Ruth Buckland Counselling Bromley, Kent

Understanding Domestic Violence and Abuse

Are you affected by domestic violence or abuse?

Maybe you are not sure if this is happening to you!

Domestic violence and abuse are often overlooked, excused and even denied. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological rather that physical. The nature of living with domestic violence and abuse can leave you feeling frightened, intimidated, confused and worn down which, in turn, can lead to depression, anxiety and helplessness. It can even destroy your self-worth.

Domestic violence and abuse can happen to anyone and does not discriminate. It happens among heterosexual couples and in same-sex partnerships. It can happen between siblings, and with their parents. It can happen between other combinations of the family too. It occurs within all age ranges, ethnic backgrounds and economic levels. While women are more commonly victimised, men are also abused, especially verbally and emotionally; although physically abuse occurs as well.

Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to violence and, whilst physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are extremely severe. Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and that is to gain and maintain control over you. The abuser chooses to behave in this manner and does not ‘play fair’. Abusers are excellent at controlling and manipulating their victims. This behaviour creates an unhealthy relationship which thrives on fear, isolation, intimidation, humiliation, blame, shame and guilt.

Signs of an Abusive Relationship

Do you feel like you walk on eggshells to avoid a blow-up?

Do you feel belittled or that you cannot do anything right?

I would never try to list all the signs or symptoms of domestic abuse, nor will I try to categorise them as often they cross over the various abuses: However below are some of the common warning signs that can identify if it is happening to you, a family member or a friend.

  • Hurt you physically in any way
  • Being frightened to say ‘no’ or have an opinion
  • Humiliate you or make you feel small
  • Monitor what you’re doing all the time
  • Prevent or discourage you from going out or going to work
  • Isolate you from family and friends
  • Force you to do things you don't want to do (including sexual acts)
  • Control or withhold your money
  • Threaten to hurt or kill you, your children, your family, even pets
  • Sabotage your job or hobbies
  • Blame you for his/her violent outburst
  • Accuse you regularly of being unfaithful

  • Although the physical violence is often what people refer to when they are looking at domestic abuse, it is the easiest to identify; but not all abusive relationships involve violence. As you can see from the warning signs above, emotional, sexual and financial abuse are all abusive and these methods are no less destructive.

    I will not tell you to leave the relationship nor will I judge you in anyway. I will offer you a confidential, safe place to discuss your experience and look at your choices for a more positive way forward.

    If you think that you could be experiencing any of the above or are just confused about a relationship then please contact me by phone on 07593 233911 or click here to email me to discuss whether I can help you.

    If you are in imminent danger, call the police on 999

    Other useful contacts:
    Bromley Womens Aid - click here
    National Centre for Domestic Violence - click here


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    tel: 07593 233911
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