Abuse

more stuff for a second site

Abuse
We know we are in an abusive relationship when..
Men can also be victims
Types of abuse
The Abuser
Support network
Abuse doesn't have to be Violent
The Bottom Line
Tell someone about it.
EXIT: Time to escape

Links

For more information on domestic violence and related issues please visit the following sites:

www.dvip.org
DVIP is a groundbreaking voluntary sector project aimed to increase the safety of women and children who experience domestic violence.

www.domesticviolencedata.org
The Domestic Violence Data Source is an information co-ordinating system on projects relating to domestic violence within England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

www.homeoffice.gov.uk/domesticviolence
Violence against women and domestic violence.

www.nspcc.org.uk
The aim of the FULL STOP Campaign is to end cruelty to children. FULL STOP.

www.police999.com/support
Information and advice for victims of violence.

www.victimsupport.com
Victim Support is the independent charity which helps people cope with the effects of crime. We provide free and confidential support and information to help you deal with your experience.

www.womensaid.org.uk
Women's Aid is the key national charity in England for women and children experiencing physical, sexual or emotional abuse in their homes.

www.havenrefuge.org.uk
A Wolverhampton based domestic abuse service which provides specialist support for Asian women which compliments its dynamic and effective services for all victims of abuse.



 

If you don't feel like meeting someone face-to-face that's OK. The good news is that there are many helplines you can call. Helplines staffed by others who have gone through what you are going through. They will understand and they will help.

You will need somewhere to go. If we choose to stay with friends or relatives then we need to be sure that they are prepared to accommodate us. It is all well and good if they are supportive of your leaving, but, does the one you are escaping from know them and (more to the point) where they live. If he or she does then it may be an idea to think again.   Consider moving to another town or city some distance from the place where the abuse occurred.

If you don’t wish to involve the police, that’s ok there are many other agencies out there - However, If you decide to take the car, make sure it is your car or it could be used to track you.  It might be an idea to contact the police and let them know that you are leaving so that the abuser can't use them to help track you down.

Another possibility is local authorities. These can be an excellent source of help and or information and even if they are unable to help, they could signpost you to someone who can. 

 

 

Avoid confrontation at all costs. If you have to run – then run. If the abuser flies into a rage and you know he or she is going to become violent – run. If you have to run with just the clothes on your back - run. Your safety is all-important. Get away from the danger, the rest can be sorted out later. Your safety must come first.

 

Where we can go for help?

One major priority has to be Accommodation.

If you need to leave an abusive relationship but have nowhere safe to go, then a period of refuge – in a refuge - could be the answer.  Importantly, a refuge is a safe house for women and children. A major part of being a safe house is that its location is kept a secret. This secrecy is important as it makes it extremely difficult to be traced by those who are not prepared to let us go. Or who intend us harm us for 'abandoning' them.

The safe house is more than just a hollow building in which to hide. Refuges tend to be small supportive types of communities. A bit like an extended family with other women and children who are also escaping from abuse.

Refuges are ran by concerned and supportive staff who are fully experienced with issues of abuse. So you will not be alone, nor will you be surrounded by others who do not know what you are going through. Within a refuge you will be with those that are able to give you personal support: and help support and meet the needs of the children too.

Obviously not all refuges are the same, but they do offer a real alternative to being terrorised within an abusive relationship.

To find out more about refuges and how to access them please contact the 24 hour freephone help-line on 0808 800 0340.

 

Before doing anything, seek advice?

Shelter isn't an housing agency so it cannot house you, but Shelter is an independent organisation that might be able to find somewhere for you to stay in an emergency. Shelter provides a reliable signposting service to those of us with housing difficulties and gives good advice.    Tel: 0808 800 4444 http://www.shelter.org.uk/

Women's Aid's avowed aim is to bring an end to domestic violence against women and children.  The organisation maintains over 400 refuges, helplines, outreach services and advice centres.

WOMEN'S AID (24 hr helpline) 08457 023 468
Women's Aid in .......
Northern Ireland (24 hr Helpline) 028 9033 1818
Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 027 1234
Republic of Ireland (24 hr Helpline) 1800 341900

www.womensaid.org.uk

Refuge is a UK Domestic Violence Charity Refuge has  a  24-Hour National Domestic Violence

Helpline:   0870-599-5443 

We can also contact our local councils or housing associations for information on emergency housing. Indeed a number of housing associations operate their own women’s refuges which form part of a network of such refuges.

