Domestic abuse is more than just violence and is defined by the Government as ‘…any violence between current or former partners in an intimate relationship, wherever and whenever the violence occurs. The violence may include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse’
Children are affected by domestic abuse even when they have not been physically hurt.
The research shows that 90% of children living in a domestic abusive household witness abuse directly or are in the next room. Although there is always the risk of a child being physically harmed by getting caught up in the parental/carers violence, it recognised that witnessing domestic abuse also harms children.
Children who experience domestic abuse are affected by the fear and distress of their parents. Although they may not always show signs of upset their confidence and self-esteem may be affected and they can develop problems in their educational, physical, and emotional development.
Protecting children from the harm of domestic abuse means taking action to protect yourself. You may worry that seeking help means your children will be taken into care. This is very rare and only happens in the most serious cases. Try talking to your children about how they feel, you may be suprised.
Domestic abuse is never the fault of the victim!
If you are an adult experiencing domestic abuse you may feel confused by a mix of feelings including, isolation, fear, guilt and a belief that the abuse in some way is your fault. You may also feel that you can change the person who is being abusive or that if you change something you are doing the abuse will stop.
The responsibility for domestic abuse rests 100% with the abuser and in our experience domestic abuse when action is taken to stop the abuse. Sometimes this can happen when the abuser recognises that what they are doing is wrong and take real steps to change but importantly they cannot do it with specialist help. Often abuse will only stop when the victims takes steps to remove themselves from the abuse.
Taking action to stop abuse is not easy and maybe one of the most difficult decisions you have had to make. You may fear the loss of your home, income, and friends or may still feel that you love the person who is harming you. You may also fear what will happen if you decide to leave or tell someone about what is happening. Remember – you are not alone and these feelings are normal.
If you are being affected by domestic abuse – seek help
If you are affected by domestic abuse, either as a child, a victim, or a perpetrator, you are not alone and there are services, in York and nationally, that can help. Please contact any of the services listed on the Domestic Abuse resources page for help.