By [Dark_ Possesion
Domestic Abuse Support Service. This is to help people who suffer from all types of domestic abuse, we have been a good help to people and will be there to help you with your problems. Any questions or advice you may need, please contact one of the members below. We'll do our best to help you through this heartbreaking time.
What is Domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse, also known as spousal abuse, happens when one person in an intimate relationship or marriage tries to dominate and/or control the other person. An abuser doesn’t “play nice.” He or she uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear their partner down and gain complete power over them. He or she may threaten them, hurt them, or hurt those around them. Domestic abuse that includes physical violence is called domestic violence.
Victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence can be men or women, although women are more commonly victimized. (Note: I will use the pronoun “he” for convenience only) This abuse happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. Except for the gender difference, domestic abuse doesn’t discriminate. It happens within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds, and financial levels. The abuse may occur during a relationship, while the couple is breaking up, or after the relationship has ended.
Despite what many people believe, domestic violence is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his behavior. In fact, violence is a deliberate choice made by the abuser in order to take control over his wife or partner.
This wiki has been designed to enlighten and teach. As one who witnessed these things, first hand, I know how difficult it is to understand a few key points.
Violent Behavior is an Abuser's Choice!
Reasons we know an abuser's behaviors are not about anger and rage:
* He does not batter other individuals - the boss who does not give him time off or the gas station attendant that spills gas down the side of his car. He waits until there are no witnesses and abuses the person he says he loves.
* If you ask an abused woman, "can he stop when the phone rings or the police come to the door?" She will say "yes". Most often when the police show up, he is looking calm, cool and collected and she is the one who may look hysterical. If he were truly "out of control" he would not be able to stop himself when it is to his advantage to do so.
* The abuser very often escalates from pushing and shoving to hitting in places where the bruises and marks will not show (Stomach, kidneys, back). If he were "out of control" or "in a rage" he would not be able to direct or limit where his kicks or punches land (face, legs, arms).
There are a number of different definitions of domestic violence. In Women's Aid's view, domestic violence is physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called 'honour' crimes. Domestic violence often includes a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are, in themselves, inherently 'violent' - hence some people prefer to use the term 'domestic abuse' rather than 'domestic violence'.
Domestic violence is very common: research shows that it affects one in four women in their lifetime. Two women a week are killed by their partners or former partners. All forms of domestic violence - psychological, financial, emotional and physical - come from the abuser's desire for power and control over an intimate partner or other family members. Domestic violence is repetitive and life-threatening, it tends to worsen over time and it destroys the lives of women and children.
Crime statistics and research show that domestic violence is gender specific - that is, it is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men, particularly when there is a pattern of repeated and serious physical assaults, or when it includes rape or sexual assault or results in injury or death. Men can also experience violence from their partners (both within gay and straight relationships); however women's violence towards men is often an attempt at self defence, and is only rarely part of a consistent pattern of controlling and coercive behaviour. For this reason, we will generally refer to the abuser as 'he' and to the survivor as 'she'. See also Women and men, victims and survivors.
Domestic violence also has an enormous effect on the children in the family. Nearly three-quarters of children considered 'at risk' by Social Services are living in households where one of their parents/carers is abusing the other. A high proportion of these children are themselves being abused - either physically or sexually - by the same perpetrator. (Estimates vary between 30% to 66% depending upon the study.) See Children and domestic violence for more information.
Any woman can experience domestic violence regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, class, disability or lifestyle. Domestic violence can also take place in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender relationships. Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by other family members (for example, extended family). In some cases, older children - teenagers or young adults - are violent or abusive towards their mothers or other family members. (See 'When children become aggressive' in the Children and domestic violence section of this handbook.)
Although every situation is unique, there are common factors that link the experience of an abusive relationship. Acknowledging these factors is an important step in preventing and stopping the abuse. This list can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship.
Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling; verbally threatening.
Pressure tactics: sulking; threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the telephone, taking the car away, taking the children away, or reporting you to welfare agencies unless you comply with his demands; threatening or attempting suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to your friends and family about you; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.
Disrespect: persistently putting you down in front of other people; not listening or responding when you talk; interrupting your telephone calls; taking money from your purse without asking; refusing to help with childcare or housework.
Breaking trust: lying to you; withholding information from you; being jealous; having other relationships; breaking promises and shared agreements.
Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls; telling you where you can and cannot go; preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; shutting you in the house.
Harassment: following you; checking up on you; not allowing you any privacy (for example, opening your mail), repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you; embarrassing you in public; accompanying you everywhere you go.
Threats: making angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate; shouting you down; destroying your possessions; breaking things; punching walls; wielding a knife or a gun; threatening to kill or harm you and the children; threatening to kill or harm family pets; threats of suicide.
Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts; having sex with you when you don't want it; forcing you to look at pornographic material; forcing you to have sex with other people; any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.
Physical violence: punching; slapping; hitting; biting; pinching; kicking; pulling hair out; pushing; shoving; burning; strangling.
Denial: saying the abuse doesn't happen; saying you caused the abusive behaviour; being publicly gentle and patient; crying and begging for forgiveness; saying it will never happen again.
See also Recognising domestic violence.
Is domestic violence a crime?
