Living with violence in the home
What is violence in the home?
The UK government’s definition of domestic violence is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, assaultive and coercive behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 and over who are or have been intimate partners or family members.
The vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.
The abuse can be physical, sexual, psychological, emotional such as coercive control, digital or on line, honour based, forced marriage, FGM and financial.
If your behaviour has changed because you are afraid of your partners or family members reaction, then you are in an abusive relationship.
Recognising domestic abuse.
Abusive behaviour can take many forms and can begin at any stage of the relationship. The perpetrator is skilled in blaming and making you feel guilty for their behaviour and the state of your relationship.
Often there is an element of isolation from family and friends; there will be monitoring of mobile devices, checking personal correspondence, telling you where you can and cannot go or locking you in or out of your home.
The abuser may try to distort the truth, lie or withhold information to the point where you lose all sense of reality; this is known as ‘gaslighting’.
You may be criticised or verbally abused, have money taken from your purse or bank account without permission or refusal to help with childcare or housework.
Threats may come in the form of threats to the children, physical violence, withholding money, taking away or destroying your mobile devices, denying you the use of the car, threatening you with the police, social services or mental health team, threatening self-harm and suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to friends and family; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.
You may feel threatened by his anger or his physical aggression to you, your children or pets. He may be destructive and out of control, destroying possessions or threatening to use a knife or gun.
Sexual violence is a very powerful way to intimidate and control someone. Again this can take many forms such as rape, prostitution or any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.
If any of this resonates with you, keep yourself safe.
- Call the Emergency services: 999
- 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline – call 0808 2000 247 for free confidential advice
- Men’s advice line; 0808 801 0327
- Put a black mark on your palm and show it to someone who can help. This is an internationally recognised call for help.
- Tell your GP practice
- Tell your school, teacher, peers
If you need someone to talk to, seek a therapist in your area.
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About Yvonne Barham
I am an independent integrative counsellor and cognitive behaviour therapist. I have worked in the charity sector, the NHS and now I am in private practice. I specialise in anxiety disorders, addictions and sexual assault.
I have diploma's in:
Therapeutic counselling: Level four CPCAB
PgDip in cognitive behaviour therapy: Level five CPCAB