 

This network is extremely useful as it means that we can be referred to another refuge out of the local area. Moving from an area in which we live under the shadow of danger (to another area free from danger) gives us a brand new start and certainly makes a lot of sense.

Counselling and Support

Many refuges offer counselling or can signpost families towards counsellors and therapists.  

Finding a counsellor in the UK couldn't be easier: The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy is the obvious source of information including a search facility to locate counsellors anywhere in the UK.

http://www.bacp.co.uk/

One way to find a counsellor is to ask your GP and ask him or her for a referral to a counsellor. Another method is to use the Yellow Pages.

It should be noted that NHS referrals often involve increasingly lengthy waiting lists but we are usually given the option to go private.

Private sessions can cost upwards from 20 each and most people need several sessions each lasting about an hour. 

The Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling service (RASAC) offers free and confidential support to women and men who have been raped or sexually abused either as adults or as children. 

 

http://rasac.org.uk/ 

Support for children who have experienced domestic violence:

Kidscape This is a voluntary agency whose aim is to promote children’s safety, prevent child abuse and bullying Tel 020 7730 3300 http://www.kidscape.org.uk/  

Lifeline - Help for Victims of Violence in the Home, Sexual Abuse and Incest This is a voluntary agency offering support and advice for families experiencing domestic violence and abuse in the home.

Tel 01262 469 085 

NSPCC  A national charity which aims to prevent child abuse and neglect Tel 0800 800 500 (24-hour child protection helpline) http://www.nspcc.org.uk/html/home/needadvice/domesticviolence.htm  

Useful information:

National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux This is a voluntary agency offering free and confidential advice within the local community. To find your local Citizens Advice Bureau call: Tel 020 7833 2181  Or for online advice and information go to: www.adviceguide.org.uk 

The Samaritans  This is a voluntary agency offering 24 hour support for people feeling depressed, isolated, or in despair. Their national telephone helpline is: Tel 08457 909090 http://www.samaritans.org.uk/

VOICE UK This is a telephone helpline for people with learning disabilities who have experienced crime or abuse Tel 01332 202 555  http://www.voiceuk.clara.net/

BT advice line For advice on how to deal with malicious telephone calls try the BT malicious calls helpline on: Tel 0800 666700 Or the nuisance call advisory bureau on: 0800 661441

For support and advice about drug abuse in children and adults try: http://www.talktofrank.com/gettinghelp/

 

 

 

Please be careful and stay safe.

 

Being classic manipulators, abusers distort and twist our

thoughts, our views and our judgement to suit their own

needs. He or she will control our thinking to the point where

escape seems unthinkable.– so we don't think of it. 

 

Abuser are expert in mind control. They have a gift for manipulating

us to get us to question (and doubt) ourselves. Worse still, they 

make us doubt our own perceptions of ourselves and others.

They twist and distort our thinking and our thoughts our views

 and our beliefs. We become convinced that black is white and

white is black. We begin to see ourselves as being at fault. We

become convinced that we are useless and totally incapable of

surviving without our abuser. Despite all of our faults.

Despite this manipulative mind control, there should come a time

 when we have to accept that enough is enough and we need to 

escape bondage or face serious injury - or worse. 

 

Whenever any of us decide that it is time to bale out of a dangerous (or potentially dangerous) situation we need to take stock of the situation.

The first important step involves us finding out exactly what our options are. What services are out there and open to us? What facilities are available to us? Where we can go and whom can we turn to? In a nutshell, we need to research as much as we possibly can.

At some point we will have to ask for help. 

One of the consequences of abusive BRAINWASHING leaves us feeling unable

to open up and confide in others. Often because we are acutely embarrassed

or even ashamed by what we have been through; and what we may have been

made to do. This makes asking for help extremely difficult, but this really is

something that we really will need to do.

 

 

 

 

 

. In all likelihood there will only be one escape. With this in mind we have to get it right first time. 

