World Mental Health Day
When domestic abuse is physical, the damage caused is clear for all to see, but today, which is World Mental Health Day, we want to remind people about the damage it does to a person’s mental health.
We also want to make sure that women who are subjected to this type of abuse recognise it.
Emotional abuse is an attack on personality rather than the body. If someone is altering their behaviour because they are frightened of how their partner will react, they are being abused.
Domestic abuse is often psychological with abusers playing mind games. Abusers often also tell their partners “You are mad” and follow this by suggesting no-one will believe them, their children will be taken away and they are not capable of looking after themselves.
The kind of mind games our service users have reported to us is one day a partner saying: ‘why don’t you make more of an effort, you look disgusting’ and the next day ‘why are you all dressed up? Who are you going to meet?’.
This can cause real anxiety as the abuser’s partner is trying to please a person who cannot be pleased. It means treading on eggshells so as not to upset them, feeling intimidated, being indecisive and in some cases not knowing what is even real anymore.
These are tactics developed by the abuser to make their partner question themselves, have no confidence and rely on them only so they will never leave.
When a victim is frightened of their partner and treads on eggshells out of fear of their reaction, that is not right.
It’s abuse if your partner gets angry at the slightest thing. If you must do everything his way. And if you’re worried that your behaviour will ‘set him off’.”
There doesn’t have to be physical violence for someone to be guilty of domestic abuse. It’s not just about bruises. It can simply involve words, where a perpetrator makes comments to emotionally manipulate his victim.
We are often asked by women: “Am I mad?” and we reassure them they are definitely not.
We can help women who have been subjected to this coercive behaviour to get their confidence back, become themselves again and live free from abuse.
Please call our support line on 01773 719111 or text us on 07914 634 190.