Information Campaign by Hull City Council. 2016

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone.

The problem of domestic abuse is often overlooked, excused, dismissed or denied. Abuse does not discriminate. It affects victims of any age, sex, sexual orientation, race, faith, disability, gender, or economic standing.

This is especially true when the abuse takes the form of psychological, rather than physical. Noticing and acknowledging the signs of an abusive relationship are the first steps to ending it. This can be done by both the victim and the perpetrator.

If you recognise yourself or someone you know in the following descriptions of abuse, reach out now. There is help available. No one should live in fear of the person they love.

I first started understanding and later working within the field fo Domestic Abuse many years ago with the wonderful Caroline Jones, now sadly no longer with us. Her organisation Broken Rainbow reached out to many hundreds of LGBT+ people whom were experiencing domestic abuse.

Since then I worked across the UK on advisory projects with the HomeOffice, Police forces, the NHS and Local governments. Aiming to ensure that support is in place and appropriate for each area of the community.

UK Wide information campaign for the Men’s Advice Line & Respect Helpline. 2008
Logo, brand and information work for Broken Rainbow in 2005

What is domestic violence and abuse?

When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in an intimate relationship or marriage to dominate and control the other. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only: to gain and maintain total control over you. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb.

Domestic violence and abuse do not discriminate. Abuse happens within heterosexual relationships and in same-sex partnerships. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and economic levels. And while women are more often victimised, Men also experience abuse—especially verbal and emotional. The bottom line is that abusive behavior is never acceptable, whether from a man, woman, teenager, or an older adult. You deserve to feel valued, respected, and safe.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal assault to violence. And while physical injury may pose the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. Emotionally abusive relationships can destroy your self-worth, lead to anxiety and depression, and make you feel helpless and alone. No one should have to endure this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your relationship is abusive.

This is a suggested introductory-level awareness-raising course for non-specialist workers. To understand how Domestic Violence and Abuse affects individuals and communities and how to respond effectively.

Learning objectives

By the end of the seminar, participants will be able to:

  1. 1)  Describe the meaning and scope of Domestic Violence and Abuseand the role of gender socialisation.
  2. 2)  Understand the impact of Domestic Violence and Abuse on adultsand children.
  3. 3)  Understand what prevents victims / survivors leaving abusiverelationships.
  4. 4)  Identify barriers to reporting and address agencies’ difficulties inresponding.
  5. 5)  Identify some risk factors and the importance of working within goodpractice guidelines to support disclosure.

Course outline

  • Meaning and scope of Domestic Violence and Abuse and the role of gender socialisation
  • Characteristics and definitions of Domestic Violence and Abuse.
  • Gender socialisation and entitlement
  • Understanding what prevents victims / survivors leaving abusiverelationships
  • Good practice guidelines