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What is Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse

What is Domestic Abuse

Many people think that domestic abuse means physical violence. This sometimes leads to women not seeking help because “at least they don’t hit me”. But domestic abuse is about how one person uses an intimate relationship to control another person, often their partner or former partner. The controlling behaviour forms a pattern, rather than being one-off incidents. East Ayrshire Women’s Aid aim to help women regain control over their lives and decide for themselves what their next steps should be.

Domestic abuse can have a profound impact on women, children and young people’s lives. Women may lose their home, their job, their income and their place in their community. They may experience a range of other difficulties including isolation from family and friends as well as low self-esteem, lack of confidence and feelings of blame, guilt, stigma and worthlessness.

Physical abuse can include slapping, punching, strangling, using weapons, scalding, burning.
Emotional abuse can include humiliation and degradation, keeping the woman from contact with her family and friends, threats against the woman or her children, name-calling.
Sexual abuse can include being forced to take part in sexual acts against her will, being sexually assaulted with objects, being raped.

There is no such thing as a ‘typical’ abused woman. Women’s Aid groups support women of all ages, from young teenage women to women in their 80′s. They come from all different kinds of backgrounds and sections of society.

Every year, women tell us of the abusive acts that they experience:
•    being kicked or hit with fists or objects
•    being threatened
•    being humiliated
•    being forced to have sex
•    having their children threatened or abused
•    being falsely blamed for causing the abuse
•    having their possessions deliberately destroyed or damaged
•    being deliberately kept short of money
•    having mind games played upon them
•    being accused of being unfaithful
•    having their beliefs ridiculed
•    being isolated from their family and friends
•    having further control and harassment through contact arrangements with children
•    having their passport withheld and being threatened with deportation

Women have also told us how their experience of abuse made them feel:
•    frightened and vulnerable
•    humiliated and degraded
•    confused and unable to think clearly or make decisions
•    isolated, lonely and trapped
•    angry and resentful

You are not to blame!

Every abuser is making a choice to behave in the way they do. Being drunk, high, stressed or down is not an excuse. There is no excuse. You do not deserve any kind of abuse. All relationships have ups and downs; to be treated in any of these ways is abuse, not a rough patch.

Don’t suffer in silence!

If you are frightened or worried about the way your partner or ex-partner is treating you, you do not have to put up with it. There is help available to help you protect yourself and children from further harm. Please contact us on 01563 536001 or by email at info@eastayrshirewomensaid.org.uk for confidential information and support, we offer a variety of services, you can contact a member of staff between 9am and 4pm, Monday – Thursday and between 9am and 1pm on Fridays.

Please remember that what is happening to you is not your fault. No one deserves to be abused.