Any woman, man, child or young person can be abused regardless of age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality or background. Recognising what is happening to you, or has happened in the past, is the first step in escaping the pain and misery of domestic violence.
Domestic violence can be physical, emotional, financial, or psychological. Sexual abuse is often a part of domestic violence.
You are being abused if your partner/ex-partner/girlfriend/boyfriend/family member does any of the following:
- Constantly criticises your appearance, undermines your decisions and opinions
- Blames you for everything that goes wrong
- Is jealous and possessive and continually accuses you of being unfaithful
- Constantly wants you to justify what you spend money on
- Threatens to take custody of your children or prevent you from seeing them
- Tries to isolate you from your friends and family and makes you justify any absence
- Physically hurts you in any way
- Demands sex, coerces or forces you into unwanted sexual activities
- Intimidates and threatens to harm you or those close to you or threatens you with weapons
- Injures or hurts your pet
If you think that you may be experiencing domestic violence or abuse, help and support is available for you. Our confidential 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to all women and men affected by domestic or sexual violence. The Helpline can provide support tailored to what you need and want, whether it is just a listening ear, or practical support like finding you a bed in a refuge or helping you to plan for your safety.
Women’s Aid also offers a range of support services for women and their children who are affected by domestic violence. If you feel unsafe in your home and wish to leave, Women’s Aid has a network of refuges across Northern Ireland for women and children affected by domestic violence. If you are in need of support but wish to remain in your home, Women’s Aid can provide outreach support.
Call the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline and ask about Women’s Aid services, or get in touch directly with the Women’s Aid in your area for further information.