Book 2 of the Frangel series to be released soon!
Book 2 of the Frangel series to be released soon!
Instead, why are people not asking "WHY DOES (S)HE NOT JUST STOP? "
If it was easy for a person, who is being abused by their partner, to "just leave" then they would have done it. Unfortunately, its not as easy as it sounds, for numerous reasons.
But, by asking someone this question, you are not supporting them, and are actually making them feel worse. The majority of the time someone who is living with domestic abuse, already feel hopeless, worthless and a real sense of failure. By asking this question, you are reinforcing what they are already feeling.
These are just some of the reasons a person cannot "just leave":
*Fear. Fear and Fear!
*It is known that one of the most dangerous times for a domestic abuse victim is when they try to leave their abusive partner and this fear will often stop them from leaving.
*The abuser tells them they can't live without them and if they go, they will kill themselves.
* They genuinely love their partner and believe them when they say they will change.
*Guilt! The abusive partner blames them every time they get abused, stating if they hadfdone something. . . for example, been late home . . . they wouldn't have got angry. The abused person starts to believe it really is there fault.
* After they have been abused, the abusive person will often cry and tell them how sorry they are, promising never to do it again. The abused person will feel sorry for them and believe they can change, so they wait for it to happen.
*Because they love their partner, the abused person will wait for that moment of love and affection which makes it all worthwhile. However, the periods between the abuse and affection gradually get further apart, without much notice. A few days waiting for that moment of love and affection, turns to a week. . . a few weeks . . . a month. . . a few months . . a year. . . a few years. . . but they know that moment is coming and when it does, it seems worth it because by the time months and years have passed they feel so worthless anyway, that the affection makes it worth it.
Their partner has convinced them nobody else will have them if they do leave. By this time, the abused person has lost so much confidence that they stop believing what they once thought to be true, and start believing the labels they have been given by the abuser.
*They don't want to upset, or lose, their children as they have been told by the abuser that they will take them to court and tell the courts that they are a bad parent.
*The abusive person has often controlled all the finances, so the abused person will not havew the financial means to support themselves.
*No support, as they have usually been isolated from family and friends.
*The abuser uses Gaslighting techniques to make the abused person think they are going mad. Gaslighting is an attempt by one person to overwrite another's reality, by saying things like:
You're mad - that never happened."
"You're making that up, it's all in you head."
"You did do/say that."
*Just when the abused person can literally take no more, and gets close to breaking point, the abuser offers a small gesture of kindness and because it doesn't happen often the abused person feels a deep, and out of proportion, sense of gratitude. Because the [temporary] relief from abuse is so great, the abused person is full of admiration for the abuser.
This is the point when they are at risk of adopting the values the abuser wants them to, as they look within and see only faults within themselves and only good in the abuser, who will have appeared as the "rescuer".
The abused person has no idea what they did wrong, but they just know that it is by being themselves that always seems to create the problems, so they stop trying to just be themselves and start trying to be the person the abuser wants them to be, as that is the only way the abuse stops/is prevented.
*From the stage above, the abused person starts to feel guilty about who they were, reducing their confidence even further as they believe they were a "bad" person. As their confidence is eroded, their dependency on their abuser is increased. As soon as the abused person starts to show signs of their old personality again, the abuser will reinforce previous cycles until the abused person no longer tries to be who they were and is a version of the person the abuser wants to control.
*Abuse needs silence! Silence by the abused person . . . who tells nobody, because the abuser is often a "well liked" person in the community - a very different version of who they are at home. The abused person fears they will not be believed, or believe that the abuser is capable of such abuse, so they stay silent, telling nobody.
If you are in, or healing from, an abusive relationship, please know that there is hope.
If you find yourself in this situation, please seek support - you will be believed.
A very effective way of getting rid of the darkness (abuse) is to shine a light on it (tell someone)
Abuse can only thrive and survive in the darkness - it's NOT your fault and it's ok to let your light shine.
There are many reasons why someone cannot just leave, but until they can, it is essential that they take a few simple steps to help protect themselves.
These are just a few suggestions on how someone can communicate that they need help:
*Agree a sign with a friend or neighbour, for example:
*Text a pre-agreed code word
*Hang an agreed piece of clothing out of a window
*Have them call you at the same time each week.
*Have a code word if its not safe to talk
*Have a different code word if you want them to call the police for you.
PLANNING FOR SAFETY IF YOU ARE BEING ATTACKED OR FEAR IT IS IMMINENT
There are a few things you can do to minimise your risk should your abuser try to attack you:
*Teach your children how to call 999
*Try to communicate a sign to a friend/neighbour (as above)
*Have an escape route planned and should you be attacked, try to get yourself near to that pre-planned route.
*Speak to a friend/relative and arrange for somewhere to stay, short-term, once you leave. Ensure this is not somewhere your partner would expect you to go.
*Try to avoid going into a room, such as the kitchen, where there are implements that could be used to hurt you.
*If you can, keep your mobile phone on your person, so you can call 999 if you are able to lock yourself in ai room.
*WHY PLAN AHEAD AND NOT JUST LEAVE?
It is known that when someone tries to leave an abusive partner, they are at an increased risk of violence. By carefully planning, you can minimise the risk and ensure you have some essentials already in place - for example, somewhere to go, someone to take your children for the day/night, a bank account, ensure your pets are in a safe place.
