Domestic abuse affects at least one in six men nationally. Children
and young people are also affected by domestic abuse and domestic violence is reportedly a factor in 1 in 4 suicide attempts
However, physical violence does not have to be present for a situation
to be abusive. The fear of violence is often enough to control, intimidate and isolate many (if not most) of us. Abuse can
be physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or even spiritual and occurs irrespective of race, gender, class and age. It
usually occurs within a family (or between partners or ex-partners) and involves the power and exercise of control by one
of us over another.
Domestic abuse can also affect our housing, health, education and our freedom
to live freely and without fear.
One common form of abuse is manipulation. This is often used to twist and
to distort our sense of reality; this usually succeeds in us convincing ourselves that it’s ok to be abused. It’s
ok, because it’s our fault. Moreover, we have no way out of our situation.
Whenever any of us experience abuse we could use the support of someone
we can trust and who will listen to us in confidence. Critically, LISTEN to us without JUDGING us. A fellow human being who
can give us practical advice (if we ask for it) as well as provide or signpost us to sources of help and real support.
WE don't have to suffer in silence. Whenever any of us is being frightened, hurt or abused by anyone (including family members)
we should not stay silent. Our silence is our abusers greatest weapon against us.
Abuse has been compared with slavery.
Slavery is the social status of specific persons known as slaves
who are under the control of another person the slaver or slave owner.
Historically, slavery has generally occurred as a means of securing the
labour of the slave, without the right of the slave to refuse, leave or receive anything in return for thier labour other
than food, accommodation and clothing.
Slaves attempting to escape would expect to be savagely beaten or even killed.
Their crime being to deprive their owners of their owners property.
Thanks to the endeavours
of individuals such as William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln; Slavery officially ended in the British Empire in 1833
and the United States in 1865. This being so; none of us are born into slavery, and none of us should be kept as slaves.
the abolition of slavery, today, unknown millions of us continue to exist as the personal property of others. Trapped
in abusive relationships. Controlled and owned by those who abuse us.
comparison between being trapped in an abusive relationship and being a slave is unfortunately,
a tragically good comparison.