What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is when one person hurts or bullies another person who is or was their partner. It can happen to people who are going out, who live together, who have children together or who are married to each other. It can happen to a woman who is in a relationship with a man, or when there are two women or two men who are in a relationship together. Every relationship can have difficult times and everyone argues sometimes. What's different about domestic abuse is that it causes one person to be scared of the other. Abusers can hurt other people in many different ways including:
- Putting someone down all the time
- Stopping someone from seeing their family and friends
- Calling someone names that make them feel bad
- Doing things that frighten them, like slamming doors or shouting in their face
Financial ways (money):
- Not letting someone have the money they need or letting them go out to work to earn that money
- Always checking what someone is spending their money on
- Touching someone in ways that they don't like or want
- Making someone touch them in ways that they don't like or want
- Making comments about things you would like to do to someone in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable
- Making someone look at sexual images (pictures or DVDs) when they don't want to
Sometimes children and young people think that it's their fault that domestic abuse is happening in their home. It's never your fault when one person is behaving this way to someone else.
How might you feel if this is happening in your family?
If your family is like this you might feel lots of things:
Is it only adults who experience domestic abuse?
- There's no escape
- It's all my fault
- No one will believe me
No, sometimes young people experience domestic from their boyfriend or girlfriend. This is called dating abuse. Children and young people are also affected if there is domestic abuse in their home either by feeling scared or by being abused themselves.
How can Stirling and District Women's Aid help?
We can help you, your mum and your brothers and sisters find a safe place to stay. This might mean moving into our safe flats which are called refuge or somewhere else.
Sometimes it can help to talk about how you are feeling with someone that you can trust. A children's worker can come to your school to talk to you in private about how you are feeling. Sometimes this can feel like a relief or like a weight has lifted off you. Someone else will be able to talk to your Mum to help her feel better too.
"I feel safe in refuge and so do my mum and brother."
Boy, aged 7
"The service is good, it's nice to be able to just chill out and not have a worry, plus you can talk about what you want."
Girl, aged 19