Lets Talk About…Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is a big topic to try to talk about and understand. I’m in the middle of writing a 10,000 word dissertation on the topic so I understand how much there is to talk about. Domestic abuse is a topic that nobody wants to talk about because it’s not pleasant, but we, as a society, need to talk about serious issues in order to raise awareness and to try to end the vicious cycle that the victims experience. The problem will not be solved unless we talk about it and encourage those around us to do the same, so that’s what I am doing here. I am talking about domestic abuse.

I want to stress that I myself have never experienced domestic abuse but I want to encourage anyone who has or is experiencing it to talk to someone they trust about what is happening.  No one should stay in abusive relationship and the sooner that there is help, the better.

What is domestic abuse?:

One of the biggest issues appears to be that domestic abuse is understood to be physical abuse by a man against a woman. This is not true. Domestic abuse is not simply physical abuse but also mental abuse and financial abuse. No one should have to seek permission from their partner to buy clothes or books or anything they want, that is not part of a healthy relationship. Being in a controlling relationship where you’re not allowed to see friends and family without permission is not healthy either. I cannot stress enough that domestic abuse can happen to men. Men should not be ashamed if they’ve been victim to domestic abuse and I would encourage you to seek help and to leave the relationship. Domestic abuse is not specific to heterosexual relationships either, homosexuals experience domestic abuse also. There are charities for women (Women’s Aid), men (ManKind) and homosexuals (Broken Rainbow), all of which are there to provide support and help to those who need it. Do not be ashamed to have experienced domestic abuse.

Talk to Someone:

Domestic abuse situations are hard to get out of. It’s hard to walk away from someone you love especially if you fear being hurt by them. I encourage you to talk to someone you love about what you’re experiencing. Those who love you will be there for you, they want the best for you so shall be there to help and support you. They will be understanding towards you’re experience and they, like me, will not want you to stay in an abusive relationship. If you don’t feel like you can talk to a relative, phone a charity. Again, there are specially trained individuals to provide support and help for you, who will help you to make arrangements for leaving if need be and who will protect you and respect what you’ve gone through. Admitting you’ve been abused is hard and sometimes recognising you’re relationship as abusive is harder. There are many behaviours which can qualify as abusive so sometimes it is difficult to know. If you unsure if a behaviour is normal within a relationship, talk to someone about it. One conversation with a friend or parent could stop future abusive behaviours develop. A special note to guys and homosexuals, don’t fear not being taken seriously. If the police do not listen (which I am ashamed to say occurs far too frequently), contact one of the charities linked above as they will listen and they will help. Abuse is abuse, no matter who it happens to and there are always people willing to help. I would like to stress here that no one ever deserves to be abused, it’s not the victims fault. You’re beautiful and you deserve better!

Everyone else:

An important note for everyone else, let’s note that by spreading awareness of social problems such as domestic abuse, we can make a difference. Part of every social problem is ignorance and by spreading awareness and making those suffering feel supported and encouraged to seek help and talk about their experience and suffering. Together we can end stigmatisation of social problems.

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