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Roger's Rants - Part 17
Hello, I hope you're all having a good lead up to Christmas, though do remember - if you can't afford it, don't buy it! Having family round and eating can be just as good if you're in a difficult situation. One of the difficult situations I'd like to talk about is what may be going on behind closed doors.
Monday 25th November was International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and this kicks of the 16 days of Action, ending on the 10th December. This event is aimed to stop the silence about domestic abuse and gender-based violence. It's not physical abuse that people can be suffering from, but psychologically and financial. Maybe you've heard of gas-lighting, where the victim is manipulated to thinking there's nothing wrong and it's all in their head, which can isolate them incredibly.
We've always looked to ask our clients whether they are being abused - that might sound off if they haven't come in about it, but it's very revealing in how much it goes on and maybe they don't even pick up on that they are being abused. Men in particular, don't identify they could be victims.
But the stats are there - 1 in 4 women experience domestic abuse, and 1 in 6 men.
So what can we do?
Look out for signs - maybe your friend can never be home late, or can't always come out? Maybe they never have any money because their partner looks after all of it?
It might be nothing, but asking whether they're OK might help start something. I've put some links and numbers at the end so if you would like to talk someone, or would like someone you're worried about to, have a look, and that there is help out there.
I believe the 16 days of Action are placed right because many important issues can become blinded by the festive run-up, and perhaps victims feel they can't speak out because of this - such as not wanting to ruin it for their children. So we are saying: it's OK to, there is no perfect time, only the sooner someone can get help the sooner they can become a free, independent person again.
- Worcestershire Domestic Abuse Helpline (24 hour Freephone) Tel: 0800 980 3331
- Women's Aid West Mercia: http://www.westmerciawomensaid.org/ (same number as above)
- Mankind - https://www.mankind.org.uk/