Plan your escape

Too many abusers are capable of unbelievable acts of violence right up to (and including) murder. If any of us find ourselves being controlled by such a person (one who is being physically violent to us) and we are living in fear of him or her, then we should seriously consider getting the Hell out as quickly as possible.

This is (of course) easier said than done.

Abusers are classic manipulators. They can distort and twist our thoughts, our views and our judgement to suit themselves.

More often than not, when we find ourselves in the hands of a abuser, he or she will control us the point where escape really does seem unthinkable.– so we don't think of it. 

Abuser are expert in mind control. They have a gift for manipulating us to get us to question (and doubt) ourselves. Worse still, they make us doubt our own perceptions of ourselves and others. They twist and distort our thinking and our thoughts our views and our beliefs. We become convinced that black is white and white is black. We begin to see ourselves as being at fault. We become convinced that we are useless and totally incapable of surviving without our abuser. Despite all of our faults.

Despite this manipulative mind control, there should come a time when we have to accept that enough is enough and we need to escape bondage or face serious injury - or worse. 

Time to Escape

This is no casual decision. This is a very courageous life-changing possibly even life-saving decision, and one which will need to be very carefully thought out

Whenever any of us decide that it is time to bale out of a dangerous (or potentially dangerous) situation we need to take stock of the situation.

Safety first. Escape second

What’s needed now is a safety plan. Escaping from any type of abuse is an extremely serious one-off event. Given that we will probably never get a second chance to escape we need to get it right first time.

Before leaving it is vital to know exactly where you are going to go. This is where research is invaluable. We need to know exactly what agencies are out there, what help they can provide and who to contact.

Whatever happens do not let the abuser suspect for one moment that you are planning to escape. This point cannot be stressed too much, nor too often.

The first important step involves us finding out exactly what our options are. What services are out there and open to us? What facilities are available to us? Where we can go and whom can we turn to? In a nutshell, we need to research as much as we possibly can.

At some point we will have to be able to ask for help.

This is another one of those things which is easier to say than to do. Very often, the consequences of abusive BRAINWASHING leaves us feeling unable to open up and confide in others. Often because we are acutely embarrassed or even ashamed by what we have been through; and what we may have been made to do. This makes asking for help extremely difficult, but this really is something that we really will need to do.

If you don't feel like meeting someone face-to-face that's OK. The good news is that there are many helplines you can call. Helplines staffed by others who have gone through what you are going through. They will understand and they will help.

Your initial research is vital. Be thorough, but be careful. Remember, that itemised telephone billing will reveal who you are calling, so please use a public telephone. Computers can reveal which sites have been researched etc. Do not leave a written plan, notes or phone numbers lying where they can be found by prying eyes.

Share the risk and double your safety. Devise a plan involving one or more agencies. The most obvious one being the police of course. Having established contact with supportive agencies,  set up a careful plan together to escape from the abuser.

You will need somewhere to go. If we choose to stay with friends or relatives then we need to be sure that they are prepared to accommodate us. It is all well and good if they are supportive of your leaving, but, does the one you are escaping from know them and (more to the point) where they live. If he or she does then it may be an idea to think again.   Consider moving to another town or city some distance from the place where the abuse occurred.

If you don’t wish to involve the police, that’s ok there are many other agencies out there - However, If you decide to take the car, make sure it is your car or it could be used to track you.  It might be an idea to contact the police and let them know that you are leaving so that the abuser can't use them to help track you down.

Another possibility are local authorities. These can be an excellent source of help and or information and even if they are unable to help, they could signpost you to someone who can. 

Whoever, your plan involves, ask them to help you to plan for your safe escape. Leave no notes and let them know when you are ready to leave. Arrange a timetable with them. If it is possible try to involve them at every stage of your escape.

In all likelihood there will only be one escape. With this in mind we have to get it right first time. Those who have already escaped recommend us to include the following: Cash. Bank cards, credit cards, cheque books. School records for your children Spare house and car keys. Important documents—birth certificates for you and your children, passport, immigration papers (where applicable) driver's licence, health insurance card, immunisation records, mortgage, phone numbers and anything else you can think of. If you can't take the originals, make copies. house deeds. Address book. (photographs, keepsakes)  Medications, copies of your prescriptions, multiple pairs of glasses. Several changes of clothing. Extra items for child or infant care. Personal and children’s own special items/toys etc

 

Avoid confrontation at all costs. If you have to run – then run. If the abuser flies into a rage and you know he or she is going to become violent – run. If you have to run with just the clothes on your back - run. Your safety is all-important. Get away from the danger, the rest can be sorted out later. Your safety must come first.

