“Why don’t they leave?” is often the first response posed to survivors, implying that they are to blame for the abuse. When one has no knowledge or has never experienced abuse, it can be difficult to understand the deep emotional grip abusers have on their victims. That is why to simply leave is not as easy as going to the shops. A lot of safety planning, talking to trusted friends and being ready for a healthy life has to go in to creating an escape route.
Happy Holidays and New Year from Safe Speaks.
In most times when we talk about domestic violence, we tend to focus on physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Rarely does financial abuse come to mind. But why? Because financial abuse is less commonly understood or spoken about form of abuse. Sadly, this abuse or control of one’s access to family finances and assets is prevalent and occurs in up to 99 percent of domestic violence cases. So, why are we not talking about it?
The fight against gender-based violence is no longer an individual or women’s fight but a fight for every person. Each one of us has a responsibility to take action in eradicating the gender and social norms that promote violence against women.
Violence against women is deeply rooted in gender-based discrimination, social norms that accept violence, and gender stereotypes that continue cycles of violence. Many efforts to address this vice have mostly concentrated on response efforts and paid less attention to primary prevention which is the key to eliminating violence against women and girls completely.
With quarantine and social distancing during COVID-19, survivors of domestic violence face a new obstacle in receiving the care that they need.
Verbal abuse is a way of hurting others, using words or silence as a weapon. Unlike physical abuse, verbal abuse doesn’t give rise to broken limbs, black eyes, or bruises. Yet it can be just as emotionally disturbing and often leads to anxiety, fear, despair, or depression.
If you know or suspect that a loved one is going through domestic violence, you might feel clueless about the best way to help. Simple actions such as reaching out and letting them know that you are there for them can provide tremendous relief and save a life. Here is a simple guideline on how to support them.
As yet another Domestic Violence Awareness Month came to a close, for all the progress we have made toward awareness, our culture still struggles with its view of a victim’s most daunting struggle – leaving the abusive relationship. From misguided criticism to outright scorn for the victim, the decision to leave or remain with an abusive partner can be an understandable source of pain and division between victims and their family and friends, and even how society perceives victims of domestic abuse. For the outsider, the solution to an abusive relationship is often perceived to be as simple as basic arithmetic. The “math” goes something like this: You + Abuse - Leave Abusive Partner = No More Abuse. Problem solved! It is the mathematical equivalent to 1 + 1 - 1 = 1. And, in fairness, in some cases, it is that simple as victims do end abusive relationships relatively easily and successfully each day.
I am a survivor of domestic violence. Ending a mentally and physically abusive relationship was the hardest thing I have ever done. Nearly 13 years later, the details of my relationship are still hard to share. I know I am lucky to have escaped. I’m thankful to be alive and that my life is free from abuse, control and the exhaustion that comes from living in fear.
I have a problem with the term ‘domestic abuse survivor’. Bear with me on this. I’m saying this from the point of view of a survivor of domestic abuse. Most of my adult relationships have been abusive. I’ve been through physical, sexual, psychological and economical abuse so I tick the boxes. I support all of the campaigns that help victims of domestic abuse regardless of gender, creed, colour or sexual orientation.
The year 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year, more so for victims and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Nigeria who have had to deal with the impact of two pandemics; COVID-19 and SGBV. In May, Uwa was brutally raped in a church in Benin, the gruesome attack led to her death. Barakat Bello was raped and killed in her home in June; and Grace Oshiagwu was raped and killed in Ibadan.
Emotional abuse in relationships is widespread and can have serious effects in one's life. Whereas physical and sexual abuse can easily be identified by a single definable offensive act, emotional abuse can often be disguised as an expression of love or humor and is not always perceived as being abusive when it occurs.
Anxiety can affect so many of us and so many are suffering right now more than ever. Here are some simple and effective techniques to help you manage anxiety.
GBV is a growing problem among older couples, women of age 50+ but it is not always taken seriously. So, they suffer in silence. It is rampant but mostly hidden because most victims fear reporting. This scenario is as a result of cultural, and social factors and norms, fear and embarrassment to ask for help, and the belief that the menace affects mostly the young women.
When I was in the midst of my abusive relationship, I thought it was all my fault. Thats what I kept being told and thats what I believed. It took me the time to do the work on myself to understand that none of this was my fault. Once I started seeing things in a new perspective, it was a game changer.
Sexual violence is among the most damaging crimes a person can inflict on another. The effects can be devastating, often involving life - changing consequences such as unwanted pregnancies, mental and physical problems, sexually transmitted infections, and sleep and eating disorders. Sadly, accurate information about the extent of sexual violence is difficult to obtain because most of these crimes are seriously under-reported to law enforcement.
The Coronavirus Pandemic is affecting nearly every aspect of our lives. Indeed, tensions remain high in our now limited everyday activities. Many survivors are forced to stay in close proximity with abusers making them susceptible to more abuse. Here are 3 of the most important safety tips to fall back on if this situation persists.
It may be impossible to assess the long-term toxic mental impact of the trauma resulting from COVID-19. It’s unprecedented and could have far reaching effects on people. There may not be enough and reliable data on previous high impact global traumatic incidences like the Spanish pandemic of 1918 or Ebola of 2014 -2016, that would inform how best to synthesize the impact of this latest trauma. We can only warn that all collaborative caution should be taken to mitigate its impact. Left unattended, any trauma could escalate, leaving untold misery in its wake.
Healing from trauma or abuse can sometimes be a challenging journey. It is a gradual, ongoing process that involves focus and patience for one to come to a point of complete healing. But with the right self-care strategies and support, one can move past the trauma, rebuild their sense of control and self-worth, and come out stronger.
“Why don’t they leave?” This is a common question when many people hear that someone is in an abusive relationship. Leaving may seem simple but it's never that easy. And here is why.
Domestic violence is a global pandemic that continues to evoke devastating impact on survivors, their families and society at large. The responsibility is always put on the victim with the most common question being, why didn’t you just leave. Stigma and victim blaming make it difficult for victims to report and seek help. It is therefore, crucial for everyone to learn about domestic violence to better support victims and raise awareness.
Are you looking for practical ways to better support a friend in an abusive relationship? Here are some five simple ways to start with.
Gender-based violence affects women of all ages. However, women aged 50+, have been left out of demographic surveys and studies. Most of the documented data is for women aged 15 -49 years. The lack of reliable and comprehensible data on this group makes it even difficult to design appropriate policies and interventions to support them. As a result, they end up invisible and neglected. We need to change this.
Coercive control is the first step in domestic violence. If we can identify it and stop it there, we can save lives.