuries of differing ages often to head neck breast abdomen and genitalia
  • Injuries minimised
  • Repeatedly giving same information
  • Fear of not being taken seriously
  • Fear of losing their child/children
  • Inability to cope
  • Afraid of partner
  • Self-loathing
  • helplessness
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Constant tiredness
  • No social relationships
  • Very low self-esteem
  • Over reactions to mistakes
  • Unexplained injuries, untreated injuries, recurrent injuries
  • Delay in seeking medical attention for injuries
  • PTSD
  • Unusual/frequent absences from school/work/college
  • Cancelling plans at the last-minute
  • Unexplained marks on the body
  • Inability to trust
  • Eating difficulties
  • Weight loss/weight gain

It can be difficult to reach out to a victim of domestic abuse, they will not only have divided loyalties but the perpetrator will isolate them from friends, family and life in order to gain and maintain power and control over them, making the victim rely upon them giving them the opportunity to abuse them with ease.

As hard as it may be, you need to be patient, supportive and there for when the victim needs you as your intervention could make the cycle much more difficult for the victim.  With more awareness, education and training it would be much more easier to identify the signs of domestic abuse and an earlier intervention would make it much more beneficial for the victim.

For anyone affected by domestic abuse, stay strong, speak out and remember, it’s not your fault.

Why do you think domestic abuse is under-reported?

  • Not aware it’s a crime
  • Perpetrator cleverly disguises control for care
  • Victims aren’t heard, believed or listened too
  • Cultural attitude and stereotypical behaviour
  • Lack of awareness
  • The Justice System
  • Far too late for intervention
  • Damage has already been done
  • Cuts
  • Families ripped apart
  • Children used as weapons and tools
  • Careers lost
  • No financial/housing support
  • Through contact, abuse still continues
  • Barriers are low – no self-esteem, confidence
  • Isolation – reliant upon partner
  • Fear, intimidation, consequences
  • Exhaustion
  • Verbal death threats
  • Manipulation, stalking, harassment
  • Judgment
  • Scars – physical and psychological
  • Afraid to be alone
  • Not sure how to live
  • Not being able to trust
  • Early warning signs not always identified
  • Blame, denial, shame, embarrassment, ridicule
  • Harassment, stalking, murder
  • Family and friends rejection of them and what has happened
  • It’s accepted as normal behaviour

You can’t live in the past

No matter how long you have been a survivor for, the one thing domestic abuse takes away from you and is so very hard to get back, is trust.

Domestic abuse allows you to have an incredible amount of doubt in your mind and the people you meet in your life after domestic abuse will always be questioning your own judgment and you will be asking, are they a perpetrator.  Domestic abuse and perpetrators take away your ability to trust, knowing the impact it will have on your future and therefore, still controlling you.

Firstly, learning to trust yourself is important, otherwise how can you move forward.  Trust your gut instinct because it never fails to let you down and it won’t lie t you.  Without failures, mistakes disappointment and hurt how can yu move on, leaving painful memories in the past whilst preparing to mak new ones in your future.

With trust you can learn to see things in a new light.  As hard as it is, yesterday has gone and there is nothing you can do to change what has happened, all that can be done now is renewing yourself and looking forward, never ever back.

Building up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt again is a natural thing to do but in the same breath we must release the fearful past for a brighter future.

Attachments will always hold you back, you must think of how to let them go otherwise you will always be tied and never free.  Don’t cling to pain or suffering, let it go.

Not everyone you meet is a perpetrator, not everyone wants to hurt or abuse you.

The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life.  You are in the driving seat now but your foot is still on the brake, you must learn how to gently release it, but only you can do it.

What’s done is done but everyday is a brand new beginning in which you have the choice t live again.  Don’t let your past continue to hurt you or prevent you from a happy future.  Without using your past as an experience, learning from it and moving on with it, your perpetrator is still controlling you.

A perpetrators life will continue to be the same, they will see and do whatever they want in life but their behaviour toward you stops you from living your life as you wish.

Staying indoors prevents you from meeting new people and having a social life, moving forward and networking, preventing you from building new relationships and careers, forcing you to still live in the past and allowing the perpetrator to still control you.

