Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, yet the problem is often overlooked, excused, or denied.
This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, Eastlight will act quickly, effectively and sympathetically to help you.
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you may be in an abusive relationship. Remember there is help available so please reach out. No one should live in fear of the person they love.
- Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
- Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
- Feel you can’t do anything right for your partner?
- Believe that you deserve to be hurt or mistreated?
- Wonder if you’re the one who is crazy?
- Feel emotionally numb or helpless?
Does your partner:
- Humiliate or yell at you?
- Criticise you and put you down?
- Treat you so badly that you’re embarrassed for your friends or family to see?
- Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments?
- Blame you for their abusive behaviour?
- See you as property or a sex object, rather than a person?
- Have a bad and unpredictable temper?
- Hurt you, or threaten to hurt or kill you?
- Threaten to take your children away or harm them?
- Threaten to commit suicide if you leave?
- Force you to have sex?
- Destroy your belongings?
- Act excessively jealous and possessive?
- Control where you go or what you do?
- Keep you from seeing your friends or family?
- Limit your access to money, the phone, or the car?
- Constantly check up on you?
- Report domestic abuse to us by calling 0330 128 0330, emailing email@example.com or complete our online form below. We will not leave a voicemail, respond by text or discuss your case with anyone else answering your phone.
- Contact COMPASS – a charity supporting male and female victims of domestic abuse across Essex. – a charity supporting male and female victims of domestic abuse across Essex.
- Call the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247
- Call the police on 999 if there is any immediate danger, or visit a police station. If you’re calling from a mobile phone but are unable to speak, press ‘55’ when asked what type of service you require, then stay on the line.
We will never inform the person responsible that we have spoken to you.
Your safety is our main priority. We will also not take any action against this person without consulting you first.
If you cannot get into your home, or are afraid to stay there, we can help you.
Eastlight can give you housing advice and make referrals into specialist domestic abuse services to help identify a woman’s refuge if needed.
Our staff will listen to you and give you advice while working with the police to offer support.
We recognise that housing is one of the main reasons why survivors do not leave abusive homes.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse and you want to stay in your current home, our staff can give you support and advice on what you need to do. We can also talk to you about keeping you safe in your home.
- Offer you support and advice from our trained team
- Provide emotional support and practical help and advice
- Be sensitive and understanding when we discuss your housing options
- Work with councils, Police and other organisations to ensure you have support when you need it.
- React quickly and effectively to make sure you are safe
- Take action against those who are responsible for domestic abuse through their Tenancy Agreement, if you agree.
If you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online, use a computer at a local library, an internet café, a friend’s house or at work.
You can also delete your browser history which will remove the history of the pages you’ve visited. Here’s advice on how to delete your browser history
Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA)
We are recognised by the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) for achieving the UK benchmark for how housing providers should respond to domestic abuse.
Having supported 200 victims of domestic abuse since 2015, we’ve seen all too often the devastation abusers cause and the support social landlords should offer to victims. That’s why we have joined hundreds of other UK housing associations by signing up to the Chartered Institute of Housing’s ‘Make a Stand’ campaign.
Common myths about domestic abuse
There are a number of myths surrounding domestic abuse which are simply untrue.
You can find out the truth behind these myths below:
Reality: No one deserves to be beaten or mentally tortured. Often, domestic abuse is triggered off by simple requests, such as for money or food. Violent behaviour is a choice, with consequences.
Reality: Women stay in violent relationships for several reasons, ranging from love to terror. There are both emotional and practical reasons for staying. It is important to remember that leaving is a process and not an event.
Reality: Yes it’s true that everyone has arguments. Disagreement and challenge are elements of all relationships. However, when fear is present, this brings a different dynamic. Women who suffer domestic abuses are often seriously injured, and many hospitalised. Domestic abuse is a serious problem which can result in murder.
Reality: Alcohol is often used as an excuse for domestic abuse. But whilst drinking can exacerbate the situation, it is not the sole cause. The origins of domestic abuse are power and control. Many abusers abuse their partners when they are not drinking.
Reality: Stress and mental illness are often presented as reasons for domestic abuse. Domestic abuse happens because the abuser has made a choice to be abusive. Domestic abuse is rarely caused by mental illness. Most abusers only abuse their partners and can function normally in all other areas of their lives.
Reality: There is no quality research to support the cycle-of-abuse theory, and there is no definite inevitable link. Some children grow up to make healthy choices and can go on to have positive relationships free from abuse. It is important to remember that behaviour is always a choice.
Reality: Children often suffer from domestic abuse. Women who experience abuse often make decisions which they feel are in the best interests of the children, whether this is staying or leaving. Often for children, emotional and physical wellbeing can improve when the abuse is removed and effective support is put in place.
Reality: Domestic abuse cuts across all boundaries of age, class, religion, culture, sexuality, race etc. Anyone can experience domestic abuse.
Reality: Domestic abuse includes emotional and verbal abuse as well as physical. Emotional abuse can be very powerful, and the impact can be devastating in both the short and the long term.
Reality: Domestic abuse does impact on children. All children will experience it differently and all will respond differently. Some children witness or overhear the abuse whereas others can be victims of physical abuse. Research has shown, if proper support is put in place, many children can and do recover from the negative impact of domestic abuse. It is important to remember all children are different.
Reality: Domestic abuse is everyone’s business. We all have a part to play in challenging the existence of domestic abuse and supporting those who experience it. If someone is experiencing abuse within the home, they have the right to reach out and to access the support they need.
Reality: Sadly domestic abuse has always been there. In the past however, unwritten rules, strong belief in family values, marriage and privacy did keep it behind closed doors. Due to the progress made in raising the issue publicly and at government level, we have witnessed an increase in service provision and changes in law which have encouraged more victims to come forward to access the support they need.
Reality: Abuse is abuse. It doesn’t matter how often it happens, this is no excuse for abuse. Statistics show it is unlikely that physical abuse will be an isolated incident. if it happens once, chances are it will happen again. Domestic abuse includes emotional and verbal abuse as well as physical. Emotional abuse can be very powerful, and the impact can be devastating in both the long and the short term.