Help her have a happier and safer Mother's Day

Sadly, one in four women, many of whom will be mothers, will experience domestic abuse in their lives and for many, this mothering Sunday may be just another day that they wake up feeling scared, apprehensive or isolated.

Often, domestic violence and abuse takes place behind closed doors with friends and family not realising what’s happening or knowing what to do.

There are lots of ways in which we can help a person who is suffering from physical, psychological, financial abuse or controlling behaviour.

Behaviour will be different in every situation and it’s common for more than one form of abuse to be happening at the same time. Domestic violence and abuse can happen in a relationship where the abuser is a partner, ex-partner or another family member. It could be happening to your mum, sister, aunt or friend. Whilst the majority of cases reported happen to women, we know it happens to men too.

Spot the signs:

  • Controlling behaviour: they are told what they are allowed to do, what to wear and who they can see.
  • Psychological abuse: they are often insulted by their partner, put down or embarrassed in front of people, made to feel worthless.
  • Physical abuse: they are physically hurt, have bruises, or are made to feel scared and jumpy nervous.
  • Isolation: they are becoming increasingly withdrawn from their family and friends, or are prevented from contact with family and friends.
  • Financial abuse: they have little or no control over their finances or a family member is taking money from them without consent.

We know that there are people who have been in abusive situations for many years and have never been able to speak out. But, each of us has the power to reach out to someone we love and tell them that abuse is not their fault.

If you suspect someone might be suffering from any type of domestic violence or abuse, it may be difficult to know what to do but here are some ways you can help:

  • Talk to them and help them to open up.
  • Do not judge them and be patient.
  • Listen to and believe what they tell you.
  • Reassure them that the abuse is not their fault and that you are there for them.
  • Don’t tell them to leave or criticise them for staying – they have to make that decision in their own time.
  • Focus on supporting them and building their self-confidence.
  • An abused person is often very isolated and has no support – help them to develop or to keep up outside contacts.

You can also encourage them to speak to someone. Camden Safety Net is the safe place to find independent advice and support for anyone who is experiencing domestic violence or abuse in Camden.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic abuse we can help.

Call our confidential advice service, Camden Safety Net, on 020 7974 2526.