How SDV can help you

We can advise and support you. An injunction is not always the right course of action and, if it’s not right for you, we can advise you fully of your options. We have links with the local police and Women’s Aid so we can refer you for further support if required.

Often domestic abuse is not the only issue; you might have issues with contact between your children and your ex-partner. We can help you with all family related legal disputes.

Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse

The first step towards getting help for yourself, or someone you know, is learning to recognise the warning signs of domestic abuse and violence. Every relationship has its own challenges and the majority of couples argue from time to time, but clearly domestic abuse goes beyond any typical problem found in intimate relationships.

You can learn to spot patterns of abusive behaviour in relationships by becoming familiar with the warning signs of domestic abuse:

Recognising the warning signs in your own relationship

It is important that you recognise the signs of abuse in your own relationship. The abuser may well begin a pattern of behaviour subtly at first and increase the intensity of the abuse as they break down the confidence and self-esteem of their victim. In no time at all, the perpetrator has established an intense control over the emotions, behaviour and actions of their partner. By the very nature of domestic abuse, its subtlety at the start of a relationship and the insidious way in which it happens may not permit you to recognise the signs in your own relationship. Often, victims stay in a state of denial and rationalise their partner’s behaviour; this is all too prevalent within abusive relationships.  It is only when enough strength and support is mustered to leave that relationship that the victim will realize how awful a situation they were in.

If you live in fear of your partner or feel that you can never measure up to your partner’s expectations; if you have thoughts of suicide or have been cut off from family and friends, you need to seek help; sooner rather than later.

The perpetrators of domestic abuse are responsible for their own behaviour and actions.

Common signs of Domestic Abuse

Verbal Abuse – a perpetrator of this type of abuse will belittle, criticise and disrespect their partner, using derogatory comments such as, “you’re useless”, “you’re off your head”, “you’re just that way out” or “you’re mental”. The abuser will also shout, make accusations, use offensive language, and make threats, name-call and mock. If your partner resorts to name-calling during a normal argument, this could be a sign of a pattern of abuse which could get worse if not kept in check. This is not likely to get better and it is advisable to seek assistance and support.

Physical and emotional control – these abusers stop their partners from enjoying their lives as they wish, by preventing them from having the same freedom and independence any other person would normally have. They do this by controlling their partner through extreme jealousy and possessiveness, threats and coercion. You may have wanted to join a club or go out somewhere with friends but your partner becomes angry that you didn’t consult them. You may be accused of not considering their wishes or of being selfish. You may get ready to go out with your friends for an evening only to be questioned incessantly about what you’re wearing and what your motives are; eventually it becomes “easier” and less stressful not to go out at all.  Clearly, these are just a couple of scenarios amongst so many that could happen when an abuser exerts such extreme control over another person.

Lack of respect – abusers often belittle or ignore the opinions of their victims. In public, abusers may ignore the victim’s contribution to conversations or make fun of what they have to say. Many abusers are very careful to cover up their abusive behaviour by coming across as protective, humorous, or showing a small level of affection. In private, however, the abuser openly and purposefully shows a lack of respect for their partner’s opinions, desires and needs. The abuser may make decisions which affect both people in the relationship without any consultation or consideration for the other person’s thoughts or feelings in the matter, as if they don’t count and are not worthy of consultation.

Fear and Anxiety – victims often live in fear of their partner. Although they may tell family and friends that they are alright, they may appear overly nervous or anxious when their partner is around, or after receiving a telephone call from the abuser. They may show physical signs of fear and anxiety, such as appearing jumpy and unsettled or trembling and shaking.