The report on an alleged public attack upon Nigella Lawson was not pleasant reading. Clearly, the involvement of her husband has reignited the debates surrounding domestic violence. Domestic violence does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, both men and women from any background. The majority of it happens behind closed doors. We know that no-one should be faced with this pain or living in an abusive relationship. Yet those affected by abuse are increasing as reported by Womens Aid – 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime – many of these on a number of occasions and on average, two women are killed per week by a current, or former life partner. Women end up ashamed and do not realise that help is out there.
Physical abuse might be recognisable to the naked eye, but the majority of clients I see are often faced with ‘invisible’ emotional and psychological abuse. They arrive confused, ashamed and often not really aware of what has happened to them. They bring feelings of self-hate, helplessness, low self-esteem and desperation. They find they cannot trust anyone and live in fear. Leaving an abusive relationship is just the first step, but it can be difficult to find a route to happiness and healing. They might have to endure a difficult and challenging journey as they regain self-esteem, reduce anxiety and re-dress self-hate.
Counselling offers them a safe, confidential environment where they can address the above feelings and it helps them work through their issues. This enables them to find a route to getting their life back on track and move on. It’s not an easy path but with the right support you can start turning your life around.
National Domestic Violence Helpline, is a free 24 hour national service for women experiencing domestic violence, permitting their family, friends, colleagues and others to call on their behalf if necessary. Ring 0808 2000 247
The Survivor’s Handbook from Womens Aid is free and provides information on a wide range of issues such as housing, money, helping your children and your legal rights.
Broken Rainbow UK provides support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence. Ring 0300 999 5428
Men of any age can be victims of domestic violence or abuse, in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. Help and support is available from Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 or Mankind on 01823 334 244.
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men. This book is written by a counsellor giving advice on how to improve, survive and leave a relationship. It comes highly recommend from women who comment that it has changed their life.
It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence. This book offers readers the practical guidance, emotional reassurance, and psychological awareness that survivors of relationship abuse and domestic violence need to heal and reclaim their lives after leaving their abusers.