There are many different reasons for divorce and separation but for some unlucky individuals its domestic violence and intimidation. It is estimated that around 3 million people, mostly women, suffer at the hands of their partners and divorce is often the only solution.
Domestic abuse - many causes but no excuses
A great deal is now known about domestic abuse. The significant finding from the years of research is that abusive behaviour towards a partner follows a pattern that usually leads to an escalation of the aggression. This can only be broken by one partner leaving the family home or the abuser working with the help and support of a counseller to change their behaviour. This is not easy as there are a number of deep seated causes of domestic violence. Remember they are causes, not excuses. The abuser must always take responsibility for his or her behaviour. Always.
These causes are being abused as child and then becoming the abuser in adult life. Being brought up in a violent environment or indulging in adult drug and alchol abuse. There are psychological influences such as low self esteem or poor anger control. Certain mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder are often closely associated with domestic abuse. Whatever the cause domestic abuse is never justified and should never be tolerated.
Credit crunch and domestic abuse
Certain conditions increase the likelihood of an outburst including excessive alcohol, lack of self esteem and stress. It is feared that the financial pressures resulting from the current economic difficulties will generate an increase in controlling behaviour. Women who hang on in the hope that things will improve of their own accord, wait in vain - it never abates. They should take the initiative to resolve the situation.
There is now a much greater understanding of behaviour of abusers and awareness of the tricks, ploys and blackmail used by their bullying partners. This reign of terror keeps wives, (and occasionally husbands) in an intolerable situation ande if you are experiencing this then there is help available to stop this. There is also specific help for men who are suffering domestic abuse, and a number to call 0808 801 0327 at Men's Advice Line.
What to do if this is happening to you
Kate Cavanagh worked for 30 years to expose and prevent domestic violence: in just a few minutes an abused woman can change her life for the better, forever. If that is happening to you then the National Domestic Violence Helpline is there to help. Call them now on 0808 2000 247.
Refuge is an excellent organisation providing help and support for both men and women. There is never, ever a justification for domestic abuse whether that is sexual, physical, emotional or financial. Counselling from a counseller with specific experience in domestic abuse is a good option as long as you are not living in physical danger at the moment. Domestic abuse is a vicious crime and does not have to be suffered by either a woman or a man. Use the links to the organisation that can give help and support. You need not be alone.