This week from 28th March to 1st April it is Domestic Violence Awareness Week. Domestic violence and abuse is continuous patterns of behaviour of power and control over another escalating to violence and at its worst homicide. Therefore, it is only right that our thoughts should go out to families that have lost loved ones due to controlling and violent perpetrators. Our thoughts should also go out to victims that want to "break the cycle" but haven't fully reached that point. But also we must share joy for victims that have had the courage to walk away, stay strong, speak out and survive.
It is my belief that what goes behind closed doors should not stay behind closed doors, it is a crime and I also believe that we, as a community, must look out for each other and help each other to prevent harm to others.
Domestic violence is not selective, it can happen to anyone from your next door neighbour to a celebrity, from same sex relationships to heterosexual relationships to young people. The numbers of violence against women tend to be higher but let's not make the mistake that it does not happen to male victims because it does, still very under reported but we must encourage them to speak out.
Whilst it will never be easy to completely eradicate this kind of behaviour a good starting point to reduce it would be to address mindsets such as, "he/she asked for it" or "he/she made me do it" or "he/she is the problematic one."
If you are suffering in silence and reading this please know there is help out there for you and there is absolutely no need for you or your children to endure this kind of behaviour. If you are a neighbour or you are a family member that knows someone that is suffering please don't turn your back on them, help them and encourage them to seek help.
We cannot and should not turn our backs to this "silent" crime.
Pauline FynnPauline is booked as the guest speaker at our July Coffee Morning on Tuesday 26th.