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Making Women’s Voices Heard Margaret Martin Director.

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Presentation on theme: "Making Women’s Voices Heard Margaret Martin Director."— Presentation transcript:

1 Making Women’s Voices Heard Margaret Martin Director


3 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.

4 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.

5 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’.

6 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.

7 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.

8 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.

9 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.



12 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.

13 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.



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