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Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or anything else. Domestic violence comes in two forms: physical and psychological. Violence in a domestic setting is when someone tried or tries to dominate/control you: this is the only purpose for the abuser. The abuser will use methods to fulfil their purpose of controlling you by doing one or more of the following:
• Making you feel guilty
• Making you fearful of him/her
• Making you feel ashamed
• Intimidating you
• Threatening to hurt you or others you love
• Humiliating and/or yelling at you
• Putting you down and criticizing you
• Ignoring you/your accomplishments
• Blaming you for their behaviour
• Seeing you as property instead of a person
Domestic violence can start off as verbal abuse and escalate into physical abuse. Both forms of abuse are and can be very severe. The psychological aspect means the ‘scars’ are unseen to the eye but the pain and hurt is just as severe and real as the physical abuse. Both can lead to depression, anxiety, feeling like you deserve to be treated that way, like you’re to blame for everything that has happened, feeling hopeless and lost (essentially knocking your confidence and self-worth). No one deserves to be treated in this way. The first step to moving away from a situation like this is to recognise that you’re a victim of domestic violence and accept the reality of the situation. Then, you can get the help you need, often through counselling and/or therapy.
Speak to the victim in private, let them know your concerns and worries. Talk about the things which are concerning you. Let the victim know you’ll be there to support them as and when they are ready to open up and talk about things, reassure the victim that everything will remain between the two of you (the victim will be worried about consequences if the abuser was to find out he/she has told you prior to anything else protecting him/her being in place). Let the victim know you’ll be there to help and support them in any way you can.
• You feel afraid of your partner the majority of the time
• You avoid speaking about certain topics because you fear it
may anger your partner
• You feel like nothing you ever do is right in your partner’s eyes
• You believe that the treatment is what you deserve
• You question yourself – am I going crazy?
• You feel helpless and emotionally numb
• Having injuries with excuses of accidents
• Missing out on school/social occasions or other occasions without explanation
• Dressing in clothes that are designed to hide scars/bruises (wearing long sleeves in the summer or sunglasses
• Abusers may restrict their victims from communicating or from seeing their family and or friends
• The victim will rarely go out without their partner
• The victim has very limited or no access to money, credit cards or a vehicle
• There may be a change in personality: where the victim develops low self-esteem, they become withdrawn, become depressed, anxious or suicidal
If you suspect someone you know is in a Domestic Violence situation – please do speak up. You may end up saving his/her life and you’ll be letting the individual know your concern and that you care about them. Here’s a few do’s and don’ts when speaking to someone who is suffering.
• Do ask if something is wrong
• Show your concern for them
• Listen to what he/she is telling you
• Offer to help and support him/her
• Support his/her decisions
• Wait for him/her to come to you
• Pass judgement or blame
• Pressure him/her in any way
• Give advice
• Place conditions on the support you’re offering
Undergoing domestic violence counselling with me means you will have regular support and will be able to deal with everything in confidence; we work together on your situation, your feelings and emotions, including looking at your self-worth, which will inevitably be very low because of the abuse. Things can improve with the right therapy and support.
If you would like to speak to me in confidence about yourself or someone you know who is or has been a victim of domestic violence, please feel free to contact me.
If you or a loved one has suffered from domestic violence you undoubtedly wish that you could find some magic remedy that keeps that abuse far away, forever.
Call us today, We're here to help.
What is Domestic violence?
Signs you're in a domestic violence situation
Warning signs of abuse
Do you suspect someone is in a situation of domestic violence? Read these do's and don't: