How to Get Help for Domestic Abuse

As you know, life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. While it’s normal to want to believe that nobody could ever hurt you or do something terrible, it does happen sometimes. If you’re in the process of recovering from an attack, especially if it was violent or personal, you might be finding it difficult to cope. It’s important that you take some steps so that you can regain a sense of normalcy in your life, and here are some ways of doing that.

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.

domestic abuse

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: 

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.

How to Find Your Path to Recovery After an Attack:

Accept your feelings

You may be going through a whole range of emotions at the moment, and it’s important to remember that it’s completely normal. You might be feeling anger, sadness, fear, or even the feeling of being numb. It’s important to accept these feelings, as it’s the first step in healing yourself. Remember that it’s okay to take some time to come to terms with what’s happened, and you will have good days and bad days. You can’t be expected to simply overcome what has happened, so take your time and be patient with yourself.

Establish a support system

The last thing you should be doing at a time like this is trying to overcome it alone. Use people that you love and trust around you to lean on them. Sometimes it might be something as simple as having someone to talk to, whereas other days you might need someone to help you with daily tasks if you simply can’t do them yourself. You should also consider joining a support group to share your experience. Talking with others that have gone through similar or the same thing as you can be extremely helpful. And, it’s a safe space to talk through your thoughts and feelings without being judged.

Take legal action

While you might want to forget the whole ordeal ever happened, it’s important to take legal action, especially if the attack was of a criminal nature, like a sexual offence. Taking the time to find a solicitor that specialises in your type of case, like a sexual offence solicitor, can help you get justice in court. Not only that, but going through this process can also help you get the closure you need to heal.

Prioritise your health

Making your health a priority is important at a time like this. While you may not feel like exercising or eating well, it can help you in so many ways. Exercise releases endorphins, which helps improve your mood and may help stabilise you if you’re struggling with your mental health. Regardless of the situation, your body always needs nourishment, and now more than ever it’s important to try and stick to a balanced diet.

Reestablish a routine

Finally, it’s totally normal to want to shy away from your life at a time like this, but reestablishing a routine can help give you a sense of control over your life. Even if it’s something simple like waking up at the same time every day or eating meals at normal times, you can regain your routine and move forward in a positive way.

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