Domestic Violence

What Is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence can usually be defined to include threatening, violent, or abusive behaviour in the home, between adult children and/or other adult family members. However, the term is frequently used to mean that this particular behaviour is used by one intimate partner to push power and control over the other partner through fear and intimidation. This fear and intimidation can also be mental abuse, not just physical.

Taking into account that emotional abuse in a relationship can happen equally regardless of gender, the more threatening and dangerous forms of domestic violence are usually committed by a man against a woman. Often the aggressor in a violent relationship feels ownership over the other partner, which all too often ends in injury or even death if this person tries to leave the relationship.  Sadly, children are also harmed by witnessing violence within their families.

Just Leave?

Leaving a threatening or dangerous situation is always the safest choice albeit not the easiest. But at the same time, it has to be the victims decision to leave. Of course this won’t always be a realistic choice in the case of a culture that condemns women for leaving a relationship and does not offer any resources or backup. Even in various cultures where a woman may have a safe place to go, there are obstacles that make it hard for an abused partner to walk away.

How Much Domestic Violence Goes On?

According to ONS (2014), Crime Survey England and Wales 2013 – 14. London: Office for National Statistics, every year around 2.1m people suffer a form of domestic abuse –  1.4 million women (8.5% of the population) and 700,000 men (4.5% of the population). This goes to show that if you are suffering from domestic abuse, you really are NOT alone.

Why Do I Stay With An Abusive Partner?

Some families may end up living with domestic abuse for a quite a significant period before finally getting any effective help. 

Saying that, there are many reasons for living with domestic abuse for a significant period of time, or even return to their abuser after attempting to leave and it’s not always apparent to the victim that a relationship is abusive. Feeling afraid of the abuser is normal, and fearing the consequences for others if they disclose the abuse will always deter a victim from leaving. The victim may not even know where to turn for help.

One thing that stands out with victims of domestic abuse or domestic violence is that they are almost embarrassed to admit that they are suffering at the hands of someone whom they thought loved them. One of the sad parts about that statement is that the abuser probably does love them very much, however simply can’t control themselves or their own issues and feel that taking it out on the partner instead helps them to cope.

Can It Happen To Me?

Domestic violence happens regardless of age, gender, social class, ethnicity, disability or life style. There is no definite pattern but what we do know is that domestic violence and its impact upon those who experience it is dangerous and common.

Experience has also shown that children are usually aware domestic violence and will experience it with all their senses. They are sadly often involved in the dynamics and incidents of abuse through no fault of their own. Many will and have witnessed the physical and emotional impact that domestic violence has on their mothers.

Without a doubt, every child’s experience of domestic violence is different, and every child WILL be affected differently. Domestic violence can impact upon all areas of their lives, including, health, education, the development of relationships, recreation and social activities. The effects are deep and wide-ranging for children, but the main thing here is that it WILL affect them.

I Need Help With Domestic Violence

I am here to work with both adults, teenagers and children who have or are suffering domestic abuse. Whilst there is really great support out there for families/victims to move away from the violence, I can help you piece things back together and start to rebuild all your lives.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:


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Bullying Aftereffects

Bullying – The After Effects

If you search through social media and magazines etc. and read stories on bullying, you tend to get the view of the initial situation and how it made that victim feel. What happened and how it affected that victim of extremely valid, however there never seems to be much follow up on how that bullying actually affected that victim throughout the course of their day to day life.

When bullied in school, you are at an impressionable age. You already have the pressures of ‘fitting in’, ‘being cool’, keeping up with your school work, developing your own mind and confidence, pretty much at the very beginning of building a World for you yourself. So to have another person or persons try and knock you down for whatever reason through no request by you, can actually be soul destroying and life threatening.

What Is Bullying?

Bullying is simply put; the use of force, coercion to abuse, threat, intimidate or aggressively dominate another person(s) and this behaviour is often habitual and repeated.

When rationalising this type of behaviour you can include; social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behaviour, body language, personality, reputation, strength, size, or ability, and if bullying is conducted by a group, it is referred to as mobbing.

Bullying can develop in any context in which people interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighbourhoods. Its always nice to try and see the best side of someone, but when that someone starts to bully you, your whole World can change at any age or in any situation.

What Can Bullying Really Do?

The effects of bullying can literally be devastating, as they more often than not continue long into adulthood and send countless children spiralling into depression or self-harm. Some will even attempt or commit suicide.

When left to continue without intervention, bullying doesn’t just affect the initial victim and the children who are bullying, it also affects everyone who is exposed to the environment in which it occurs – most commonly at school.

Being bullied as a child can lead to dropping out of or being expelled from school. Engaging in criminal behaviour, developing anxiety or depression and eventually being abusive towards friends, family and partners in their future.

As an adult, being bullied has the same strength and affect on the victim. Feelings of intimidation, depression, low self-esteem and social withdrawal can ensue, as can self harm and suicide.

The Aftereffects Of Being Bullied

Some people live for years with the after effects of bullying, some replaying the worst times over and over, and others even believing that they either deserved t or that it was their own fault. And all the while, the bullies themselves have moved onto someone else to bully, following the same track throughout their lives and bullying those around them – whatever their reasons.

Its not very often that you will meet up with the person who made your life hell previously and they apologise to you telling you that they have grown from the experience and that they truly are sorry, so please don’t ever wait for that day. More often that not the bully is not even aware that they are a bully. Its simply second nature to them to push people around either physically, verbally or mentally and not think twice about it, and sadly that is all too true.

Most harm that is caused by bullying is preventable!

I Have Been Bullied… What Can I Do?

Coming to terms with having been bullied is a big step to take. There are a lot of emotions, painful memories and sometimes bitterness wrapped in there – however I can help you untangle those memories and feelings, help you to regain your self worth and start to believe in your self again. Call for a no obligation ‘chat’ and realise that the dark cloud that is bullying can be lifted.

Clare Kiernan is the sole owner of Essex Therapy and can be contacted on 01268 527757 or 07840 416633 or if you feel more comfortable sending an email, please do so to:

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