WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual and is caused by the abuser's desire to have power and control over an intimate partner or family member.
Domestic violence or abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of the age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity of the survivor. It can happen in all kinds of relationships: heterosexual, gay, bisexual and transgender, however statistics show that the vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.
There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding domestic abuse including but limited to the idea that victims are in some way culpable or deserve the abuse, that domestic abuse is always violent and that only certain types of people can be survivors or perpetrators. A victim of any type of abuse is never deserving or ‘asks for’ the abuse to occur and statistics show that anyone can become a victim of domestic abuse, which can take many forms and does not necessarily have to be violent to be abusive.
At Outskirts we use the Duluth Power and Control Wheel to illustrate the different ways in which a relationship can be unhealthy and abusive.
There are also many misconceptions regarding survivors of domestic abuse and ideas surrounding why survivors may not leave an abusive partner, or may return to an abusive relationship. Some believe this is an indication that the survivor deserves or enjoys the abusive behavior. The reality is that the psychological impacts of repeated exposures to coercive control and terror are complex and debilitating. These myths are associated with victim blaming that can be commonplace in society and show a profound lack of understanding of the psychobiological, social and practical factors that make leaving an abusive partner incredibly difficult. The cycle often being, that the longer a survivor receives the massage from the perpetrator and society that they ‘ask for it’, the more difficult it becomes to believe psychologically that they are deserving of better. It is also the reality that the time of leaving a violent relationship is the most dangerous and the time that most victims are murdered by their partners. This high risk, along with many practical economic, social and relational issues including the consideration of children, makes leaving an abusive partner incredibly difficult.
At Outskirts we believe that there is not one simple answer as to why domestic abuse may occur. We believe in concidering the many factors that may be relevant to thinking about domestic violence and abuse and supporting survivors.
We strive to provide services that support survivors who have experienced domestic abuse through art therapies and practical support, services that follow a specialist model, concerned with with safe guarding, facilitating a client led process of grieving and sharing of experience, and a process of reconnection and empowerment.
We also strive to remain politically aware of the issue central to domestic abuse socially and personally and offer Art Making CR groups along with other interventions to raise consciousness and awareness of the issue of domestic abuse, for those at risk or in need of support in identifying healthy and none-abusive behaviors and relationships.
If you are in a relationship that is abusive or violent and you are in need of immediate support please click here to find a list of organisations that can help.
In the case of an emergency or where you feel at risk please dial 999.