Domestic violence can include a number of different behaviours, and there is no single criminal offence of 'domestic violence'. Not all forms of domestic violence are illegal; some forms of emotional abuse, for example, are not defined as criminal - though these can also have a serious and lasting impact on a woman's or child's sense of well-being and autonomy.
However, many kinds of domestic violence constitute a criminal offence, including physical assault, wounding, attempting to choke, sexual assault, rape, threats to kill, harassment, stalking and putting people in fear of violence.
Who is responsible for the violence?
The abuser is always responsible for the violence, and should be held accountable. There is no excuse for domestic violence and the victim is never responsible for the abuser's behaviour.
'Blaming the victim' is something that abusers will often do to make excuses for their behaviour, and quite often they manage to convince their victims that the abuse is indeed their fault. This is part of the pattern and is in itself abusive. Blaming their behaviour on someone else, or on the relationship, their childhood, their ill health, or their alcohol or drug addiction is one way in which many abusers try to avoid personal responsibility for their behaviour.
It is important that any intervention to address domestic violence prioritises the safety of victims/survivors and holds the perpetrators accountable.
Women and men, victims and survivors
This handbook is primarily addressed to women for the following reasons:
The majority of domestic violence as defined above is perpetrated by men and experienced by women.
Women's Aid's information and support services exist to respond to the needs of women and children.
However, most of the information here would also apply equally to men who are on the receiving end of abuse, whether from a male or a female abuser.
The terms 'victim' and 'survivor' are both used, depending on the context. 'Survivor' is, however, preferred as it emphasises an active, resourceful and creative response to the abuse, in contrast to 'victim', which implies passive acceptance. If you are reading this, then you are - at least to some extent - a survivor.
Department of Health (2002) 'Women's Mental health: Into the Mainstream: Strategic development of mental health care for women' (London: DH)
Farmer, E. and Pollack, S. (1998) 'Substitute care for sexually abused and abusing children' (Chichester: Wiley)
Walby, Sylvia and Allen, Jonathan (2004) 'Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey' (London: Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate)
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse is the mental, physical, sexual or financial abuse of the female partner by the male partner with whom they have or have had a relationship.
Domestic abuse is not only about physical abuse. Men can also use sexual, emotional, mental and financial abuse to hurt and control women. For example, constantly criticising you, telling you you’re stupid, keeping you deliberately short of money. It is important these are not overlooked since for some women these forms of abuse can be equally, if not more, severe.
Often abuse happens over a long period of time and can become worse as time goes on. You are not to blame for domestic abuse against you. Domestic abuse is an inappropriate use of power and exertion of control and the abuser is to blame.
Acts of domestic abuse can also be committed either by women towards men, or in single sex relationships. Social Work Services, however, focuses its policy on abuse committed by men towards women, as this is the most common form of abuse.
Back to top
Glasgow City Council Social Work Services is committed to:
supporting and developing services for women and their children experiencing domestic abuse to support women and to assist them to feel safe
ensuring that social work staff do not make judgements about women experiencing domestic abuse
recognising that women experiencing abuse come from all social classes, ethnic groups, occupations and economic groups
recognising the impact domestic abuse has on children and young people and supporting them to express their views
ensuring women are informed of action we take on their behalf and what happens as a result
ensuring confidentiality wherever possible
linking up with other Council Services and other organisations to make sure that women experiencing domestic abuse can obtain all the services they need as easily as possible
Back to top
What Social Work Services can offer
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, you may need help while still in an abusive relationship, while you are planning to leave or once you have left. We can offer you the chance to talk about your situation and can give information on possible options along with information and advice on:
finance and welfare benefits
support services for children and young people
local counselling services and projects
community support services
We will put you in touch with other Council Services and other agencies who can provide help.
Back to top
What to expect
We will listen and respect the views of women experiencing domestic abuse. You are the best person to decide what is right for you. You have the right to be treated with respect at all times and you will be seen by a woman worker if you request it. You may bring someone with you to the appointment if you wish. We provide a confidential service and your rights will be explained when you first come along to see us.
Back to top
How you can contact Social Work Services
Your local social work office operates an appointment system. You can telephone or call into your local office to arrange a suitable time. Our reception staff will ask for some basic information and give you an appointment. If it is an emergency you will be seen on the same day.
Local social work offices are open:
Monday-Thursday 8.45am to 4.45pm
Friday 8.45am to 3.55pm
Out with these hours you can contact our Emergency Service on freephone 0800 811505
Back to top
If you have children
Domestic abuse has an impact on children and their views have to be considered. We will give what support we can to help you and your children. We recognise that protecting you is often the best way to protect your children.
Do you require interpreting or signing services at your interview?
If you need to communicate in a language other than English we can arrange an interpreter.
If you arrive at an area office, the member of staff you see can arrange telephone interpreting in Urdu, Punjabi or Chinese. We can then deal with your issue via telephone interpreting or make an appointment when an interpreter can attend in person. If you require interpreting in any other language, an appointment will be made when an interpreter can be present.
If you have a hearing impairment and would like an interpreter to attend your appointment please let us know and we will make the necessary arrangements.
Arranging interpreters may mean you have to wait a bit longer for an appointment.
If you are physically disabled
Home visits can be arranged for disabled women who are unable to get to their local office. If you don’t want to be visited at home another suitable venue can be found.
If you wish, (if no one is on Elfpack at the moment) you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
team leader [//*Ghost*//]
part time staff: