Many people who are victims of domestic abuse may be too ashamed to talk about it, or may even believe that it is their own fault and that they deserve it as a result of the abuse. Even if a domestic abuse survivor wants to get help, they may not know who to speak to or where to go. Help for domestic abuse victims is available whenever they are ready to take that step.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a form of domestic abuse. This is habitual abuse which occurs within an intimate relationship or family. A partner or other family member may attempt to control the domestic abuse victim through physical, sexual, emotional, or financial threats or actions. Causing harm to the victim is a form of violence, and can include harassment or stalking. If you are not sure what counts as domestic abuse, here are some of the forms this can take:
- Verbal abuse, insults and threats towards you or people you care about
- Isolating you from other people (especially family and friends)
- Taking your money or monitoring your access to it
- Damaging your personal possessions or living space
- Physical assault (hitting, kicking, pushing, attacking with weapons)
- Forcing you to have sex against your will (rape)
- Ridiculing or humiliating you to undermine you in front of others
- Criticizes you or blames you for everything they perceive as wrong
- Controlling what you wear, where you go, what you do, or who you talk to
- Preventing you from eating, sleeping, or getting medical treatment
- Getting angry often and punching walls or throwing things
Help for Abuse Victims
If you are a victim of domestic abuse and you are in immediate danger from the abuser, you should call the police. When your situation is not an emergency, but you need advice and support on how to deal with domestic abuse, you can find this online or contact your local council, who can connect you to the appropriate organisations in your area that can help you. Domestic abuse support charities and organisations that operate nationwide include:
- Refuge (for women and children)
- Women’s Aid (for women and children)
- Men’s Advice Line (for men)
- ManKind Initiative (for men)
You can get advice on your legal rights and find out what support is available to you if you are planning to escape an abusive situation. It is important to speak out about your abuse to your family and friends, to create a support network who can help you get away from your abuser and keep you away from them if possible. If you experience domestic violence such as physical assault or sexual assault, then you can report this to the police as it is a crime.
Domestic Abuse Crime Support
Domestic abuse victims have the option of reporting their abuser to the police and getting legal protection from them. If the form of abuse is a criminal offence then you can report it to the police, and they can decide whether to arrest and caution or charge the abuser. You may have to go to court if your abuser is prosecuted for their actions against you and the injuries they have caused you. Your abuser does not have to be taken to court or convicted in order for you to apply for domestic abuse compensation. Once you report criminal abuse and get a reference number from the police, you could make a CICA claim within 2 years. The financial compensation award could help you with recovery and getting your life back on track if your claim is successful. If you want to protect yourself against domestic violence in the future, you can apply to the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme to obtain information from the police about a person’s historical record of abuse whenever you enter a new relationship
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