Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?
Domestic Violence is something that can happen to anyone. Although Domestic Violence incidents are most commonly woman being assaulted by their male partners, it is also recognised that men can and do experience violence, and that Domestic Violence also occurs in same-sex relationships. You may feel trapped and unsure of where to go to, or what to do to stop the abuse from happening. However by recognising your experiences as Domestic Violence you have made the first and biggest step.
Domestic Violence Includes...
Physical Abuse: hitting, kicking, punching, nipping, choking, slapping, in fact any physical contact that you feel is abusive towards you.
Emotional or Mental Abuse: includes threats, belittling and intimidating you; bullying and controlling you and the access you may have to friends, family, and finances; preventing you from leaving the home; constantly calling names, criticising, finding fault or telling you that you are worthless.
Sexual Violence: includes being coerced, forced, or manipulated to have sex, or participating in sexual acts against your will; sexual violence also includes degrading you, hurting and abusing you in a sexual way. You may have been experiencing violence or abuse for a long time. People tolerate domestic violence for years, often decades. There are numerous reasons for this:
Staying for the sake of the children. Yet children are often aware of the abuse being perpetrated in the home, and are deeply affected by this experience. Children who are raised in violent environments often experience feelings of confusion, sadness, anger, anxiety, and depression.
These feelings may be exhibited in a number ways. You may become aware that you child or children have become introverted, withdrawn, started wetting the bed, have difficulty in sleeping, try to avoid school, have difficulty in concentrating at school, have problems doing their homework, are reluctant to bring friends home. They may exhibit behavioural problems both in and out of school, or even become aggressive like the abusive parent. This situation can also provide your children with unhealthy role models, where they learn that it is OK to hit, or be hit by, someone you love.
No matter how difficult you imagine raising your children on your own may be, it is better for a child to be brought up in a happy, safe, secure, loving home by one parent than be brought up in a home where a parent is abusive to their partner and domestic violence is taking place. Remember, you have a responsibility to protect your children. They cannot protect themselves. If your partner is being violent towards you, national statistics show that there is a greater risk that he or she may become violent towards your children. If you are currently in this situation you need to ask yourself are you really doing the right thing by staying for the sake of your children?
Staying because you think your partner may change. Unless your partner acknowledges what they are doing and actively seeks help to change it is unlikely that he or she will change, or that the cycle of abuse will stop. It is possible for someone to stop being abusive and violent. However, this requires hard work, determination, and a willingness and openness to take responsibility for their own actions. This cannot be the case whilst they continue to blame you. Remember life is about choices…you did not make them hit you…they can help it… and they can change…if they CHOOSE!
Staying because you still love your partner. You may still love them, but it is possible for love to be destructive, harmful and even lethal. People often stay with an abusive and violent partner on this basis. They may shower you with flowers or gifts, promise never to do it again, and swear their undying love, but if their love is undying, why do they hurt you so?
The promise they will never do it again is likely to be false, or unrealistic, and they will invariably hurt you again. You may even be blamed for them hitting you, with the explanation that you made it happen somehow. You may feel that you can block it out, and this may become easier as time goes by. You may focus on the good bits, where he or she is racked with guilt and trying to make up for the assault or abuse they have subjected you to. This, however, is not real. The reality is the abuse, and until it stops you will always be at risk.
Points to Consider
In a society that appears to becoming more violent, and a world that seems to threaten us at every turn, your home should be a place of security and safety for you. You should feel able to have some control over your life, and be able to have choices and make decisions based on your free will. Domestic Violence stops this from happening. You lose the feeling of safety you deserve, and have the control over your life removed. Domestic Violence removes your feelings of self-confidence, self worth, and your ability for self-determination.
You deserve to be treated with respect, for the one you love to be caring and loving. You should not suffer fear and insecurity in your home. You should not feel you have to live with the constant risk of violence.
You may have experienced abuse in other, previous, relationships, or even as a child, but this doesn't mean you should be content with your situation. You deserve more. If you love someone but they are damaging your health, your safety, your self-esteem, and controlling your life - is it really right to stay with that person?
Don't you deserve to be happy? Should you not have control over your own life? Why shouldn't you have a relationship that offers love, not bruises?
You have the strength to change things. You may feel like a nail that has been constantly hammered, or a rock constantly worn by a harsh, tumultuous sea, but what if the hammer stops falling, or the sea becomes calm?
Domestic Violence is a subject that the Navy takes very seriously. Ministry of Defence Policy clearly states that it will not tolerate its personnel committing Domestic Violence and that it should not be treated as a "private matter".
Equally, the police now support partners who experience violence and actively prosecute offenders where necessary. It is now becoming widely recognised that violence can be perpetrated towards men as well as women, and that it also occurs in gay and lesbian relationships.
There are numerous agencies available who want to help you stop the abuse. You may need support and guidance in leaving and seeking a safer place to live. You or your partner may need help in controlling or changing violent and abusive behaviour. You may need advice or support if a loved one is being abused by their partner. Whatever your need there is help!!
Web site: BBCi Pages on Domestic Violence
Web site: Home Office Pages on Domestic Violence
Support for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence
National Support Line
Telephone Helpline providing confidential emotional support to Children, Young Adults and Adults on any issue including domestic violence. Also keeps details of other agencies, support groups and counsellors throughout the UK.
Phone: 020 8554 9004
Women's Aid National Domestic Violence Helpline
Provide advice, information and temporary refuge for women and children who are threatened by mental, emotional or physical violence, harassment or sexual abuse.
Phone: 08457 023468 - 24 hr
Provide temporary emergency accommodation for women and children escaping from domestic violence. Offering counselling, follow up support and access to community resources and information.
Phone: 0808 808 9999 - 24 hr
Web site: Refuge
Support for Children Experiencing Domestic Violence in their Home or Family
SupportLine offers confidential support to children as well as for adults and young people on any subject, including Domestic Violence, and keeps details of other support and advice agencies.
Phone: 020 8554 9004
ChildLine provides a free national helpline for children and young people in times of distress, stress and danger.
Phone: 0800 1111
Web site: ChildLine
NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
Phone: 0808 800 5000
Web site: NSPCC Child Protection Helpline
Support for Men Suffering Domestic Violence
Provides emotional support, practical advice, legal advice, advice on housing, injunctions etc email.
Phone: 020 8698 9649
SupportLine Telephone Helpline
SupportLine provides emotional support and befriending to children, young people and adults on a wide variety of issues including support to male victims of domestic violence. We can also provide information on helplines and counsellors throughout the UK.
Phone: 020 8554 9004
Victim Support Male Helpline
Helpline for male victims of domestic violence or sexual abuse.
Phone: 0800 328 3623
Support for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence
National helpline for anyone concerned about violence, and specifically violent men who wish to change their behaviour. London based.
Phone: 020 7737 6747
Alternatives to Violence Project - Britain
AVP - Britain offers support and advice for those wishing to stop the violence, and runs workshops across the country for anybody who has difficulty with anger, communication, anyone who wants alternatives to violence.
Phone: 020 7737 6747 - Head Office
Web site: AVP Britain
The Mankind Initiative
Offering support and guidance for female perpetrators of Domestic Violence.
Phone: 0870 794 4124
Web site: The Mankind Initiative