Don’t be afraid to dip your toe into the water and reach out for new horizons.  Do all the things your perpetrator said you couldn’t do, show them how you can live, survive and succeed without them.  But first you must let go of the past because living in the darkness means you will never reach the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your past is a lesson in history don’t wallow around in it, you are only victimizing yourself and you are now a survivor.

Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover

Looking at me on the outside doesn’t mean you can judge me on the inside.  You have no idea what I have really been through, felt or experienced.  You never saw me when I was at rock bottom, low, down and out.  You didn’t hear my silent sobs or tears flow down my cheeks like waterfalls.  You can’t judge me for what you don’t know, what you can’t understand, for what you cannot feel.

You don’t know what memories lie deep beneath my soul, the memories I will have to take to my grave with me nor will you ever comprehend how my innocent death could have been made premature through a love that didn’t really exist, ony in my mind.

You don’t know what it’s like to devote 3 years of your life, living in a make believe world where the abuse and coercive control are the only real things that are happening around you, too you.  No matter how much you pray for it to stop.

You have no right to judge me, the same way as he had no right to abuse me.  You don’t know the difficult and hard decisions I had to make, the right ones, the ones to stay safe, the ones to help set me free.

Don’t judge me for the mistakes you think I have made because my journey is something you will never comprehend.  The torment and torture of domestic abuse doesn’t just leave you either.  Day after day snippets of my life as a victim flash before my very eyes.

It’s something I have to live with, answering difficult questions, always wondering if I have made the right decisions.  His verbal threats, coercive control and abusive ways are locked away in my subconscious mind, popping up at any time like a jack in the box.

Don’t judge me for you have never walked one step in my shoes, let alone lived the live I have lived.  No, not chosen but had put out before me, the live I was meant to live.  Live for only reasons that God knows why, for the same reasons he knows why I was mean to survive the abuse rather than die at the hands of a perpetrator, the man who claimed to love me.

As a victim, as a mum, as a decent human being I am the one constantly judged, never one did I hear they words, why do you treat her like this by anyone.  Even I never asked that question because I was living an alien life, a life I didn’t know was any different, a life I thought everyone lived, a life in which I thought was normal.

Don’t judge me for loving the wrong man and don’t judge me for calling him a man.  I loved him.  I loved him being inside me, I loved him kissing me, I loved him holding me, showing me affection, I thought he was the best thing since sliced bread, I thought he was the one for me, I thought he was mine, I thought he felt the same about me.  I thought he loved me.

Don’t judge me for being wrong.

How was I to know he didn’t love me, how was I to know he would cheat on me, sleep with others and claim to love them rather that me.  Did he love them or didn’t he.  Did he know what he wanted.  I wanted him.  Why couldn’t he want me too.  I would have done anything for him.  I almost died for him, because of him but why didn’t he feel the same.  What would have made him feel the same way about me as I did him.

Don’t judge me for taking beating after beating, being kicked to the curb like I didn’t belong or being knocked out and don’t judge me for accepting his apology time and time again.  Why shouldn’t I, he said he would change, he promised he would but he never did.

Tomorrow never came, every day was a ground-hog day and I simply stayed in this world that just no longer felt real.  I was oblivious to everything going on around me, it was like I was living someone elses life, it wasn’t me picking myself up off the floor, it wasn’t me being spat, it wasn’t me being thrown around like a rag doll. It. Wasn’t Me.  Why would someone treat me that way when all I did was love them.

Don’t think I provoked him, spoke out of turn or egged him on, I never did.  I simply sat back and accepted whatever was thrown at me.  Whatever he said I agreed, begged for forgiveness because everything was my fault and tried so hard to make everything right for him.  But everything I did, not matter how hard I tried, my best just wasn’t good enough for him.  I was never good enough for him.  I would never have been good enough for him.  Maybe if I had have died, maybe I would have been good enough them.

Don’t judge me because you think you know my story for you have never travelled along the same path as I. Don’t judge me because everything looks ok on the outside for things aren’t always so happy on the inside.  I don’t live every day to please you or anyone else, I live every day because I am alive and God gave me a second chance.  He believed in me.  He told me I was strong, he told me I was worth so much more.  He told me I was a survivor.

