Awareness of Domestic abuse
I understand this is a difficult subject to discuss and be aware of, but I feel it is important to discuss it as we will be working so close to families and in the home.
Every minute the police in the UK receive a call for assistance in connection with an incident of domestic abuse, domestic abuse counts for one-quarter of all recorded violent crime in the UK.
Most often the victims are woman, who become particularly vulnerable while pregnant or preparing to leave their partner.
Domestic abuse can come in many forms such as :
Physical abuse, hitting, slapping, pushing, pulling hair, punching, kicking, biting, twisting limbs, choking, burning and stabbing.
Psychological and emotional, ridiculing, criticising constantly, threatening or humiliating, telling her she is worthless, ugly, demands things are done in an exact way, constantly checking up on her, preventing contact with family and friends, checking up on her movements, destroying treasured possessions, making threats to harm child, take the child away, find her if she leaves, say she is mad and have her locked up.
Sexual abuse, forcing sex in ways that hurt or humiliate, forcing sex with his friends, forcing her to watch porn, rape.
Financial, depriving her of money for essentials and making her beg for money, openly spending money on himself and others but not her.
It is estimated that 33% of woman experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Which is worryingly high statistic and in Britain a woman is killed by her partner every 3 days.
Often woman are afraid to reach out for help because:
They feel ashamed for other to know about it
think others wont believe them
fear it will only make things worse
think he will change
feel they have failed
come to believe its their own fault.
They have nowhere to go
they have no money of their own
fear they will loose their children.
know that their children love him
While this information can be upsetting and hard-hitting it is important we are aware of it, as we are in peoples homes we need to firstly keep ourselves safe if there is a perpetrator around we need to know the signs but equally if the mum does confide in us we need to reach in and offer her support, however, this does not mean just telling her to get out of there, it is her choice and her right to decide how she wants to proceed and when she feels ready to do so. We can only provide website links and information to help her make her own decisions.
We are well within our rights to refuse to return to a house if we suspect something like this is going on and we don’t feel comfortable going in, however, we could still continue to support the mum over the phone if we felt we were able to do this.
Website to look at :
www.mysistersplace.org.uk (or your local refuge place)