Joy (or not) to the world

The impact of domestic abuse on victims cannot be underestimated. Witnessing the abuse is as harmful as being subject to the abuse. Christmas is often a time of great stress for families and domestic abuse incidents rise.

What is the impact on victims? 

Victims of abuse endure some of the most horrific crimes and suffering and manage to find the strength to remain with their partners and care for their children. Refuge liken this suffering to something akin to victims to torture.

Abused partners are isolated from their families and friends. They are placed under the control of the abuser through continuous emotional and psychological abuse. As a result of the abuse and isolation a abused partner becomes more and more reliant upon the abuser. The abuse becomes so entrenched it can be hard to see what they reality really is.

Abused partners often start to believe the false accusations made they abuser. Their confidence is eroded. They may begin to believe they deserve the abuse and are responsible for their partner’s actions. Often, an abused partner will deny what is happening to them and hope their partner will change into the loving person they believe them to be.

Sadly, this infrequently happens.

As a result of the abuse suffered, abused partners develop many kinds of coping strategies just to get through each day and to protect themselves and their children. They become resourceful and develop a strength to get them through each day. An abused partner never knows when an attack may happen.

Those suffering abuse can develop post-traumatic stress. This has a range of symptoms such as:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • trouble sleeping
  • feeling isolated
  • nightmares
  • panic attacks

It takes great courage for an abused partner to leave an abusive relationship. That courage is recognised and there are a number of services which will help those suffering from abuse to leave and support them during and after making that decision.

The best known services are Women’s Aid and Refuge. Each police force has a domestic abuse support team and will work with victims.

If you need to signpost someone the National Domestic Abuse freephone helpline is 0808 2000 247 


What steps can you take in your organisation to help victims of or children living with domestic abuse? 

To help you, here are my suggestions of steps you can take today:

  1. Be open to the possibility that domestic abuse will affect people in your organisation,
  2. Be aware of the signs of abuse
  3. Give the victim space to talk if they want to,
  4. Make no demands on victims, they need your support but may not be ready to leave
  5. Check your campus/organisation policies – if it’s not covered, speak to someone to make sure it’s covered.

For all your training needs, join Kate and other child protection professionals in The Safeguarding Academy community.

Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Katherine T Young Ltd & Kate Young disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.

<< View More Blog Posts