I am a survivor but I don’t survive for you, for my perpetrator or for myself, I survivor because of my daughter.  She was put in my arms to save me and that she did.  Don’t judge me for you know nothing about my life you see what you want to see but you don’t know the hidden depths that domestic abuse leaves behind.

Don’t prejudge the worth of me by my outward appearance alone because without living my life along the rocky road with me, you have no right to judge a book by its cover.

How do you feel?

Physically and psychologically you are exhausted, drained and weak but not because of something you have done or said but because of domestic abuse.

Have you ever stopped to think how your partner makes you feel?  I mean, really feel?

Do you shine with pride and joy whenever they are near or do you feel scared and riddled with fear?

Do you cower whenever they are close, do you shake, tremble and feel inadequate whenever you see them?

Living your life walking on eggshells, walking around as though you are in the middle of a minefield, afraid of where to step, what to say or do.

Do you feel that your partner humiliates you in ever single way possible but if you dare mention anything about their behaviour they automatically put the blame on you?

Do you feel as if your partner is constantly suffocating you and unable to allow you to breathe.  Bombarding you with calls and texts, not letting you life your life or be who you really are.  Taking away your freedom, hobbies and everything you like in life, making it sound unimportant and not needed now they are in your life.

Do you feel as though you can no longer reach out to family or friends because they don’t understand who you are any more, leaving you feeling isolated.

are you living your life in pure existence instead of being who you want to be, where you want to be, doing all that you want.

Living and being with a partner shouldn’t mean you have to change.  You can still have friends, family and a career as well as a partner, you shouldn’t have to make a choice to choose between one and not the other.

With an obsessive partner, love and trust is not being give – without trust there is no relationship.

Your partner won’t be changing you for the best but more so changing you in a way that will make it so much more easier to control and abuse you.

Feeling manipulated in such a way that you easily confuse the behaviour with care rather than control, so easily disguised by the perpetrator and done in such a way the victim is vulnerable and will believe, accept and tolerate such behaviour.

You feel as though you want, need and crave your partner because they have isolated you from existence, you have no once else to rely on other than them.  Domestic abuse makes you feel this way, not love.

It leaves you feeling disoriented, confused, unsure as though everything is your fault and with total brainwashing manipulation you still feel love for your partner.  Only the outside world will se the caring partner, whereas you will always feel the controlling perpetrator.

Domestic abuse will leave you infused with so many very different emotions, leaving you feeling so every overwhelmed with why, what ifs and hows.

Blame

It’s the victims fault, its because of a bad day, poor childhood, it’s the media, it’s the Police, it’s agencies, it’s professionals; it’s always someone elses fault.

We don’t see communities working together, just against each other.  Right at the top of the cycle we have the perpetrator who are entirely to blame for domestic abuse and the so-called Justice System at the end, with everyone else in between.  Many are still unaware of the early warning signs let along understanding how difficult leaving an abusive relationship actually is.  There is a clear lack of understanding, no empathy and support where domestic abuse is concerned, making it extremely difficult for victim.s

Power and control is what the cycle is all about, perpetrators thinking and believing they are abuse and beyond the victim, treating victims as though they are nothing rather than someone.

Shifting the blame doesn’t stop the abuse or change anything, if anything, things will always stay the same.

Blame is mirroring the behaviour of the perpetrator because that is exactly what they do, they refuse to take responsibility for their own actions.  Blame allows the perpetrator to continue the carry out this complex crime.  Blame allows victims to be victims.  Blame prevents the right thing from being done.  Blame stops the victim from speaking out.  Blame makes the victim think it is their fault.  blame is the key reason statements are withdrawn.  Blame is powerful.

Blame needs to be abolished because the only person to blame for domestic abuse is the perpetrator.  They are always in control, that makes them who they are, that gives them the power to thrive on and what they feel the need for and will always gain and maintain over the victim.

Trust is broken and often difficult to rebuild.  Blame will always make society think and believe how domestic abuse is the victims fault because of the manipulation of the perpetrator controlling the minds of others too and not just the victim.  The way the perpetrator can control their own behaviour shows then they are completely calm when the Police arrive, forcing blame on the victim.

