Sexual violence is a serious issue. It affects everyone in society and has no boundaries. 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. It’s important to know the facts about sexual violence so we can work together to prevent it.
Abusive marriages can be hard to leave at any age, but for older women with grownup children, there are issues that make it even harder. This is a factor service providers should have in mind as they come up with customized or targeted support.
“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.
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.