Today marks day sixteen of 2021’s 16 days of action against Domestic Abuse. Anybody can be a victim; anybody can access help. The team at Ringrose Law are available to guide you through the process so please contact us.
Domestic abuse is a growing issue within University age individuals – 16 to 24 in women and 16 to 19 in men. The National Union of Students conducted a Hidden Marks study in 2010 which considered the link between sexual harassment, rape and domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is no longer the taboo subject it once was, although there is much to be improved still. The report highlighted that:
- 1 in 7 had experienced serious physical or sexual assault whilst at University
- 35% of serious incidents were by someone the victim knew
It can be hard to stand up to domestic abuse when you see it, especially at a young age or if you’ve had no experience of abuse yourself, but there are toolkits that can be utilised to help! Greater collaboration is needed within services but as a bystander there are options available. You can help, if you want to.
If somebody tells you they’re being abused, believe them. Don’t ask for evidence or judge their actions and choices. Whether you would have done things differently, isn’t relevant. Respond with patience and kindness and try to make them feel calm and safe too. If they can leave the conversation feeling better than they did going in to it, that will be the first of many weights lifted.
Once you’ve been trusted with the information, try first to listen without responding. You may feel hurt or angry by what you’re hearing but remember these things aren’t happening to you and, again, judgment isn’t helpful to the person. Try to ask open questions, let all questions be answered completely without jumping in, accept silence and processing time, reflect on what you’re being told and think through what’s being said.
After you’ve been told everything and when the individual is ready to hear your thoughts, there are certain things you may wish to consider. Although leaving may seem logical to you, there may be many reasons why an individual feels they cannot leave their abuser yet. Statistically an individual is in the most danger when leaving an abusive relationship but there could be a number of other factors affecting their decision (money, children or the risks they think might be associated with leaving).
If you are concerned about the individual, there are options available to you, organisations you can point them towards. Local refuges can assist with accommodation and charities like EDAN can offer support, classes and help with advice.
We can help
The team at Ringrose can assist with any Orders that are needed, please contact us if you require our assistance. For further information contact 01522 561020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org