Am I in an abusive relationship?
Because of the nature of abusive relationships sometimes victims don’t know that what is happening to them is wrong. If you’re not sure whether you’re relationships is abusive, take this quiz from Devon and Cornwall Police.
If you think domestic abuse is having an effect on you, your child or a child you know, you can contact there are plenty of services available to provide help and support.
In Devon, you can contact Devon Domestic Abuse Support Service on on 0345 155 1074 or visit the Devon Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Alliance (DSVA) for more information.
In Torbay, you can contact Torbay Domestic Abuse Service on 01803 698869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Help is also available from Women’s Aid, the National Domestic Violence Helpline and Men’s Advice Line
In the majority of families where there are children, and where abuse is taking place, the children will be aware of this, and will often hear it or see it going on. According to the Department of Health, at least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence and abuse. In some cases, the children themselves will suffer physical or sexual abuse from the same person.
Children react in different ways to being brought up in a home with a person who abuses others. Age, race, sex, culture, stage of development, and individual personality will all have an effect on a child’s responses. Most children, however, will be affected in some way by the controlling behaviour of an abuser, by witnessing arguments, distressing behaviours or assault.
Domestic abuse can have a huge impact on children and their development, no matter what their age. Children don’t have to directly witness domestic abuse or violence to be affected by it. Many children are often aware of domestic abuse much earlier than parents may realise.
In what ways do children witness domestic abuse?
- Be physically present during violence or conflict
- Overhear violence or conflict
- Witness the outcome of violence (e.g. crying, bruises etc)
- Think that they have triggered violence
- Be aware of physical and emotional effects on their parent
- Get drawn into violence towards their parent
You can find out more about domestic abuse and violence, and the impact it can have on children at the Women’s Aid website.