Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, and can take many different forms. Many people think that this just involved physical violence, but it can also include psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse.
Controlling acts may include, but not be exclusive to, manipulation, intimidation, sexual coercion and psychological abuse. The behaviour is intended to make a person become submissive, or to isolate them from sources of support, such as their friends and family. It might include monitoring their time, or communication with others, including checking someone’s mobile phone or online communication.
It could also be exploiting their resources, such as their wages or access to money, depriving them of their independence and trying to regulate or control every day behaviour such as where they can go, who they can see and what to wear.
It may be stopping someone accessing specialist support services, repeatedly putting them down, humiliating or degrading them and making threats to hurt them or their children, or publish private information about them.
Something that may seem like harmless behaviour in isolation, can have devastating effects on a victim when they are subjected to repeated controlling behaviour. We would encourage people to speak to someone about any behaviour that is concerning them, all reports will be treated sensitively and taken seriously.
If any of this sounds familiar to you, and you are worried that your behaviour has developed into domestic abuse, help is at hand to provide advice and support and there is still time to change.
Domestic abuse can ruin lives and tear families apart, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. The earlier someone seeks help to understand their own behaviour and change it for the better, the more chance that they can keep their family together.
It’s understandable that someone who is being abusive, may not want to get in touch with the police, but there are lots of organisations who are completely independent of the police, who can help and these are listed below;
West Yorkshire Finding Independence (WY-FI) Tel: 01274 762184 or 0113 887 0000 www.wy-fi.org.uk
Samaritans Tel: 116 123 www.samaritsans.org
Yorkshire Children’s Centre http://yorkshirechildrenscentre.org.uk/contact-us
Leeds Domestic Violence Service Tel: 0113 2460401 www.leeds.gov.uk/domesticviolence
Forward Leeds Alcohol & drug service for people in Leeds Tel: 0113 8872477 www.forwardleeds.co.uk