 

 

Women and domestic violence

Domestic violence affects many young women across the country, regardless of age, class, race, gender or lifestyle. If you're in a situation you need to get out of, help is available.


There's an estimated 12.9 million incidents of domestic violence a year, and it's not just women who are affected. More worryingly, a quarter of all murders in Britain are the result of domestic violence. The British Crime Survey revealed that one in four women experience domestic violence in their lifetime; every minute in the UK the police receive a call from the public for assistance following domestic violence; and nearly one in five counselling sessions with Relate mentioned domestic violence as an issue in marriage.

Domestic violence is about power and control and is rarely a one-off incident. Abuse is experienced in many different ways and can include a range of physical, sexual, psychological or financial behaviour. Violence usually takes place within an intimate relationship, such as a partner or a family member, and forms a pattern of controlling behaviour where the abuser tries to control and seek power over their victim.

Keep Safe

If you are still living with your abuser, Refuge gives the following advice:

  • Be ready to call 999 if you or your children are in danger;
  • Keep some money and a set of keys in a safe place;
  • Find out about your legal and housing rights, e.g. talk to a solicitor;
  • Keep copies of important papers (passports, birth certificates, court orders, marriage certificate) in a safe place;
  • Carry a list of emergency numbers: police, relatives, friends, etc;
  • Tell someone you trust about the abuse;
  • Make calls from a phone box or a friend's house;
  • Report any injuries to your GP (doctor) so there's a record of the abuse;
  • Talk to family and friends about staying with them in an emergency;
  • Think about escape routes.

Escape routes - where will I go?

It's important to remember that you're not alone. Recognising there's a problem is an important first step and there are several options available if you need to get out fast. These include staying in a refuge, emergency accommodation, or temporarily with family and friends. A refuge is a safe house - a place that will accommodate women and children who are experiencing domestic violence. There are over 500 in the UK and you can choose to be as near or as far to your home as you wish.

There are several ways to arrange refuge accommodation. You could call the national 24-hour Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, or you could try contacting one yourself by looking through the A-Z of local domestic support on the Women's Aid website. Emergency accommodation is usually in a B&B, but will be for a limited period only. To apply for this you need to approach your local council housing department.

Staying with your mates or family will probably be your first choice, but this may not work out over a long period of time. It may be easy for your abuser to work out where you are and friends and family might only be able to accommodate you for a short time - they may even encourage you to go back if they don't know the full story.

"You think to yourself, how can I be in this situation? But you want to make it work."

What are my rights?

Leaving your home doesn't affect your right to return, your tenancy rights or ownership of the home. Whether you rent or own your home, you have the same rights. Being assaulted by somebody you know is still a crime and you have a right to be protected under the law.

The police are the first port of call for women in an emergency. Their role is to protect everybody from harm and to investigate. You can ask to speak with a female officer and an interpreter if needs be.

You may decide that it is safe to return to your home if you get an injunction. There are two types:

  • Non-molestation Order
    This is aimed at preventing your partner or ex-partner from using threatening violence against you or your children;
  • Occupation Order
    An Occupation order regulates who can live in the family home and can also restrict your abuser from entering the surrounding area.

Is it my fault?

No - the abuser is responsible for their behaviour. Placing the blame on somebody else is something that abusers often do to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

The blame game is a common one as Catherine remembers. She says: "When you've been hit you think, 'My God, this is cold-blooded, controlling, calculating stuff'. You think to yourself, 'How can I be in this situation?' But you want to make it work. You love this person and you think it must be your fault, and he tells you it is. He's attractive and successful, people think he's wonderful and he's earning lots of money. You believe the problem lies with you."

Abusers who use alcohol or drugs may say, "I was drunk", or "I don't remember", but this should not be a reason to let someone get away with hurting you. But blaming somebody else or even denying that it happened at all are all ways for the abuser to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions.



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