Domestic Violence is a topic I find hard to discuss openly, but the thought of someone going through what I did has pushed me to write this, to raise awareness of something that has affected me personally. At the age of 16/17 I entered a new relationship that was all seemingly okay to begin with, yet now I recognise there were many warning signs of what was to come. I never thought for one moment at that age I would be victim to abuse from a partner, I would of never of believed it could happen to me. I remember vividly me telling my friends the control was getting worse, the phone checking, the talking down to me – yet I just thought it was a bad phase we were going through, I never thought it would turn physical. Yet when it did, I was so in touch with my pride that I could not bring myself to tell anyone, I would just hide away, cover up more with make-up and clothes.
This was till I had enough and ended the relationship. It was not over though, the messages of abuse turned to stalking which resulted in an attack in public on my 18th birthday, something that destroyed the person I was for a good couple of years after. I remember vividly sat feeling exposed in the police station as the policeman took my statement, stupidly when asked if anything like this had happened before I stated ‘no’ – I was petrified of the truth coming out scared of what people may say and how people will see me going forward. I was scared of being hurt more, yet I wish now I had spoken out more. Yet all I think when I think back to that night is the police saying, “If you go back to him again, you will end up dead don’t think it won’t happen again.”
UK: statistics on Domestic Violence.
- It will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime.
- Leads to on average, two women being murdered each week and 30 men per year.
- Is the most quoted reason for being homeless (2002, shelter).
- Has more repeat victims than any other crime and accounts for 16% of all violent crime.
- Estimated 2 million adults aged 16-59 experienced domestic abuse last year.
(gov website and lwa.org.uk)
Image: Sebastian Smith
What are the warning signs of Domestic Violence?*
- They make threats.
- They put me down when we’re alone or with friends.
- They make me do things I do not want to.
- They make me feel guilty.
- They hit, slap or push me.
- They look through my phone, social media or web history.
- They want to know where I am all the time.
- They cheat on me or accuse me of cheating on them.
- They steal from me or make me buy them things.
- They make me have sex when I don’t want to.
None of these behaviours are okay.
What to do if me or someone I know is going through domestic abuse?
- Call the police
- Speak to a teacher, parent or boss.
- Leeds women’s aid
- Contact local charities.
- Stay at friends or families.
- Behind closed doors
- Leeds domestic Violence service – 0113246 0401
I do not sit here passing judgement on anyone’s relationship but what I do know now is, it will happen again he/she won’t stop; just end the relationship, leave and most importantly speak out, it’s scary but you can’t let it continue and do not make excuses for them. It is not okay what they are doing and most importantly you’re not to blame.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence please contact services, reach out and get help it can save a life.
We hope you found this blog informative. Find out more about abuse and neglect.
*Ref: Victim Support