Domestic abuse, anger management and safety plans.

Help for Male victims of domestic abuse!

Men experiencing a breakdown of their relationship

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Information and referral service for male victims

What is domestic abuse/violence?

Domestic abuse (also known as domestic violence) is systematic control over an individual in a relationship by physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual abuse. It can also involve the threat of violence to control another’s behaviour or actions.

Domestic abuse can occur in all relationships but is common between spouses, couples in intimate relationships, family and co-habitants. As recently as the 1970’s domestic violence has been highlighted in the media and by various organisations as a common but preventative criminal activity and studies have shown that it affects millions of people worldwide. Previously it was seen as a hidden crime and many people refused to act against perpetrators as it was seen as interfering in private affairs. This is no longer the case, and the police service has new powers to arrest perpetrators, at times even when the victim stays silent.

Domestic Abuse

Physical Violence

Physical violence although not necessarily the most common form of abuse is the most commonly recognised form of domestic abuse. This form of abuse involves physical violence such as hitting, pushing, punching, kicking and even spitting. Any physical activity which can hurt, frighten, degrade or humiliate someone is physical abuse. There can also be the threat of physical violence in order to control someone or intimidate someone into submission and this is just as serious.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves forced or unwanted sexual contact and can often involve physical violence such as rape. Commonly the victim is coerced or threatened to comply. These activities are often degrading and humiliating for the victim and subsequent emotional scarring from such abuse can persist for a long time after the event, without positive intervention.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a method of control by withholding finances from the victim in an effort to control their movements, actions, educational and social opportunities. It often involves a perpetrator withholding joint finances from a victim, forcing them to beg for money or comply in order to get money. Economic abuse can stop the victim from advancing in education or employment. At worst, they can be hungry and isolated with restricted mobility.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse (also known as psychological abuse) involves placing any individual in a situation which is psychologically harmful. It is the wilful infliction of emotional distress by verbal abuse, humiliation, threat or similar verbal or non verbal action designed to intimidate or subdue the victim. Any behaviour seeking to demean, degrade and lower someone’s self esteem constitutes abuse. It is usually persistent and aimed at systematically eroding the individual’s sense of self worth.

Typically the resulting negative self-image renders the victim increasingly more depressed and ill-equipped to defend themselves. In the face of persistent abuse it becomes difficult and sometimes impossible for victims to make the decisions to change their situation or seek help. Many feel vulnerable, helpless and hopeless; this allows the perpetrator to keep their victim silent and under control.

What can the abuse lead to?

Depending on the type of abuse and its severity there can be a number of side effects. These include a disturbed sleep pattern, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, tremors, sweating and feeling physically weak. Victims can also experience loss or gain of appetite, headaches, low self esteem, reduced self confidence, sexual dysfunction, loss of concentration, poor memory recall and suicidal ideation. Many victims can also turn to other methods of coping such as increased alcohol consumption, leading to depression and suicidal tendencies and/or substance abuse, either illegal or prescription drugs.