Blame makes us blind to coercive control and domestic abuse, we see what is their rather than what is not.  Blame stops us from seeing between the lines.  Blame is ammunition for perpetrators, a tool, a weapon – power.  We need stable, strong and supportive awareness which is key to help shift the stigma of blame.  Awareness can be powerful for the victim and help with the transformation of victim and survivor.

Don’t change you life, change your perpetrator

A perpetrator will change you, subtle startings easily confused with care and not control.  Change your hair, make up, clothes, job, friends, how you sleep, eat and drink, how you shop, who you speak too, who you see, who you don’t.

The once normal life you once lived will evaporate before your very eyes until there is nothing left for you to see.

You become invisible to friends and family as they no longer recognise you, they can’t reach out to you, they don’t even know who you are.

You no longer know who you are, feel or understand who you are, your views change but you don’t know why, your thoughts and feelings don’t feel your own any more.  You are no longer living your life, just in existence for someone else.

One person who comes into your life can completely change everything around you.  Isolation will destroy friendships, careers and aspirations.  As your life alters and crumbles around you without you even noticing, the subtle behaviour will happen in such a way that as your self esteem, confidence and worth drains from you , you will still think, feel and believe your perpetrator loves you.

Coercive control will occur at the beginning of the relationship in a way you will easily mistake the behaviour for care, which allow perpetrators to abuse for so long and for you to stay a victim without realisation.

A perpetrator is like a magnet drawing you in, even though you don’t want to be, drawn into their controlling behaviour, cruel words and cowardly ways.  They are stong and powerful too, in such a way that controls and changes you complete, so powerful they don’t even physically touch you, instead they use their tongue – the most powerful weapon a person owns.

Domestic abuse is a complex crime, its control and power, it kills.  It is not flattering, love or care nor does it resemble any of this in any way, shape or form.  Perpetrators, however, easily disguise and cove up their behaviour as so.

A perpetrator doesn’t come with warning signs, you cannot look at a perpetrator and know they are a perpetrator, the reality is, we only find out a perpetrator is a perpetrator when it is too late.  Far too much damage, psychologically, has been caused leaving the victim unable to speak out but instead feeling vulnerable, confused and alone, often wondering what they did wrong to “deserve” to be treated this way, feeling and thinking that this crime is actually their fault.

A victim of any crime, never asks or deserves to be a victim, although society constantly victim blames because they are mislead into thinking and believing that domestic abuse i love, something that happens in all relationships, that it must be accepted, tolerated and ok, it’s not.  It is not a one-off, a domestic or because “they did something to deserve it”, it is morally wrong.  It takes away a persons human rights and leaves them with nothing apart from the former shell of who they once were.

As this complex crime changes the victim and because it is noticeable by others, society feels it is happening because their behaviour has changed.  They no longer socialise, they cancel things at the last minute, they are no longer the bubbly person they once were.  This is noticed by others and the victim judged and blamed without anyone actually asking, why these changes are taking place.  They don’t see the manipulation from the perpetrator, instead they always see the caring partner making it easier for them to abuse and so much more difficult for the victim to be heard and believed.

A perpetrator behaves in such a ways that is always an advantage to them, yet puts the victim in a predicament that makes everything look as though it is all their fault.  When Police officers arrive, a perpetrator will be identified as the caring partner and not the controlling perpetrator.  They know how to manage their behaviour, how to act when others are around – they are always in control.

The consequence of the perpetrators actions leave the victims to blame.  Victims will be hysterical, angry, upset, shouting maybe as Police arrive – without awareness it won’t be easy for others to understand that the perpetrator has verbally abused the victim, manipulated them, humiliated them, knowing what the reaction from the victim will be, just in time for when the Police arrive.

A perpetrator will suck everyone in around them, just like a magnet.  Professionals and agencies don’t read between the lines, they don’t see or feel coercive control the wy a victim does, just because there are no visible marks doesn’t mean it’s not happening.  It’s the abuse that we can’t quiet see that hurts, harms and subsequently causes the most pain for the victim.

Coercive control kills and with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men becoming a victim during their lifetime, awareness must become a priority.  With awareness victims will be able to learn and understand this is not their fault, they are not alone and there is help and support available but without awareness how can they make the necessary changes in their life to stop them from being a victim.

Awareness, training and education can be a bigger magnet than a perpetrator if we all work together and we must do this.

