Domestic And Child Abuse: It Is Unacceptable
Recently in my school, a policeman gave us a talk during a pastoral lesson about domestic and child abuse. I have to say that it was actually very interesting but also created awareness of what some people are going through in their lives.
First things first, get rid of the stereotype in your head that men are the people who always abuse women because that is definitely not always the case.
The policeman explained to everyone that many times he has had big strong men come to him really upset about something that a woman has done to them.
Domestic abuse is any type of violence or hurtful remarks, which is for people 16 and over. Child abuse is a rank below but it still is as bad as domestic abuse. There are quite a few forms of domestic/child abuse but the main ones are: psychological, physical, emotional, sexual and financial. Now, you might think that financial sounds a bit of a weird one but this can simply be a wife taking the debit card away from her husband who has a joint bank account with her. Physical abuse is obviously like it sounds; it is when someone hurts someone very badly and basically bullies them, which is definitely not acceptable.
Psychological abuse is basically bullying as well; it is when someone for example keeps on calling someone names and makes them feel small. In the video the policeman showed us, it had a woman who was being domestically abused by her boyfriend and he didn't like her glasses so he threw them away in the wheelie bin outside the house. This is an example of emotional abuse because he was trying to change the identity of the poor woman and she was extremely upset after he did this.
Now onto sexual abuse. We all know what this kind of abuse is but if you don't, I will explain: sexual abuse is when someone (either male or female) will force the other person to have sexual intercourse (otherwise known as 'making love'). [Editorial note: The definition of sexual abuse is not limited to 'sexual intercourse': it is forcing someone to partake in any act of a sexual nature, be it touching someone sexually without their consent or forcing them to watch such deeds. More information here.] This can also be seen as rape and it is a very serious crime.
Anyone who has to put up with domestic or child abuse should definitely let someone know about it, because they should not have to live their lives like that. There is always help available; for children there is the NSPCC who run something called ChildLine and on their website there is 24/7 help available via live chat, or alternatively there is a number (0800 1111) which is also run 24/7. Anything you say to the person on the other end of the line is confidential unless you are having extreme problems, in which case, they will get involved (don't imagine the police coming around and all of that, because it all happens quite slowly and they will give you gradual help to sort out your issues).
If you are having really bad problems and you just cannot stand it anymore you can call 999 obviously and report what you are experiencing, because whatever type of abuse someone has to put up with, it is all wrong and needs to be stopped. It is much better if you get help if you are experiencing this because it will always be sorted. No one is going to come chasing after you if you tell someone, because those people are there to help you.
Young people who are experiencing problems might want to speak to Meic, which is an info, advocacy and advice helpline for people in Wales. I am sure this works just like ChildLine.
The main point of this article is to express how much domestic abuse and child abuse is wrong and it needs to stop. Telling someone is the best thing to do because if you don't, then the abuse will just carry on and you will not get anywhere at all. No one should put up with this in their lives, so if you think that you are a victim of domestic abuse or child abuse, I would strongly recommend telling someone you trust or getting in touch with a helpline because it is a serious crime and no one should have to put up with it.
All Wales Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 8010 800
Cardiff Women's Aid: 029 2046 0566
ChildLine: 0800 1111
Image credit: 'Open your eyes - against women being abused' by Denitza Tchacarova via Flickr