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Stockport Counselling Services provides counselling help and support to all victims of domestic abuse.
This is provided with one goal in mind – helping you.
Crime Survey data suggests as many as one in four women and one in six men will experience a form of domestic abuse in their lifetime.
Domestic abuse counselling is key to countering the corrosive impact on mental well-being caused by domestic abuse.
What constitutes domestic abuse? There are differing degrees and differing perceptions of domestic abuse.
What is constant, however, is that domestic abuse counselling can help broker change in behaviour, thoughts and feelings for the better.
What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse or domestic violence can operate on many levels, but any threatening, violent or abusive behaviour, be that physical, psychological, financial or sexual, in the household between adults indicates abuse.
Rather than being one-off, such behaviours form a pattern over time where there is a clear power differential between the abuser and abused, who seeks to dominate and control their victim.
It can occur in any household regardless of background, race and gender.
Is your relationship abusive?
It can be easy to recognise a problematic relationship but harder to recognise an abusive one.
There tend to be certain common traits among both abuser and the abused.
The following are some of these traits, though by no means all, that can indicate when people in a relationship may potentially fall into a pattern of abuse.
Naturally, it needs noting that people may exhibit some of the below behaviours and not be an abuser or abused.
Common Profile – Abuser
- Becomes seriously committed at an early stage. Can claim love at first sight and wants firm, strong commitment.
- With males, a belief in rigid, traditional roles, a dominant role in relationships and adherence from their partners to a designated, subservient role.
- Any abuse will be fault of the victim.
- Track record of abuse or conflict in former relationships
- Possessive, jealous, wants to remove victim from acquaintances or family. Can accuse victim of infidelity without grounds or flirting.
- Has a public and private persona, exhibiting anger or/and aggression to the victim but not to other people.
- Struggles to express emotions without anger and/or aggression.
- Violence towards the victim or intimidatory behaviour.
- Sex can be aggressive and unconcerned about mutual needs.
- Doesn’t take responsibility for own feelings; other people’s fault. Emotional dependence on victim.
- Takes offence easily, small issues can be seen as personal affront. Hypersensitive, looking for personal attacks.
- Can exhibit cruelty towards children or pets. Punishment, often brutality without feeling as deserved.
- Mood changes quickly, depressive behaviour.
- Can monitor victims whereabouts, spending or decisions, often presented as concern rather than control-mechanism.
Common profile – Abused
- Low self-esteem. Can feel abuse is warranted. Can defend abuser’s behaviour. Needs/wants secondary to partner’s.
- Internalises abuser’s high expectations and place unrealistic demands upon themselves.
- Allow themselves to be controlled.
- Feels guilty about the relationship’s problems, self-blame for abuse. Continually tries to modify own behaviour to placate abuser.
- Allow themselves to become isolated from from friends and family. Feelings of shame about relationship can escalate this withdrawal.
- Isolation escalates feeling of being beyond help. This helplessness is emphasised if has already tried to leave the abuser. Helplessness. This feeling is reinforced if victim tries to leave abuser and fails.
- Own upbringing may have caused learned behaviours where abusive behaviour is seen as acceptable.
These profiles relate and touch upon common behaviours found in instances of domestic abuse.
Common Behaviours in Abusive Relationships
- Verbal abuse – verbally threatening, constant criticism and undermining, name-calling, accusations
- Intimidation – threats to withhold money, stop you doing certain things, such bas use the car, or take remove the children from you
- Lack of trust – lies to you about their own behaviour, but jealous and possessive about your actions
- Isolating tactics – not passing on messages from family and friends, controlling who you see and where you go
- Threats – physical intimidation, throwing objects, breaking things, threatening to harm you or children
- Violence – hitting, pushing, pulling, shoving – any instance of using physical force
- Harassment – embarrassing you in public, monitoring your phone and emails
- No responsibility – denial about their actions and behaviours, claiming it is the victim’s not their fault.
- Sexual violence – consent irrelevant to sexual activity, can be degrading or humiliating, or conducted in an aggressive manner
Break the Cycle – Get Counselling Help
While many behaviours associated with domestic abuse constitute a crime, many do not.
This can heighten the difficulty in getting help, especially as the victim will often feel isolated and possibly ashamed about the abuse taking place.
Normally, the way they feel about themselves and the relationship is a by-product of the abuse, especially as the abuser seeks to define the relationship and actions taking place on their terms.
However, it is possible to break the abuse cycle and to seek help, which can change the way you feel about yourself and your relationship.
If your relationship is characterised by any of the behaviours listed above, and you feel you would benefit from domestic abuse counselling and support, then don’t hesitate to contact us today – it could make a huge difference to turning things around – no one deserves to be a victim of domestic abuse.