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Issues - domestic Violence - When love hurts

Having seen the research on domestic violence, it behoves the media like Channel 4 here to continue to portray the 1 in 4 lie from the feminists.
when love hurts: refuge from domestic violence

by Tina Jackson

It is estimated that one in four women are likely to experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. This accounts for one quarter of all violent crime and can include rape, punching or hitting, pulling hair out, threatening with a gun or knife, or even threatening to kill her. In England and Wales, between one and two women are killed by a violent partner or ex-partner every week. One in three men who are violent to their female partners are also violent to their children.
Domestic violence can happen to any woman, regardless of her age, profession or class – or that of the man who beats her. Iit can happen to anyone.

'Kyle works in IT,' says primary school teacher Marina, 24, who finally left her boyfriend 18 months ago. 'One of the things which drew me to him was how well-mannered and polite he was. It made it even more of a shock the first time he hit me. He was so sorry afterwards that I thought it was a one-off, and he'd go back to being his normal, quiet self. But after it happened the first time, it became what he did, whenever we had an argument. It was like he had one personality for the rest of the world, and one which he kept for when he got home – that was the one who beat me and kicked me in the stomach.'
Many woman who experience domestic violence are afraid to speak out about what they're suffering because they think it's their fault, or are too ashamed of what's happened to them to admit it. 'I was so frightened of my boyfriend,' says Amy, 20. 'If we had the slightest disagreement, he'd turn on me, out of the blue, and attack me, really punching and slapping, and then say, look what you've made me do to you. I'd go round my friend's house and sit in her kitchen and cry because I was so frightened of him, but I never dared tell her what he'd done. I just used to say I was depressed about our relationship. I couldn't tell anyone what was happening. I was terrified that if he found out I'd said anything behind his back, he'd attack me again, but I was also worried that she'd think – like I did – that it was somehow my fault.'
afraid to speak out
Amy is not alone; two out of three women who suffer domestic violence don't tell family, friends or the authorities about it. Research has shown that side-effects of domestic violence include feelings of low self-esteem, hopelessness about ending the violence and, at their most intense, severe depression and suicidal tendencies.
There are safe spaces for women who want to leave a situation where domestic violence is involved. There are over 250 refuges in the UK, and a woman who chooses to go to one can move as far away as she wants from the man who is abusing her. The first step towards escaping violence is to call a helpline that will immediately put the wheels in motion.
'A woman who is being abused should ring a domestic violence helpline,' says a spokeswoman for Refuge, an organisation which provides refuge accommodation for women in the UK. 'Someone will listen to her, and talk her through the options. In our refuges, people can stay as long as they need, and bring their children if they have any. Addresses are kept secret, and we don't allow any men to come to our refuges. The place has to feel safe.'
But what if a young man were to be fleeing violence? 'He should call the helpline, who would be able to help and advise him,' says the spokeswoman.
In a refuge, the women have their own rooms, and share kitchens and bathrooms with other women who have been in the same boat. 'We get women as young as 17,' the spokeswoman for Refuge continues. 'Some young women come because of family violence, either from brothers or parents, or because they've been abused by their boyfriend. And we get women from a wide range of backgrounds.'
Hard habit to break
Often, women go back to the man who treats them violently. 'A woman will leave several times – up to seven – before she leaves for good. Young women especially may have very mixed feelings – they may still love the person who has battered them.'
The first thing a woman who is suffering violence at home should do, advises the spokeswoman, is talk to somebody. 'If they keep what's happening to themselves, it stops them getting the help they need. It's important that women know that they can go to the police for advice – they don't have to press charges. They'll be put in touch with a refuge helpline or group, and that's where the real support and information will come from. They'll get help – and they'll realise it's not just them. One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. They're not alone.'

help and info...

