3 articles Tag violence

The Effects of Domestic Abuse and Why You’re Not Alone

The effects of domestic abuse vary from person to person depending on their circumstances. Abuse can come in many forms. Physical attributes, such as bruising, broken bones, scars and burns, can be very hard to deal with, and are the most obvious signs of abuse from a partner, friend, family member or anyone you have a relationship with. But what about the mental effects of domestic abuse? These are harder to spot, and worryingly, only around 40% of abuse survivors have the courage to speak to friends or family about their ordeal. If you know someone who has survived an abusive relationship, it’s important to understand that, although they can claim compensation for abuse, they will still need help moving on emotionally. Below are some common effects of domestic violence to look out for. You can learn how to spot them, offer help and be there for survivors.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an anxiety disorder which occurs after a stressful or traumatic event. When you have PSTD, you tend to relive your experiences in the form of flashbacks and nightmares. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from PTSD, then speak to them. Some symptoms include avoidance, alcohol misuse and more. PTSD can be treated thanks to therapy. The earlier someone sees a therapist, the earlier their PSTD can be treated.

Suicidal Tendencies

People with suicidal tendencies will usually not openly show any signs of their turmoil. However, if you suspect someone is depressed or suicidal, ensure that they cannot harm themselves with household objects, such as knives. Another way to keep them safe is by hiding any pills that can cause harm in large amounts.

Emotionally Numb

If you have noticed that your loved one has become socially detached, excusing themselves from social events, acting strange or not emotionally responding to certain events, then they may be showing signs of emotional numbing. This is a typical symptom of PTSD, depression and anxiety. They may not even know they’re excluding themselves emotionally. In order to open up a dialogue, mention that you’re concerned for their mental health, and that you will be there for them if they need to speak to a professional.

Anger

Not everyone is the same, and many people may lash out as a response to their emotional trauma. If you’re experiencing this, it may be a good idea to sit your loved one and down, and explain that although you are here for them as a friend or partner, you will not tolerate anger in your direction. Usually, anger is used a reaction by someone who cannot emotionally understand their trauma. Many therapists can address this.

Guest post by Gina Kay Daniel

Child Neglect and Abuse: How to Spot the Signs

As mothers, there’s nothing more worrying than the sight of a child who looks to be abandoned, neglected or abused. Sometimes the signs are obvious. There might be physical damage on the child, scars or other painful marks on their bodies. At other times, it might not be physical at all, but the mental damage reflects on how the child responds to being spoken to and the lack of interaction they go through.

Source: Pexels

There are many signs of child neglect and abuse, and it’s important for us mothers to understand the signs so that we can help not only our own child but to prevent other children from suffering consequences as well. If you’ve ever gone to a school meeting and noticed children with very aggressive parents who push their children around or children that rarely show up to parent meetings, then you might want to speak with the child or their parents and try to understand the situation. If it’s not obvious, then here are a few signs that the child could be suffering from abuse.

Slower Development

If there are children you know who are suffering from slow development, it could be a sign of abuse or neglect. Children who are abused suffer mental damage that prevents them from focusing on school and interacting with other children. As a result, they might fall behind in their studies or decline invitations to birthday parties or outings with their friends. If you think this may be the case, then speak with the child and prepare to speak with their mother and father. If the situation doesn’t remedy itself or improve over time, then consider contacting a service like CICA UK. As parents, we should be intervening when we see a child suffering from abuse and neglect, and services like CICA UK help us get justice for the child.

Source: Pexels

Unusual Behaviour Around Their Parents

Some of the most glaring signs will be when the child is around their parents. If they child is otherwise healthy and happy, but they suddenly turn very frightened or anxious around their parents, then that mood change is most likely a sign of the amount of stress and pressure their parent puts on them. The child might constantly try to make up for the parent’s mistakes or apologise on their behalf, or they might even be completely afraid of the parent. Some parents will claim that it’s doing their children no harm, but that’s just an excuse to cover up their poor treatment of their child.

Acting Violently

Children that have been neglected often pick up behaviour issues because they don’t have a role model or a parent to teach them how to act responsibly. If you notice that a child can get very violent very quickly, or that they are using swear words and vulgar language, then it is likely a case of child neglect that has led to that development. Older children might act more violently or in unusual ways, such as smoking, using drugs or having sex from an early age. These are very major signs and you should do your best to speak with the child or a counsellor so that they child can receive help before it’s too late.

