Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening and violent behaviour. Anyone can be a victim; it does not always refer to a physical attack. That’s why it’s important to recognise the signs of domestic violence; know how to remove yourself from unsafe situations and understand where to source help.
More than this, we need to work as a society to put a stop to domestic abuse. By raising awareness of what domestic abuse refers to, we can help change the mindset and behaviour of perpetrators, as well as support women and girls in danger. We hope this article goes some way to share a further understanding of domestic abuse.
Who is affected by domestic abuse?
Anyone can be a victim, or even a perpetrator, of domestic abuse. Regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, faith or class, violence can occur between partners, ex-partners, family members, parents and children, as well as people in positions of authority.
Along with whoever is being abused, it can also have a lasting effect on anyone within the same household. Individuals who witness violent actions and behaviour but cannot do anything to help, such as children.
How do I know if I’m in a violent relationship?
Domestic violence isn’t limited to physical marks or scars you can see. It can develop over several years and consist of a multitude of manipulative behaviour. Behaviour that slowly changes their victims’ independence and controls everything about them. However, signs and symptoms are always associated with every type of domestic abuse and things to consider are:
- Do you feel scared of your partner?
- Are your partner’s moods or actions unpredictable?
- Have you noticed a shift in the relationship?
Our previous blog provides more information about healthy relationships and the signs to look out for.
What are the types of domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse can appear in numerous forms, with survivors sometimes experiencing one or several types within their relationship. The different types of domestic abuse include:
Physical abuse – This often leaves visual signs upon someone’s body such as bruises and marks inflicted by slaps, punches, kicks, biting, pushing, burn marks or things being thrown.
Emotional abuse – This includes derogative language, threats and manipulative behaviour, which leads to isolation, self-doubt, low self-esteem and guilt for the person being abused.
Sexual abuse – When you are forced or guilted into performing a sexual act you do not want to do. Being touched in a way you don’t want to be touched or forced to have unsafe sex.
Financial abuse – Survivors may lose control over their money as well as access to it. Meaning they have no financial independence or essential funds to help them leave the relationship.
Finding support for domestic violence
If you are or believe you are, in an abusive relationship, you can reach out for help at any time. Contact a domestic abuse charity, emergency services, or even trusted friends and family. Never wait until it becomes an emergency situation. Similarly, if you feel someone you know is in danger, you can contact a domestic abuse helpline for guidance on what to do.
Here at Eve, we have a team of fully trained individuals whom you can contact 24/7 for domestic abuse-related matters. We provide supportive solutions and safe refuge for female victims and children affected by domestic abuse.
Contact times and support available for domestic abuse-related matters:
- 9am -5pm – Helpline: General enquiries, information, advice and guidance
- 5pm – 9am – Out of Hours Emergency Support
- 9am – 10pm – Silent Solutions, text or email