Far too many victims have already been let down, no justice given and families havent been given closure, we now need to see a dramatic change in attitudes and work toward building a future toward a brighter, safer future without domestic abuse in it.

How that could have been me

“Have you seen this Sammieb1980″ flashed up on my screen as I was reading through my tweets:-

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/6460484/Sun-campaign-Refuges-for-victims-of-domestic-violence-are-being-closed.html?CMP=spklr-_-Editorial-_-TWITTER-_-TheSunNewspaper-_-20150518-_-News-_-181868434

48 women tragically lost their life.

I blinked hard at the screen.  The words staring straight into my face. The words echoing around in my mind.  I could have been the 49th person.  I could be dead.  I could have been killed.  I could have been a memory to my parents.  I could have left my daughter motherless.  That could have been me.

Scrolling up and down the page I see gorgeous women; a mother, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a nan, a best friend.  Tears prick my eyes as I think of their family and friends how there doesn’t seem to be any closure on this epidemic.  How they didn’t get Justice.  How they were not heard, listened too or believed.  How they were failed by the system.  How the gaps, judgmental and stereotypical helped kill them.  How that could have been me.

“In most situations, a woman will be killed as she tries to leave an abusive partner, which is the reason many are scared to leave”.  It’s there in black and white for all the world to see, yet it’s still not digested in such a way that society believes it.  They don’t believe it.  Like those 48 women, I know only too well that this is real.  This isn’t make-believe, this isn’t people exaggerating domestic abuse, these are real people telling the truth.

I’ve slept rough, I’ve slept outside, I’ve slept on friends sofa’s and I stayed in a refuge but every time I left, I went back.  The manipulation, the power of his tongue, the words that came from his mouth, the fact that I was already so broken down into thousands of pieces there was no way I could be fixed back together, how I was so mentally and physically exhausted, how I had nothing in my life apart from him, the one who always seemed to be there when no one else was around, always made me go back to him.  Go back into the arms of the complex cycle of this crime.

This campaign highlights the reality of domestic abuse.

At the hands of David Cameron, 112 women with 84 children are being turned away from refuges that cannot not house them and yet has the audacity to think it’s “just a domestic” “it’s not that bad” “why don’t you just leave” or “it’s better to stay for the sake of the children.  This is the harsh reality of a society that simply doesn’t have a clue about domestic abuse, how it starts, what if feels like, how it makes you feel, the impact it has on you, your children, the world around you – how it can lead to death.

Why are we living in a country that leaves it too late to intervene, why are we living in a country that has no Justice or closure for victims and survivors, why are we still living in a country that is not taking domestic abuse seriously and why are we having to support campaigns such as this when things like this should not be happening at all.

Police get an emergency domestic violence call every 30 seconds – I was one of those people who spoke out, who phoned the police, who said enough was enough.

On average two women a week are killed by a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales – that is a scary statistic one that should speak volumes, one that tells you that it’s not “just a domestic” ” “it’s not that bad” “why don’t you just leave” or “it’s better to stay for the sake of the children”.  This statistic proves the coercive control, the fear, the intimidation, the verbal threats, the stalking and the harassment continues long after the relationship has ended.  This statistic tells you perpetrators cannot deal with rejection.  This statistic tells you it could be your mother, daughter,  sister, niece, nan, best friend.  It could have been me.

He will kill you.  Those 4 words were the words that my mum said to me every single time I went back to him.  And she is right.  He would have killed me if I had stayed with him http://news.sky.com/story/955195/using-make-up-to-fight-domestic-violence but I am one of the lucky ones because looking at this campaign, it could have been me.

I advocate because I survived.  I advocate because of these women.  I advocate because I know domestic abuse kills.  I advocate because I don’t want this to happen to anyone.  I want a Government to pledge and to do the same.  Today.  Not tomorrow.  Not the next day.  Not next week.  Not next month.  Not next year.  Now.  I don’t want another victim killed, another child motherless, another mother childless.  I want to live in a society that knows the early warning signs, that knows when to intervene, that listens, believes and supports all victims of domestic abuse. I want to live in a society that takes domestic abuse seriously.  I want that for the next generation.  For my daughter.  My grandchildren.  My great-grandchildren.  For everyone.