Source: Pexels

Domestic Violence and The World Cup

world cup domestic violenceI read a really disturbing report in The Guardian the other day which said that police forces are expecting the World Cup to have a negative impact on the levels of domestic violence across the UK. According to figures, “violent incidents increased by 38% when England lost – but also rose by 26% when they won”. What’s even more worrying, is that that figure has incresed with every tournament since 2002, with rates of domestic violence during tournaments at an all-time high. The combination of increased alcohol consumption, disappointment of losing or excitement at winning is being blamed for the spike in figures. 

The interesting (and I mean that in the gravest sense, obviously) thing is that the violence is not just ‘men hitting women’, but female on male as well as within gays couples. Husband was recently teaching Sausage about self-defence and he told her that boys should never hit girls, a sentiment with which I agree but I think there’s more to add to that statement:

1. Yes, boys should never hit girls, but girls shouldn’t be hitting boys, either.

2. If you hit a boy, don’t just expect that he won’t hit you back because you’re a girl.

3. If you hit anyone, you’re opening yourself up for retaliation.

As a mother to girls, it’s really easy to feel indignant about male-on-female violence, but I think it’s important that we also remember that violence works both ways. Yes, sexual dimorphism in humans means that men are generally bigger than women and have greater strength, but be honest – if you have sons, wouldn’t you be just as indignant about one of them being abused by a wife or girlfriend?

The other day, Husband and I were in the supermarket and we were mucking around, having a joke and a bit of banter with each other, when I jokingly said to him “I’m going to thump you when we get home!”. It was clearly said in jest and no-one batted an eyelid, but what if it had been said the other way around? If you heard a man, even jokingliy, say to his female spouse “I’m going to hit you later”, would you be able to take it with a pinch of salt, or would you secretly be wondering if he was a wife-beater? We’re hypocrites when it comes to domestic abuse, as the video below illustrates brilliantly:

What’s even more scary is that the experts now think that children who see domestic violence happening are perpetuating the behaviour as adults and continuing the negative cycle. A quote from an article in The Guardian said:

Chief Constable Stephen Kavanagh said: “These trends are well established and the worrying thing is there is an increase from tournament to tournament. We have to ask – are perpetrators becoming increasingly confident? Are we seeing intergenerational abusers?

“One of the things that we are looking at is around learned behaviour and this is causing us concern. Are there now people who have seen their parent behave in this way during tournaments who now think it is acceptable for them to do the same?

Its got to the point now where concern over the rise in domestic violence during the World Cup (over 25% in Lancashire in 2010) is so significant that local authorities are running poster campaigns on bus stops and billboards, urging people not to be violent to their partners during this tournament.

I’ll just stop and let you absorb that for a moment.

We’re putting posters up to REMIND people not to abuse their significant other.

I’m sorry, but that scares the shit out of me. Has society really degraded to that point? Do we need to get the ladies in Waitrose to remind us; “Here’s your change, receipt and little green token, sir. Enjoy the match tonight and DO remember not to beat the living daylights out of your wife!”

I’m not making light of domestic violence or being glib about such a horrible situation but there’s no denying that the figures speak for themselves. What makes this even worse is that the increase is still only representative of the incidents which are actually reported…it’s estimated that 70% of domestic violence actually goes unreported, which means that the figures are nauseatingly higher than we really think they are. People are reluctant to report things because they think they won’t be taken seriously, or put themselves or their families in further danger. I have a good friend who used to be a constable in the Metropolitan Police and they’ve confided in us on more that one occasion that it’s unbearably disheartening to charge someone for a horrible, violent offence only for judges to hand out piffling, insultingly short sentences – is it any wonder people are too scared to report things when they know their abuser will be a free person within a matter of days?

I don’t know what the solution is here – I truly wish I did. All I know is, any kind of violence is wrong and we need to be doing more to teach our children this.

If you’re suffering any form of domestic abuse, be you male or female, straight, gay or anything else, you MUST get help. Refuge are an amazing charity which helps victims of domestic abuse and there are also lots of other charities working in specific areas who can help with emergency housing needs and much else besides.