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Domestic Violence - Who Can You Turn To?

 Are you a victim of this hidden crime?

Being a victim of Domestic Violence is extremely heartbreaking and sometimes very much misunderstood, by outsiders.

Too often, you may hear people say,:-

However, when you are in a relationship with a person who wants to be in total control of your life, who uses threatening and abusive behaviour , or who plays mind games, in order to make you do what they want you to do, then confidence and self esteem becomes a big issue.  Why?  Because living under any one of these conditions, deeply affects your confidence and self esteem.

How can this happen?

How would you describe the personality of an Abuser/Perpetrator?

Unfortunately an abuser is definitely not strong and confident, he or she is the entire opposite.  What makes them appear so, is because he/she may have a domineering personality.

Too often, vulnerable and less confident men and women can be drawn to ‘charming and friendly’ individuals who seem to have lots of charisma and who appear to have strong personalities.  The problem is, that until they live with them or get into a relationship with them, they have no idea what they are letting themselves in for. 

Men who physically, sexually, and mentally abuse their womenfolk, do so over a period of time.  First by gaining their  partner’s trust, then their love.  They may shower you with gifts and at first tell you that there is no one in the world who is more perfect for them, than you are.  Then slowly, over a period of time, their personality seems to take on a different meaning.  They demand to know your whereabouts 24 hours a day, want to tell you who you can spend your time with.  Demand that their meals be on the table when they get home from work and the house to be spotless or for things to be the way they want them to be.

When and if you are allowed out on your own, they constantly bombard you with text messages/phone calls.  He/she may insist on dropping you off and picking you up, because it makes them feel like they are in control of you, although you may see it differently – it may give you a false sense of security or delude you into thinking your partner really cares about you.

Some Abusers even want to tell you who you can spend your time with, or choose your friends for you.  Does any of this sound familiar?

Jenny (the name has been changed for confidentiality purposes) was one such victim.  Her boyfriend seemed to be very loving and caring when she first met him.  When he asked her to move in with him, she thought she had found the man of her dreams.  Then she got pregnant.  He became angry when she gave him the news of the pregnancy.  He insisted she had an abortion.  When she refused, he attacked her and she miscarried.  Bruised and battered she sought help from the doctor, who referred her to a counsellor, but by that time, she was well and truly under his control.  “He’s not always like this, he can be so loving, and he doesn’t really mean to hurt me”, was her response the concerns expressed by her GP.  “It’s just that he has such a temper on him”. 

Several months later, Jenny soon realised that her man was never going to change, and after much pleading from her parents, she found the strength to leave him and go back home to stay with them.   The Police were called and her boyfriend was issued with a caution.  Unfortunately, the caution did not deter him, so Jenny was forced to seek legal advice and had a court order placed on him, to stop him from trying to gain access to her Parents’ house. 

It was several months before the texting and the emailing stopped.  Through counselling, Jenny was able to find the courage to ignore his text messages and choose not to respond to his emails.  In fact she changed the sim card in her phone and he was no longer able to contact her.

Other cases I have dealt with have been pertaining to perpetrators who were addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling.  Consequently, life gets even more difficult, as Mary found out.  (The client’s name was changed for confidentiality purposes)

Mary’s  husband often came home drunk and dishevelled from nights out with his friends.  He would knock her about and the kids would be cowering in a corner wondering what the hell was going on.  If they made a sound he would start to physically abuse them. Does this sound familiar?

Mary had to hide money from her husband because if not he would take it from her and spend it all on booze.  She found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.  Her husband would insist she give him the money for his ‘fixes’, rather than allow her to spend it on shoes or clothes for the kids.  Sometimes, Mary found it hard to scrape enough food together to put a meal on the table. 

Things came to a head one night, when Mary’s husband came home, drunk and decided to wreck the house and nearly killed Mary in the process,  just because his tea was’nt on the table when he got home.  Luckily, a nosey neighbour stepped in and the Police were called.  By this time Mary had had enough and allowed the Police to place her and her children in a ‘safe house’.  Mary has never gone back.

So, when do you decide enough is enough?  Do you wait to see whether you will have to be hospitalized or be nearly beaten to death before you choose to walk away?  There is help out there for victims of domestic violence, such as the Samaritans, your GP/Community Nurse, or the Police.  There are also specific agencies, who you can turn to in Sheffield and the rest of South Yorkshire, details of which are listed below.

If you are suffering or have suffered at the hands of a violent person, then give someone a call.  Please, do not wait until it is too late.  You owe it to yourself and your children, if you have any, to be safe and most of all respected.  The following links may help:-

Barnsley Domestic Violence Group

01226 731 812

www.barnsleydvg.org

Sheaf Domestic Violence Project

Helpline: 0800 073 8882

0114 249 8881

www.sheafdas.co.uk

Sheffield Domestic Abuse Forum

www.sadaf.org.uk

Samaritans

08457 90 90 90

Sheffield Women’s Aid

 

0114 2725581/2426887

RODA (for those whose lives are affected by drugs)

 

0114 2314443

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