Just over a year ago I posted on this topic following comments from Seema Malhotra the then shadow minister for preventing violence against women and girls.
As it’s that time of year when people often think about making changes in their lives I thought it worth re-posting with an updated checklist.
Malhotra had said that undermining someone’s self-esteem, for example, could be part of a broader pattern of behaviour, “Psychological abuse can be an indicator of physical abuse in the future or an indication of physical abuse that has happened in the past”.
“It can be a part of a pattern of controlling behaviour that leaves people feeling fearful and terrorised in their own homes”.
And that could include being critical of someone’s appearance e.g. saying they look fat or their clothes are not trendy enough, or anything done to control or undermine someone.
Domestic abuse is usually thought of as something men do to women but it can be the other way round and affects people from all backgrounds and ethnicity. It’s estimated that 12 million women and 2.6 million men have been victims of domestic abuse with 30% of women experiencing it since they were sixteen years of age.
It is now the single biggest category of offence in Britain comprising almost 10% of the Crown Prosecution Service’s workload. The figures for harassment rose 13% last year (2013) but the number of prosecutions dropped as victims failed to attend court or retracted their evidence.
The government has a new initiative about abuse which you can read about here.
I reblogged a post a while ago which listed the ways you can be abused but it has disappeared. But here is a list based on one from an organisations which supports SaferLancashire. There will be similar organisations in your area.
- Are you afraid of your partner?
- Do you feel as if you have to walk on eggshells to avoid your partner getting angry?
- Do you get emotional abuse such as insults, belittling comments, ignoring you, sulking or anger when you suggest doing something?
- Are you told who you can be friends with?
- Are you told how you should dress?
- Does your partner try to control other aspects of your life?
- Does your partner get jealous for no reason?
- Is your partner physically abusive e.g. grabbing or pushing you not just hitting you, to get their own way?
- Does your partner have extreme mood swings to the extent you have had to modify your behaviour to avoid them?
- Does your partner make all the financial decisions or control your money?
- Do you find it impossible to express your own opinions and ideas because you fear an angry response?
Saying YES to 2 or more of these may mean you are in an abusive relationship.
You have a right to feel safe. Contact your local helpline in confidence NOW! Don’t let a bully ruin your life.