This campaign is real life, it’s a wake up call, it’s reality.  We have got to stand united and work together to prevent this from happening.  Without lifelines such as refuges what chance do victims have.  They don’t.  All they can do is go back to the perpetrator.  To being abused, to being a victim, to being killed.

We can see quite clearly from this campaign how much domestic abuse costs, how it affects everyone and how desperate we need to keep existing refuges open and how we need to open more.  Not just for women.  But for men.  Children.  For all victims of domestic abuse.  This crime won’t magically disappear.  It’s not going to suddenly stop.  I fear it’s going to do nothing more than spiral out of control with more and more victims being killed.

It’s now time to sit up, smell the coffee and do something today.  Make that change now.  I learned the hard way, so did these women too – no one else should suffer if the support and intervention from our Government is imminent.

For three years I was a victim of physical and psychological abuse however like many other victims, I didn’t know what domestic abuse was until it was too late.  I had ended the relationship before I knew that I had been a victim and received support as a survivor rather than when I was a victim.  Too little too late.  For me, for many others and for those who have died at the hands of a perpetrator.

I suffered a miscarriage, I took an overdose, I was spat at, kicked, punched, slapped, I was ridiculed, humiliated, controlled, monitored, accused.  I accepted and tolerated his behaviour because I didn’t know any different.  I thought this was love.  I thought he loved me.  I thought this happened in all relationships.  I believe that if domestic abuse had been discussed during my sex education lessons at school, alarm bells might have gone off a lot sooner.  Not only do we need to fully support this campaign but we also need to bring awareness into everyone’s life.

Reading this article made me realise how lucky I am, how I’ve survived, how I must not stop raising awareness, advocating or supporting any man, woman or child, how it could quiet easily have been my daughter sitting here right now looking at that article and seeing her dead Mother’s face starting back at her.  This campaign has made me realise how that could have been me, how during the (almost) 10 years I have been a survivor, has anything really changed where domestic abuse is concerned or is it still the taboo subject it was 40 or 50 years ago.

This Government just doesn’t take domestic abuse seriously enough!

  • It’s the victims fault
  • It’s just a domestic
  • It’s best to stay together for the sake of the kids
  • It’s a one-off
  • It’s not that bad
  • Let’s pretend domestic abuse doesn’t even exist
  • It only happens to vulnerable, weak, poor people
  • If we take away all the victims lifelines, we can pretend it doesn’t exist
  • If we ignore it, it will go away
  • It’s not a crime
  • There’s no bruises, cuts or scars so they can’t be a victim
  • Lack of awareness, education, training and understanding
  • It won’t just fix itself
  • This Government will rather have blood on its hands than acknowledging and admitting domestic abuse exists
  • It’s still seen as funny – especially if the victim is male
  • It’s minimalized
  • It’s all about the money – this Government feels saving money is a higher priority than saving lives
  • It’s sending the wrong message out to the next generation and that’s why victims and perpetrators are getting younger
  • The Government feels by taking everything away from the victim, the abuse will magically disappear
  • Professionals and agencies should be working together as one not just for the perpetrator
  • It’s still a taboo subject
  • It’s glamourised and constantly in the headlines when it happens to someone famous but when it’s you and I, it’s our fault, it’s not important and it’s not domestic abuse!
  • They would rather minimize it than criminalize it
  • If they hadn’t worn that, it wouldn’t have happened
  • Harassment, stalking and rape are seen as the perpetrators right instead of a crime against the victim
  • Stereotypical and judgmental behaviour seems to over ride the safety of victims
  • It’s the most repetitive crime yet it’s the most common crime that is under-reported because there is no faith in the system
  • The Justice System is for perpetrators and gives no Justice to victims or closure to their families
  • The Government thinks it won’t happen to “people like them”
  • The difference between care and control is misleading
  • Without having mandatory domestic abuse awareness in PSHE is putting more young people at risk rather than preventing them from becoming a victim in the first place
  • There is no understanding that the power, control and abuse continues after the relationship has ended
  • No one sees the bigger picture
  • The victims Human Rights are taken away from the victim and everything goes in the perpetrator favour
  • Manipulation, fear and intimidation still takes place even from prison!
  • The “punishment” for domestic abuse is degrading for victims
  • Inadequate up to date training means professionals and agencies simply can’t understand the cycle or do the right thing by the victim
  • We never hear the Government actually talk about domestic abuse, unless they mirror the image of the perpetrator, with false promises and lies about what they “say” they are going to do to change the cycle
  • They don’t come up with any initiatives to prevent domestic abuse from happening
  • Instead of making current laws stronger and actually work in favour of the victim they would rather waste time in “talking” about making new laws that probably won’t work either
  • We live in a society where victims parents/families set up new laws/initiatives rather than the Government who should be preventing these deaths from happening in the first place!
  • They don’t campaign hard for change
  • Services are being cut
  • This Government feels an apology from a perpetrator is an “acceptable punishment” to a victim without realizing it’s damn degrading!
  • They are weak in prevention, education and action therefore making abusing victims easier for perpetrators telling the next generation that domestic abuse is acceptable!
  • There are far too many gaps still in supporting services who are actually failing to support victims because they too are fooled by control and care
  • Compulsory sex and relationship education would be a prevention to help keep young people safe
  • They don’t even take children into consideration nor the long-term effects of what domestic abuse has on them
  • They see the perpetrator as a “good parent” when they apply for contact instead of seeing family course and children being used as weapons and tools to gain and maintain power and control whilst continuing to waste tax payers money which could be used to keep vital services open!

