Domestic Violence is described as any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. Abuse is: "psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional, between adults, young adults (16 and over), or family members, regardless of gender and sexuality." Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or step-family.
Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone, yet is often overlooked, excused, or denied. Noticing the signs of an abusive relationship is the first step to ending it. The following are examples of domestic abuse and if you feel you are effected or know someone who is there is always help available.
General warning signs of domestic abuse
Appear afraid or anxious to please their partner.
Do or go along with everything their partner says and does.
Contact their partner lots of times to let them know where they are and what they are doing.
Receive frequent, abusive phone calls from their partner.
Talk about their partner's temper, jealousy, or possessiveness.
Warning signs of physical violence
Have frequent injuries, with the excuse of 'accidents'.
Frequently miss work, school, or social occasions without explanation.
Dress in clothing designed to hide bruises or scars (e.g. wearing long sleeves in summer or sunglasses indoors).
Warning signs of isolation
Be prevented from seeing family and friends.
Rarely go out without their partner with them.
Have limited access to money or transport.
The Psychological warning signs of abuse
Have very low self-esteem, even if they used to be confident.
Change their personality e.g. from an outgoing person to becoming withdrawn.
Be depressed, anxious, or be thining about harming themselves.
Effects on Children
The effects of domestic violence on children are many and varied and can have a long-lasting effect. Some children can become withdrawn and find it difficult to communicate while others may act out what they are witnessing. All children living with abuse are likely to be under stress.
Warning signs can be:
Sudden behaviour changes
Problems in school,
Anxious and clingy
low self esteem
Many children do cope well living with domestic abuse but we all have a duty to ensure that they receive the right help and support to make sure they are not at risk of harm.
If you have any concerns that a child or young person is being abused, maltreated or neglected please contact the Sandwell Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0121 569 3100 where you will be able to talk to someone about your concerns.
If you a child is at immediate risk please call the police on 999
You can also talk to a trusted adult in school who will be able to help you.
If you are concerned about the immediate safety of a child or young person, please call the police on 999.