On any given day, Refuge supports 7000 women and children fleeing from domestic abuse.
So why have I chosen this charity and this cause? Last year, someone I know disclosed to me she was in an abusive relationship. I was so shocked to hear what had been going on, and I turned to two very good friends of mine who are both survivors of domestic abuse, to try and and find out how I could support her better.
This motivated me to to do a Level 2 Certificate in Domestic Abuse Awareness, to try and understand abuse. It’s been a hard course to do, due to the sensitive material, and it really challenged my perceptions on domestic abuse. Especially since I’ve never experienced it.
Although I understood it from a theoretically perspective, because I’ve never experienced it myself, it’s really challenging to try and understand what the victim of abuse is going through.
So I just want to share a few facts I’ve come to learn about domestic abuse;
* Domestic abuse is defined as a single act, or repetitive behaviour that includes physical, psychological, sexual, emotional and financial abuse. It also includes coercive control, online and digital abuse, stalking, harassment, forced marriage, FGM and modern slavery.
*It’s not that easy to report abuse. Some individuals are not aware that the behaviours are abusive, many feel ashamed and embarrassed, many are isolated from friends and family, and fear repercussions. They are trapped financially and don’t have the opportunity to tell anyone.
*Domestic abuse is not caused by mental health issues, stress, poverty, drugs, alcohol or a difficult upbringing. Abuse is a deliberate and conscious act to control and manipulate another individual. Not everyone who is stressed, drinks or has mental health issues abuse their family or loved ones.
*A non-molestation order, and a restraining order can be obtained through the courts to stop the perpetrator of abuse from contacting you, showing up at your home and being anywhere near you.
*Finally, reach out to those friends and family to let them know you are there for them, and if you suspect any changes in their behaviour are not normal.
There are many support organisations out there including groups for LGBTQ.
Refuge work mainly with women and children who are trying to escape and recover from domestic abuse.
£5 can help provide emotional support to a child.
£10 could provide a woman arriving at a Refuge with the support she needs for her first night.
Every £1 makes a difference. So whatever you can afford, thank you!
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