Women's Aid
PO Box 391
Bristol BS99 7WS
Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
E-mail: helpline@womensaid.org.uk
Website: www.womensaid.org.uk
The National Domestic Violence Helpline provides confidential support, help and information to anyone experiencing (or who has experienced) physical, emotional or sexual violence in the home. Helpline staff can explain support options available to you and, where necessary, refer you to a refuge, a local Women's Aid group or other sources of help and information. You do not need to be in an emergency situation to contact Women's Aid.
Shelterline: 0808 800 4444 (24 hours)
E-mail: info@shelter.org.uk
Website: www.shelternet.org.uk
A national organisation working to improve the lives of homeless and badly housed people. Shelter offers free, professional and independent advice to anyone with a housing problem. Shelterline advisors will discuss your rights, explain your options and help you take action. The Shelternet website provides information and advice on housing issues such as renting, rights and homelessness.
2-8 Maltravers Street
London WC2R 3EE
Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (24 hours)
E-mail: info@refuge.org.uk
Website: www.refuge.org.uk
Provide counselling, support and welfare rights for women and children escaping domestic violence as well as accommodation and refuge.
c/o Chris
PO Box 90 90
Stirling FK8 2SA
Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (24 hours)
E-mail: jo@samaritans.org
Website: www.samaritans.org.uk
The Samaritans exists to provide confidential emotional support to any person, irrespective of race, creed, age or status who is in emotional distress or at risk of suicide; 24 hours a day. Can be contacted by e-mail, telephone, writing, or by visiting one of over 200 local branches (details are on the website).
Rights of Women
Advice Line: 020 7251 6577 (Open Tues-Thurs 2-4pm and 7-9pm; Fri 12-2pm)
Text phone: 020 7490 2562
Website: www.rightsofwomen.org.uk
A women's voluntary organisation committed to informing, educating and empowering women about their legal rights. Offers free, confidential legal advice on divorce and relationship breakdown, children and contact issues, domestic violence, sexual violence, discrimination and lesbian parenting. Information sheets can also be downloaded free from the website.
Victim Support
Cranmer House
39 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DZ
Victim Supportline: 0845 30 30 900 (Mon-Fri 9am-9pm and Sat-Sun 9am-7pm)
Minicom: 020 7896 3776
E-mail: supportline@victimsupport.org.uk
Website: www.victimsupport.org
Victim Support offers confidential support and advice to anyone affected by a crime, no matter how long ago it happened. The informative website features facts and guidance on the help available for victims of crime, and you can find out details of your local branch.
Men's Aid
E-mail: support@mensaid.org
Website: www.mensaid.org
Can provide support, practical information, advice on solicitors and local domestic abuse projects, to male sufferers of domestic violence. Contact them through their email address.
SOLA (Survivors of Lesbian Abuse)
Telephone/Helpline: 020 7328 7389 ask for SOLA (Mon-Fri 10.30am-1pm, 2.30-4.30pm)
E-mail: solalondon@hotmail.com
Support for any woman who has experienced abuse (past or present) from a female partner. E-mail support is available, and evening phone appointments are available by arrangement. Also have a weekly support group for survivors of rape (women only). Broken Rainbow Forum 07812 644 914 is a 24-hour emergency hotline for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgendered people who have experienced violence from partners, family or friends.
The Everyman Project
1A Waterloo Road
London N19 5NJ
Helpline: 020 7263 8884 (Tues and Thurs 6.30pm-9pm)
Tel (admin): 020 7737 6747
A voluntary organisation based in London which offers a range of support services for men who want to stop behaving violently or abusively. These include a focused brief counselling programme and telephone helpline which offers information, advice and counselling to men who are concerned about their violence or abuse and to people affected by a man's violence or abuse.
Campaign Against Domestic Violence

Aims to increase awareness of domestic violence, campaign for legal change, and improve facilities and services for women who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence.
Domestic violence ... are you a victim?
Written by a British psychotherapist, this site offers support for parents and grandparents on issues that affect families, including an article on domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Data Source
An information co-ordinating system on projects relating to domestic violence within England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Includes an extensive book list.
Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence
Features a range of resources, online booklets, government policy and useful links relating to domestic violence. Part of the Home Office website.
Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust
An independent charity that campaigns for the prevention of male violence against women and children. Also works with a range of agencies to promote innovative policy and best practice that target the root causes of male violence.


Confronting Domestic Violence by Craig Donnellan (ed) (Independence Educational Publishers, 2002)
Gathering together information from a wide range of sources, this booklet looks at the causes and effects of domestic violence, why some people abuse others, and reasons why people stay in abusive relationships. It has details of services available to partners and their children.
Get this book

Getting Out: Life stories of women who left abusive men by Ann Goetting and Caroline Jory (Vision Paperbacks, 2000)
Contains life histories of women suffering from domestic violence in the UK. The authors describe not only the build up to violence but also the resources the women drew upon to escape.
Get this book

Power and Control by Sandra Horley (Vermilion, 2002)
With a forward by Cherie Booth, this book aims to show abused women that they are not alone, and to help them walk away from the dangerous situations they are in.
Get this book

(updated March 2003, resources updated June 2004)

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