Domestic abuse is very common; approximately 1.3 million women suffer abuse in some form every year. Often women experience more than one type of abuse which have a wide range of effects on both physical and mental wellbeing. Whilst some men will also expereince domestic violence the most serious and severe incidents happen to women by men.
Domestic abuse affects the whole family.
Every child deserves a safe and secure home.
Nearly 2 in 3 children exposed to domestic violence are also directly harmed.
Witnessing domestic abuse can have long term effects on children and young people. More information can be found here.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is not always physical violence . It can also be:
- coercive control (this is an act or a pattern of acts of assualt, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim)
- economic abuse (financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner's current and future actions and their freedom of choice)
- online abuse
- threats and intimidation
- emotional abuse
- sexual abuse
Pregnancy can trigger an increase in the frequency and intensity of abuse and many women will experience it for the first time during their pregnancy.
We know that people suffering abuse often want help but feel they cannot speak out; this is why all health care staff have been trained to ask you about your relationship and if you feel safe at home. Midwives, GP’s and Health visitors will support you and your family offering advice and referral to a specialist worker if this is needed.
Please speak to your midwife if you need any support or call one of the help line numbers in the box below.