What is domestic abuse?       

Domestic abuse is when a partner, ex-partner or family member tries to control you and makes you feel scared or frightened. You might be hurt physically, sexually or emotionally. It often gets worse over time. Although it can impact on anyone, it is most commonly experienced by women.
 

What does domestic abuse involve?

Abusers can hurt others in many different ways:end the silence on domestic violence.jpg
 
  • Physically - by hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, slapping. Domestic violence kills, once every 5 days a woman is murdered in England and Wales
  • Emotionally - by threatening them, making them feel bad about themselves, stopping them from seeing friends and family, controlling their lives.
  • Financially - by not giving them any money, not letting them work or controlling all the money.
  • Sexually - by forcing them to have sex or watch sexual behaviour and touching them against their will. 

Why does domestic abuse happen?

People choose to be abusive. Some abusers say they were drunk or had taken drugs. But drinking or drugs do not cause domestic abuse, although they can make it worse. Some people say they were feeling stressed at the time or that the other person was ‘asking for it’. This is not true. These are just excuses. No one makes someone else abusive. No one deserves to be abused. Any type of abuse is wrong. The person it is happening to is never to blame.
  

Look out for the signs of domestic abuse. It’s very difficult to know for certain whether a friend, relative or colleague is a target of domestic abuse unless they tell you.   Signs commonly associated with victims of abuse:

 
  • Gradual or sudden changes in behaviour or personality
  • The reasons given for injuries may not add up
  • Victims of abuse will often make excuses, often denying there is anything wrong and playing down an incident
  • They may withdraw socially and even stop wanting to see you or ask you to stop coming round, phoning or texting
  • They become overly pre-occupied, lose interest and their performance may drop at work
  • You may notice they aren't 'allowed' to go out or do the things they used to enjoy
  • The victim may receive constant texts or phone calls from the abuser
  • They may feel they are always to blame when things go wrong and have an unnaturally low opinion of themselves
  • They may be dreading the prospect of an imminent medical examination for no rational reason
  • Resorting to heavy drinking or drugs or developing an eating disorder
 
What to do if it is happening to you or a friend
If you're worried about a friend, a member of your family, or even yourself and you don't know what to do, call the All Wales Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 80 10 800 in complete confidence. They can put you in touch with local support services to meet face to face as well.

 

If this is happening to you  -  you may feel scared, angry, upset, depressed, guilty or confused. Whatever you feel is OK. There are no right or wrong feelings. Domestic abuse is not your fault. The person who abuses is responsible - not you or anyone else.
 
If you are in immediate danger call the POLICE Emergencies on 999.
 
To talk to the police and access support and safety measures contact the South Wales Police Domestic Abuse Unit:
Swansea (01792) 323232
Neath Port Talbot (01639) 640248
 
Other useful organisations
Swansea Women's Aid 01792 644683
Calan DVS (in Neath Port Talbot) 01639 633580
BAWSO (Black Minority Ethnic support in Swansea) 01792 642003
Port Talbot and Afan Women’s Aid 01639 894864
SARC (Sexual Assault Referral Centre for South Wales) 01792 206885
All Wales Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Helpline (Every day 24 hours) 0808 8010100
National Centre for Domestic Violence 0844 8044999
National Domestic Violence Helpline  (freephone helpline) 0808 2000247
 
Chloe's story