40% increase in support calls. 14% increase in support time given with staff and volunteers working hard to increase capacity. 56% drop in hang up calls. 31% decrease in the number of silent calls.
There is no ‘typical’ victim of domestic abuse. It occurs in all age groups, all social and economic classes as well as in all ethnic, cultural and language groups.
Emotional abuse In 2012, women described: – Being controlled, manipulated and isolated. – Being threatened with physical and sexual assault. – Abuser ignoring orders under the Domestic Violence Act. – Being constantly texted by the perpetrator with threats of self-harm, suicide, and threats to kill her, the children and members of her family. – Being constantly undermined, insulted, telling her that ‘something is wrong with her’.
Emotional abuse In 2012, women described: – Being blamed for the abuse including the abuser telling the woman and the neighbours that she has mental health issues. – Being constantly belittled, verbally abused, including being told she is a ‘bad mother’. – Being harassed by phone, text messages and through social media networks, women’s access to the internet curtailed or monitored. – Being followed, stalked and monitored while in the relationship and after leaving.
Sexual abuse In 2012, the were 536 disclosures of sexual abuse including 192 cases of rape. Disclosures included: – Being raped and sexually abused including being pinned down and assaulted. – Being forced to have sex in return for money to feed the children. – Being drugged and sexually assaulted. – Being raped following a physical assault. – Being woken up with demands for sex.
Financial abuse Disclosures included: – Being denied access to household monies for heating, food and clothing for the children. – Being put out on the street with no place to go. – Being left with no money after her account has been cleared out; household income gambled away by the abuser. – Being left with huge debt as she is responsible for all of the household bills and is forced to incur huge debt in her name. – Abuser withholding maintenance and lying about his income to the Courts.
Physical abuse Physical abuse disclosures included: – Being punched, thrown, slapped and kicked to the point of bleeding or injury. – Being spat on and threatened with weapons. – Being gagged to stop the screaming. – Being locked in and prevented from leaving the house. – Being drugged, assaulted and hospitalised. – Being beaten while pregnant and after their baby was born, sometimes even while breastfeeding. – Being restrained so that she cannot attend to her children’s needs.
Child abuse In 2012, mothers spoke about 3,230 disclosures of direct child abuse, including: – Children being constantly shouted at and verbally abused. – Children seeing their pets being abused, kicked and thrown against walls. – Children being hit, including with household items. – Children seeing abuser self-harming. – Children being manipulated against their mother. – Abuser sexually abusing children.
Abuse during access visits Disclosures in 2012 included: – Children upset when abuser regularly fails to show up for access visits. – Children witnessing the abuse of their mother during access visits. – Women living in fear for herself and her children as the abuser ignores legal orders and tries to force access. – Children having nightmares and being upset after overnight access due to exposure to 18+ films. – Calls from the abuser to tell her that her children will be killed or will never come home again.