Its not possible for many, but an emergency bag is a good idea if you know you can have it somewhere that it won't be found. Some things you could consider putting in the bag are:
*Cash, if you can safely put some away
*Bank account details
*Clothes to last a week
*Mobile phone charger
*Key and spare key for your home
*Anything of sentimental value, such as jewelry or photographs
When you know you are ready to make plans to leave, you should speak to a professional who will be able to help and support you. You will find a list of such professionals on the resources page
However, there are times when planning is not an option and you just need to escape from the situation.
The most important thing to remember is that the SAFETY of you [and your children] MUST ALWAYS BE A PRIORITY.
Unfortunately, many people fear being judged or criticised, whilst feeling ashamed or embarrassed that they are being abused by their partner. For this reason, the safe spaces below are supported, and recognised by staff who work there, so you can be helped discreetly.
The Safe Space scheme give you somewhere to phone a helpline, contact a support service or talk to a friend or family member. People can also speak to a trained staff members or contact the local police if necessary.
Staff have been given specialist training to increase their confidence in responding to disclosures of domestic abuse, so will be well placed to help you.
ASK FOR A SAFE SPACE
You can also go into a pharmacy, or a branch of boots, and ask for a safe space. All staff are aware that if this request is made, to take you into a private room and have someone speak with you so you can be helped in a way that best supports you.
Some supermarkets and banks are also operating safe spaces.
ASK FOR "ANI"
You can also go into a pharmacy, or boots, and ask for "ANI". Again, all staff are trained to recognise that you are asking for a safe space and you will be shown to a private room where you can be supported. ANI stands for "Action Needed Immediately".
THINK SAFETY FIRST
It is known that when someone tries to leave an abusive partner, they are at an increased risk of violence.
By carefully planning, you can minimise the risk and ensure you have some essentials already in place - for example, somewhere to go, someone to take your children for the day/night, a bank account, your pets in a safe place.
When time comes to leave, you may not be thinking straight, so some advanced preparation can help you when that time comes.
Consider some of the following:
There are times when planning is not an option and you just need to escape from the situation.
The most important thing to remember is that the SAFETY of you [and any children] MUST ALWAYS BE A PRIORITY.
I DO NOT WANT TO MOVE OUT OF OUR FAMILY HOME
If you wish to stay at your home address and it is either in your name, or joint names, there are several option open to you. If the abusive person has been arrested, you can ask the police to ensure there are bail conditions to prevent them returning to that address, from contacting you, or approaching you at your place of work etc. You can also ask them to apply for a non harassment order on your behalf.
If there are no criminal proceedings, you could apply for an interdict through your solicitor.
Please click HERE to read more about the options above if you live in Scotland.
Please click HERE to read more about the options above if you live in England.
Please click HERE to read more about the options above if you live in Wales.
Please click HERE to read more about the options above if you live in Northern Ireland.
Unfortunately, if the house is in your partners name and you moved in with them, you may have no alternative than to find alternative accommodation.
A refuge is a place for women, who are fleeing domestic abuse, and need somewhere safe to stay. Their locations are not advertised, or well known, and are kept confidential. There are over 500 refuges, and support services in the UK.
You do not need to be married, have children or be a certain age to go into the refuge and whilst you do get race/religion specific refuge's, any female of any race/religion can find safety in one.
If you do have children, there are some refuge's which have self contained family flats, however males over the age of 16 will rarely be allowed to stay, with some refuge's having an upper age limit of 13 or 14 years old. You can check with the refuge you hope to stay in - details can be found on the resources page.
You can declare yourself homeless to your local authority, who will provide you with emergency accommodation. This is often a bed and breakfast to start with, just so you have somewhere safe to stay, to allow you time to find alternative accommodation.
You may be entitled to a house/flat from the local authority, however this is something you would need to discuss with them.
There are numerous other agencies who may be able to help. You can reach out to them by finding the one that seems most suited to your needs on the resources page.
Do you have a pet(s) you do not want to leave behind, preventing you from leaving your abusive partner?
The dogs trust "Freedom project" is there to help you, by placing your dog in temporary foster care, until you are ready to leave and are settled in a home where you can have him/her back again.
They will not only help you plan the safe hand over of your precious pet, but they will keep you up to date with their progress, sending you updates and photographs to a place you are safe to receive them.
Please click HERE to find out how to access their services.
The pet fostering service Scotland can help you with all other pets.
You can access their website HERE to see how they can help you.
The pet fostering service for England can help you with all other pets.
If you have cats, please click HERE to see how this cat fostering service can help you.
Please watch the video below to hear from a victim of domestic abuse who was able to leave her abusive partner, thanks to help from the dogs trust.
Once you have managed to leave your partner, there are a few things you can do to help keep yourself safe from your partner.
*Tell him/her you do not want to speak with them. This is a very vulnerable time for you and they will promise you the world just to get you back.
*If they keep calling you, block their number from your phone.
*Change all your password, making sure you do not use anything that would be known or easy to guess.
*If you haven't already, get a new bank account.
*Change any habits you have, such as walking a certain way to work, or going to certain places on a specific day/time. Change your shopping place/day/time.
*Tell your employer about your situation, so they can provide you with some space if you need it but also ensure they know not to pass any of your personal information to anybody.
*If relevant, tell your child's school/nursery about your situation and make them aware of the childcare arrangements (if any) which are in place and if they should be collected by anybody other than you.
*Keep a journal of any contact the abusive person tries to make with you.
*Confide in a friend and discuss how you feel, it is most likely to be normal and expected, but discussing with someone you trust can help you see this.