What is domestic abuse?
‘Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’
(UK Home Office)
Domestic Abuse is based on one person having power or control over another and can take many forms including:
Controlling behaviour can be: restricting someone’s freedom/independence; isolating them from sources of support; regulating their behaviour. Coercive behaviour can be: threats, humiliation or assaults used to frighten, punish or harm a person. Domestic abuse happens between people of all cultures, religions and classes and can ruin people’s lives. It may start gradually but often becomes worse and can continue even after the relationship has ended. It has a detrimental effect on children who may witness the abuse and who can become victims themselves.
Why leave? Why Stay?
People who suffer this kind of abuse often stay for many different reasons:
• Fear – Perhaps you are frightened to leave as you worry your abuser will try and stop you and become even more violent.
• Reliance – Perhaps you rely on your abuser for financial support/housing
• Children – worry about losing access to your children.
• Good times and hope – You may also enjoy the good times you have and keep hoping it won’t happen again.
• Guilt – may be made to feel responsible and guilty for the abuse but the source of the problem is the abuser, not you.
But never forget that it is a crime for someone you know to attack you in your own home or elsewhere – whether they are your partner, a family member or someone you share your home with. Whatever the abuser might say, violence like this is never your fault. Nobody has the right to abuse you in this way.
You do not have to suffer in silence. You can contact us in confidence and our volunteers can help you by talking with you, giving you emotional support and helping you to see and understand the choices that you can make to help stop the abuse. If you decide, at any stage, that leaving the abuser or your home is something you need to do we can help support you as you move away. This can include giving you information about health, housing, social security benefits and other sources of help. Whatever you chose to do, we know that your safety is the most important thing.
The decision to take action against your abuser may be difficult. But if you do decide, at any time, that you want to report the abuse to the police, we can provide information and support. We can also support you if you choose to go to court. We hope that you will get in touch with us, but if you decide not to now, you can call us at any point in the future.
If you are in immediate danger, call 999.
If you wish to contact the police and are not in immediate danger, call
01534 612612 , visit the Police Station or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What to do in a crisis situation: see http://www.jersey.police.uk/be-safe/domestic-abuse/what-to-do-in-a-crisis-situation/
Other useful links:
Male on female abuse – 1 in 4 women are affected in their lifetime
See: Jersey Women’s Refuge http://www.jerseywomensrefuge.org/
Female on male abuse – 1 in 6 men are affected in their lifetime
Elder abuse – ‘A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person’. (elderabuse.org.uk).
Same sex relationships – according to Broken-Rainbow.org.uk 1 in 4 Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender people experience domestic violence
For more info see: http://www.brokenrainbow.org.uk/