Anger at home – towards women, towards men, towards children – is terrifying, home-wrecking and very dangerous indeed.
One in four women and one in six men will experience some form of domestic violence in their lifetimes, and, on average, it will claim the lives of two women each week.
So much for the statistics. What if it’s a situation you’re facing right now? What are your options? What should you do?
Thousands and thousands of men, women and children are at risk from violent partners, parents or step-parents, but because telling someone about it could have such catastrophic consequences for a family, many are simply afraid to take any action.
Whoever you are, being hurt by someone you love or trusted can be devastating. There is probably a lot of bewilderment and confusion, and you may well begin to think it’s your fault. You might feel ashamed about admitting it (especially men who are hit by women). If you are a child, you may be scared that you will get someone into trouble.
The message from all agencies that deal with domestic violence is simply this – you are not alone, it’s not fault and help is available.
If anger at home is something that touches your life, then contact the agencies listed for advice or practical assistance. If it’s your anger that’s causing the problem and you want to make changes, there’s help out there for you too.
It never stops with the first slap – that’s when the angry person needs to get help and the one who’s been hit has to draw a lone in the sand.
Many guests tell me they never fight in front of the children. If you have the self-control to do that, you have the self-control not to fight at all.
Whether the children are in the room or not, they will be affected by what is going on and could end up in an abusive relationship themselves when they grow up.
Where to go for Help
National Domestic Violence Helpline
A 24 hour helpline offering access to emergency refuge as well as an information service for women.
0808 2000 247 (free phone)
Monday-Sunday 24 hours
The Men's Advice Line
A confidential helpline for men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner, whether in heterosexual or gay relationships.
0808 801 0327 (free phone)
Monday-Friday 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm
Offers a range of support services for men who want to stop behaving violently or abusive.
0207 263 8884 (standard rate)
Monday 10am to 2pm
Tuesday-Thursday 9am to 5pm