Over the past year, stories of domestic violence have grown enormously, while refuge places are scarce.
The pandemic has had a disastrous impact on women in abusive relationships, ensnaring them in their homes with violent, manipulative or controlling men, and the UN has described the global rise in domestic abuse as a shadow pandemic, and in the first seven weeks of lockdown, there was a domestic abuse call to UK police every 30 seconds.
The Centre for Women’s Justice noted the number of domestic abuse-related deaths trebled in the United Kingdom in 2020, compared with 2019.
At the centre of this storm are women’s shelters, places of protection that have seen their funding cut in recent years.
Women’s shelters have been flooded with calls from women desperate to escape living in lockdown with their abuser, and it was reported that in the first three weeks of lockdown that 14 women and two children had been killed.
Women across England are experiencing domestic and sexual violence right now – whatever form of violence it comes in, from rape and trafficking to relationships based on psychological or financial control, our Government needs to act to end it.
And our Government needs to support women and girls around experiences where gender, the very fact of being a woman, is significant. This includes those who’ve encountered domestic abuse, sexual exploitation or have contact with the criminal justice system.
These women and children need to be supported in women-only spaces, safe and trusted surroundings. With a trauma-informed approach, based on understanding, consistency, boundaries and an acknowledgement of the reality of each individual’s life.
The priority is to make women feel safe in an environment that is as homely as possible, with the right level of support to deliver the most important goal – to recover from the trauma of domestic abuse and to be able to rebuild their lives.
And for someone to be there to support that person and overcome the adverse repercussions of that trauma, violence or abuse.
Of course, we read about these articles all the time and they’re tragic, but the solution is the prevention of such terrible realities of society, which is universal.
They say that prevention is better than the cure, but how can we prevent children from evolving into violent monsters? And if children aren’t taught the right social relationship and anger skills. If they have low self-esteem due to a troubled abusive family life or are being bullied, then these problems will often manifest in the degradation of others when in adulthood, as well as manifesting in some of today’s violent teenage and gang behaviours.
And numerous people have lost their lives at the hands of an abusive partner, and relationships should be addressed more in the early years of schooling because children need to grow up knowing what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in a relationship.
However, this doesn’t just pertain to women being abused, men are also abused, but regardless of gender, abuse is appalling behaviour. However, abusers are themselves victims of abuse and are slaves to the mentality of their past, where they’re trapped in repeating the same mentality.
But the abuse they suffer should never be an excuse to abuse others.
Human beings can change, and if a person is the perpetrator of domestic violence, that’s because it’s become a power trip and they have a narcissistic mentality that is more important than another human being.