Mother’s Day may bring cards and flowers, but for many it is over-shadowed by domestic abuse.
Independent Domestic Abuse Services, explain how we can help a friend or family member who is experiencing domestic abuse and how, with their support people can move on to lead safe and happy lives.
Jodie, a former client of IDAS tells her story,
“I was having problems with my little boy who was 2 at the time and behaving badly, refusing to go to bed, tantrums etc. After talking to my health visitor about this she told me I needed to contact IDAS for support around domestic abuse. My partner was very controlling about who I saw, where I went, who had access to the money, how I could parent our son, if I could see my Mum and so on but I couldn’t see that at the time and thought everything must be my fault because that is what he told me. I was exhausted.”
“I had support from the IDAS Outreach team because I didn’t want to go into a refuge. After I got my support worker things began to change for the better for me. I was initially scared of meeting her but we got on so well from the very first time and I felt safe enough to talk about everything that had happened in my relationship which I had never done before, it was like getting rid of a big weight. We even managed to have a laugh about some of the stuff which helped to keep things in perspective for me as well. I never imagined that we would smile about things I can now see that it was a much kinder way to help me deal with the things I had to face.”
“Together we worked on understanding how domestic abuse looked in my relationship and how I could spot the signs for a future relationship as well as how to keep my son and I safe. She helped me to recognise that what was happening was not my fault and that it was abuse and so it didn’t feel like it was just my problem anymore.”
With support from IDAS, Jodie has moved on from her abusive relationship and is now able to enjoy Mother’s Day without the shadow of abuse looming over her.
If you relate to Jodie’s story, IDAS can offer advice and support via their helpline. The helpline is open seven days a week on 03000 110 110.
The number of people affected by domestic abuse is thought to be as high as 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 12 men, experiencing some form of domestic abuse in their lifetimes. The NSPCC estimate that 1 in 5 children are impacted by domestic abuse. With figures as high as this it is highly likely that we will all know someone who is affected by domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse has long-lasting affects on families and communities and can often lead to serious injury or death. However, the right support at the right time can help people to stay safe and move on with their lives.
Whether it’s your Mother or daughter, a friend or another family member, if you are concerned that they are experiencing domestic abuse, here is some simple advice:
1. Get help. Call the local domestic abuse service for advice and guidance. Experienced workers can help people to understand their options, carry out risk assessments and safety planning to keep people safe.
2. Share your concerns. Let your friend or family member know that you are concerned about them. Explain what behaviour that you have seen that concerns you. Avoid calling their partner names.
3. Be gentle, supportive and present. Don’t be put off if they are not receptive and try not to cast your judgement on their situation. Avoid pressuring them to do anything but help them to look-into their options.
4. Keep communicating. Don’t give up on a friend or family member, let them know that you will always be there for them even if you just drop them a text once a week.
5. Report. If you are concerned that an adult or child might be at risk of injury or even death report it to the police as soon as possible.
At Independent Domestic Abuse Services, we support anyone who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence. We keep people safe and support people to live lives free from abuse and harm. Last year we supported over 5000 people. If you are concerned for a friend or family member please call us on 03000 110 110. Our support is confidential and non-judgemental. We will listen and explain the options available to people.
Read more about Jodie’s story on our website