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17.05.2019

Domestic Abuse & Mental Health  

Written by Rosita Mendonca

An estimated 1.3 million women & 700,000 men experience domestic violence each year, according to the Office for National Statistics (ending March 2018)

 

It is now well accepted that domestic abuse can have a profound impact on a survivors’ mental health and is the main cause of depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.

  • 64% ( almost two thirds) of domestic abuse survivors  experience post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 1
  • Between 30 and 60% of psychiatric in-patients had experienced severe domestic abuse 2
  • 16% of victims report that they have considered or attempted suicide as a result of the abuse, and 13% report self-harming 3
  • Exposure to domestic violence has a significant impact on children’s mental health. Many studies have found strong links with poorer educational outcomes and higher levels of mental health problems

 

Head of Family, Kirsty Richards comments

Domestic abuse has far-reaching consequences for the victims and the children of those families.  Many of the clients that we help at NLS describe the often-devastating impact on their mental wellbeing from the abuse they have suffered/ are continuing to suffer.  There is a lot of campaigning for better understanding of domestic abuse which is seeing a positive change in the wider understanding of abuse and its impact on the health and wellbeing of victims but we need to keep talking about it.  The more we discuss abuse and the mental health implications, hopefully strength is given to other victims to recognise they too are in an abusive relationship and hopefully give them the confidence to escape the life and put protective measures in place.  Sadly, most of us will be impacted by domestic abuse at one point in our lives be it directly or through a loved one or friend that is a victim.  We need to keep up the pace of these awareness campaigns to ensure that there are options for victims and we at NLS certainly remain committed to providing as much support as possible to anyone needing advice about what to do

 

If you have been a victim of domestic abuse and have decided to leave your abuser, there many organisations that can help you :-

 

  • National Domestic Violence helpline

The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a 24 hour helpline which provides advice and support to women and can refer them to emergency accommodation. The National Domestic Violence Helpline is a 24 hour helpline which provides advice and support to women and can refer them to emergency accommodation.

Telephone: 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
Email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk
Website: www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

 

  • Refuge

Refuge offers advice and support to women experiencing domestic abuse and also provides safe, emergency accommodation through a network of refuges throughout the UK, including culturally-specific services for women from minority ethnic communities and cultures.

Telephone: 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
Email: info@refuge.org.uk
Website: www.refuge.org.uk

 

  • Men’s Advice Line

The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for all men experiencing domestic violence by a current or ex-partner. They provide emotional support and practical advice, and can give you details of specialist services that can give you advice on legal, housing, child contact, mental health and other issues.

Helpline: 0808 801 0327
Email: info@mensadviceline.org.uk
Website: www.mensadviceline.org.uk

 

  • Women’s Aid

The Women’s Aid website provides a wide range of resources to help women and young people

Telephone: 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
Email: helpline@womensaid.org.uk
Website: www.womensaid.org.uk

 

  • ManKind Initiative

The ManKind Initiative is a charity offering information and support to men who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. This can include information and support on reporting incidents, police procedures, housing, benefits and injunctions. They can refer you to a refuge, local authority or other another support service if you need it.

Telephone: 01823 334 244
Email: admin@mankind.org.uk
Website: new.mankind.org.uk

 

  • Everyman Project

The Everyman Project offers counselling to men in the London area who want to change their violent or abusive behaviour. It also has a national helpline, which offers advice to anyone worried about their own, or someone else’s, violent or abusive behaviour.

Email: everymanproject@btopenworld.com
Helpline: 0207 263 8884

 

1 Trevillion, K., Oram, S., Feder, G., & Howard, L.M. (2012). Experiences of domestic violence and mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLOS One, 7, e51740

2Howard, L.M., Trevillion, K., Khalifeh, H., Woodall, A., Agnew-Davies, R. and Feder, G. (2010), Domestic violence and severe psychiatric disorders: prevalence and interventions in ‘Psychological Medicine’ (2010), 40 ,881-893. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

3SafeLives (2015), Insights Idva National Dataset 2013-14. Bristol: SafeLives

4 Gilbert, R., Kemp, A., Thoburn, J., Sidebotham, P., Radford, L., Glaser, D., & MacMillan, H. (2009). Recognising and responding to child maltreatment. The Lancet, 373(9658), 167–180