The kiss of death

It can start off so romantically, as though they really love you and make you feel as if you are on top of the world but soon things begin happening that question your own mind, put you in doubt and make you feel uneasy.

Coercive control can seem like care.  Soon unreasonable demands and degradation will from around you, isolation, threats and intimidation, financial control, monitoring your actions, controlling your phone, restricting who you speak too, depriving you of food and sleep, destruction of possessions and smashing up property.

Perpetrators behave in such a way that you will question yourself, blame yourself and feel it is your fault, they will even tell you so when in reality, they are in total power and control.

This type of behaviour from the perpetrator is the one where you don’t physically feel anything it simply plays with your emotions, plays mind games with you are and who they say you are.   Extreme jealousy, possessiveness and ridiculous accusations of infidelity might seem romantic but this behaviour is nothing more than controlling, making it seem as though you are in the wrong when you have done nothing wrong at all.  It’s all in the mind of the perpetrator but their actions will make it feel like it’s your fault, you doubt yourself and believe them.

Stalking, manipulation and lies are all part of the cycle, insecurities minimizing their behaviour and your rationality, excuses such as you made me do it, you shouldn’t have pushed me or no one will believe you.  This is the type of behaviour that will happen long after the relationship has ended, it gives the perpetrator control, gives them power and shows how strong psychological abuse is and the long-term lasting effects it has.

Domestic abuse is an ongoing crime, that happens on a regular basis, with the perpetrator having an overpowering control over the victim, leading perpetrators to feel entitled to control their victim.  No one is entitled or has the right to control another person, no matter what reason they give for doing so.  A bad day at the office or a poor childhood is never an excuse to abuse yet we are living in a society which does just that, accepts and tolerates abusive behaviour because there is a lack of awareness, education and training.

Our young people, the next generation are forming relationships with perpetrators without awareness and finding it extremely difficult to leave when they know something is wrong because they aren’t actually being made aware of what domestic abuse actually is and without awareness they don’t know what early warning signs to look out for and therefore will simply accept them.

Now I feel as a nation we are letting them down.  We are failing them.  We are making them become victims as we hold vital awareness from them.  We don’t have the right to do this.  Young people have the right to know what a healthy relationship is and what a healthy relationship isn’t.  They have that right.  However, perpetrators and the Government are simply taking away any Human Right they have.  It’s diabolical.  Unless culture and attitude toward domestic abuse changes rapidly, we are going to see male and female victims receive the kiss of death; 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will become a victim during their lifetime.

We need to get past the stigma or, oh it’s just a domestic or if it was that bad they would just leave, we need to actually focus in on what domestic abuse really is, how it takes hold of your life without you being in control of it.  Making domestic abuse a taboo subject and sweeping it under the carpet in this day and age is simply unacceptable and unless we do something about it this crime will now go away and we will still continue to see victims killed by this epidemic.