Women often want the violence to
end not the relationship.
Despite the impact of domestic
violence or abuse many people, maybe you yourself cannot understand why women stay
in violent or abusive relationships. Abuse can come in many forms including name
calling or put downs, not being allowed to see family or friends, withholding
money, actual or physical harm, sexual assault, using jealousy to control YOU and blaming
YOU for his violence. Victims of domestic violence are usually women
but not always the case.
The main thing is that YOU are not
alone, one in four women suffer or have suffered domestic violence. It is
not easy to seek help and YOU may feel frightened ashamed confused and
It is not easy to accept or
understand that a loved one can act so terribly towards you. Maybe because you
cannot explain your partners behaviour you may assume that you are to blame. YOU
The most important thing to do is
tell someone. The prospect of leaving a violent relationship
can be as frightening as staying. Your partner may have threatened that if
you leave or tell anyone about the violence then your children will be taken
away. Social services will not take children for this reason. We
understand that even after you leave you may still be at risk.
You are NOT
You have the right to live free from
violence and the fear of the violence
You can get help and support:-
whether you have children or not
whether you want to leave your
partner or not
women find it difficult to leave a violent partner or relationship:-
They think he will change
Afraid of what he might do
Do not want to leave the home environment
Do not want to upset the children
Nowhere to go
Cannot afford to leave
Too much in love with him
Do not want to end the relationship
Think the violence was a "once
Family pressure not to leave
Women are faced with complex choices
when they are making choices about leaving their violent partners. For each
woman those decisions are dependent on the particular circumstances she faces.
Problems can be
overcome, below is an experience of one survivor who left the domestic abuse.
" I was married for 6 years
and with my partner for 11 the abuse started very soon into the relationship.
Not physical but verbal calling me names it crept up on me soon he was throwing
things at me and threatening me, not letting me see my friends and hitting me.
After the birth of my daughter the abuse got worse and he would hit me whilst I
had the baby in my arms. I went to my mother in-laws house after one beating and
she phoned him up and he was very apologetic, she sent me back to him saying
that I must try harder to work at the marriage and to always put myself
last. I tried very hard not to upset him, it was like treading on
eggshells. Nothing I did was good enough, everything was my fault and it got to
the point where my daughter would hide behind the sofa and scream whilst he hit
me. I could cope, but my daughter couldn't and one morning just before christmas
I went out to the shops and went to the bus station and caught a bus. We had
just what we were stood up in. I phoned the police and they got in touch with
the refuge for me. There was space for me and I was welcomed and for the first
time in a long time I felt safe. At the refuge they helped me apply for
income support so I had some money and apply for housing in the Darlington area.
I was in the refuge for nearly three months and then I was offered a house.
Nearly a year on I am still rebuilding my life but with a confidence I had
forgotten I had, My daughter is in a new school and has made new friends and we
are enjoying our life together.
Not all women wish to leave the home
or the abuser, you can still get help and support
" I have been married for 19
years and I love my husband. For nearly all my married life I have put up with
my partners violent outbursts. The violence started when I was pregnant with my
first child and continues. I see my outreach worker on a regular basis and she
helps me to realise the violence is not my fault. I have regained some of my
confidence but having someone who I can talk to without being judged and someone
who will listen to me is my lifeline and helps me through."