What is Domestic Abuse?
Domestic abuse essentially involves the misuse of power and exercise of coercive control by one person over another with whom there is or has been a close relationship.
Domestic Abuse is the term to describe the actual or threatened physical, emotional, psychological, sexual or financial abuse of a person by a partner, family member or someone with whom there is, or has been, a close relationship. It is also considered to be domestic abuse for a perpetrator to allow or causing a child to witness, or be at risk of witnessing, domestic abuse.
There are many different forms of domestic abuse but they fall mainly into 4 categories. These are:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional / Psychological Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Financial Abuse
Domestic abuse occurs irrespective of gender, race, class, age, religion, sexuality, mental ability, physical ability, income, lifestyle or geographical area of residence.
Crime statistics and research show that domestic abuse is one of a range of crimes that are gendered. That is, it is most commonly experienced by women and perpetrated by men, particularly when there is a pattern of repeated and serious sexual assaults, or when it includes rape or sexual assault or results in injury or death. Men can also experience violence from their partners, both within gay and heterosexual relationships. Further, it is important to note that people of either gender who have disabilities, including learning disabilities are especially vulnerable to domestic abuse.
In Torfaen between 2007 and 2011 there were 2,322 reported incidences of domestic violence. In terms of the wider picture Torfaen is near the national average. This may not be an indicator that the incidence of domestic violence is average in Torfaen, as it is known that domestic violence is grossly under-reported. Whatever is the case, domestic violence is unacceptable from a moral and human rights perspective and the Council will work with its partners to reduce the incidence rates by intervention within communities and increase the levels of successful prosecution.
Support for Victims
Victims of domestic abuse locally can access dedicated domestic abuse services through Chrysalis Centres. The Chrysalis Centre are a multi agency partnership between Torfaen Womens’ Aid, Hafan Cymru and the Independent Domestic Abuse Advocate.
The Chrysalis Centre in Pontypool, open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, provides services for female victims only.
The Chrysalis Centre in Fairwater Square, Cwmbran, open 9.30am – 12.30pm, Monday to Friday, provides services for male and female victims.
Both centres act as a gateway to other services victims of domestic abuse may need.
If you need help
For access to Emergency Accommodation - day or night - call the Chrysalis Centre on 01495 742052
For general enquiries you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline is a 24 hour service and although you need credit on your mobile to dial the number the call is free- you will not be charged for seeking advice or help to access Refuge. The telephone number is 0808 8010800.
Last Modified: 05/11/2015
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- Plan how you may respond in different situations including crisis or emergency.
- Think of the different options available to you. If you need to seek advice, this can be done anonymously by telephoning Women’s Aid or the Helpline.
- If safe to do so, keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers for example your local women’s aid refuge organisation, or other Domestic Abuse service, the police domestic violence unit, G.P. solicitor, children’s school.
- Teach your children to dial 999 in an emergency and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number.)
- Are there neighbours you could trust? Is there somewhere you could go in an emergency? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children could get away safely.
- Pack an emergency bag for yourself and the children, hide it somewhere safe (at a friend or neighbours) try to avoid mutual friends or family.
- Try to keep a small amount of money on you at all times-including change for the phone and for bus fare.
- Keep your mobile phone with you or know where the nearest phone is.
- Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.
- If you suspect that your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone. Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other such weapons; and avoid rooms where you may be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you may be shut in a cupboard or other small space. You could try swapping the knife drawer in the kitchen to hold tea towels as this may cause confusion and give you precious time to escape if he is looking for a weapon.
- If you are being attacked you could pretend to be about to vomit as people instinctively step away if they think someone is about to be sick.