Have you caused or witnessed domestic violence? Has it had a lasting effect on your life? Here is some useful information you will find helpful.

 

What is Domestic Violence?

Official definition – violent or aggressive behaviour within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner.”

Domestic violence is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused.

 

When does it happen?

  • It can begin at any stage of the relationship
  • Domestic violence is rarely a one-off. Incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time

 

What causes domestic violence?

  • Domestic violence is caused by the abuser’s desire for power and control
  • It stems from an imbalance of power between the sexes
  • It is not caused by alcohol, drugs, unemployment, stress or ill health. These are only excuses or justifications for an abuser’s behaviour.
  • A combination of factors allows it to continue:
    – individual experiences of both the abuser and the abused (jealousy, fear of abandonment, low self-esteem);
    – society’s inadequate response (e.g. failure to prosecute, insufficient housing, lack of childcare, tendency to blame the abused woman);
    – society’s stereotypical beliefs and negative attitudes towards the roles of men and women (e.g. “love, honour and obey” and “you made your bed, you lie in it.”)
  • It continues because men are allowed to get away with it

 

“Any incident of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • Psychological
  • Physical
  • Sexual2015-08-29-10-28-14
  • Financial
  • Emotional

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploring their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts of assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim.

The definition includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called ‘honour based violence’, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or stepfamily.

Whatever form it takes, domestic abuse is rarely a one-off incident, and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Typically, the abuse involves a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, which tends to get worse over time. The abuse can begin at any time, in the first year, or after many years of life together. It may begin, continue, or escalate after a couple have separated and may take place not only in the home but also in a public place.

Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography. The figures show, however, that it consists mainly of violence by men against women. Children are also affected, both directly and indirectly and there is also a strong correlation between domestic violence and child abuse suggesting overlap rates of between 40-60%.

Abusers are in control of themselves when they abuse?

Despite what many people believe, domestic abuse is not due to the abuser’s loss of control over his behaviour. Domestic abuse is a deliberate choice made by the abuser.

In the majority of cases the following can be said to be true of his behaviour;

  • He/she is not violent with other people i.e. his boss
  • He/she is able to stop and compose himself if the police arrive or the doorbell rings
  • If he/she uses physical violence he/she is able to choose where to cause visible injuries – often in places where others cannot see them
  • He/she damages the victim’s possessions but rarely his own

 

Who Does It Effect?

  • Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity
  • It happens in all kinds of relationships: heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
  • Statistics show the vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women

 

Statistics

 

  • 2 women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner (Office of National Statistics, 2015) – 1 woman killed every 3 days
  • 1 in 4 women in England and Wales will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes and 8% will suffer domestic violence in any given year (Crime Survey of England and Wales, 2013/14)
  • Globally, 1 in 3 women will experience violence at the hands of a male partner (State of the World’s Fathers Report, MenCare, 2015)
  • Domestic violence has a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime (Home Office, July 2002)
  • Every minute police in the UK receive a domestic assistance call – yet only 35% of domestic violence incidents are reported to the police (Stanko, 2000 & Home Office, 2002)
  • The 2001/02 British Crime Survey (BCS) found that there were an estimated 635,000 incidents of domestic violence in England and Wales. 81% of the victims were women and 19% were men. Domestic violence incidents also made up nearly 22% of all violent incidents reported by participants in the BCS (Home Office, July 2002)
  • On average, a woman is assaulted 35 times before her first call to the police (Jaffe, 1982)
  • 20% of children in the UK have been exposed to domestic abuse (Radford et al. NSPCC, 2011)
  • In 90% of domestic violence incidents in family households, children were in the same or the next room (Hughes, 1992)
  • 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed (SafeLives, 2015)
  • 30% of domestic violence either starts or will intensify during pregnancy (Department of Health report, October 2004)
  • Foetal morbidity from violence is more prevalent than gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia (Friend, 1998)
  • In November 2009, Sylvia Walby of the University of Leeds estimated the total costs of domestic violence to be £15.7 billion a year. This is broken down as follows:
  • The costs to services (Criminal Justice System, health, social services, housing, civil legal) amount to £3.8 billion per year
  • The loss to the economy – where women take time off work due to injuries – is £1.9 billion per year
  • Domestic violence also leads to pain and suffering that is not counted in the cost of services.  The human and emotional costs of domestic violence amount to almost £10 billion per year

 

Examples of People with Communication Issues

 

“Janet’s Story”

 

 

 “Yvonne’s Story”

 

 

“Mary’s Story”

 

 

“Michelle’s Story”

 

 

“Angela’s Story”

 

All of the above stories were shared from – http://www.refuge.org.uk/get-help-now/true-stories/

 the-arts-of-change-dramatherapy-4

How Can it be Treated?

The AOC can help you if you have been effected by domestic violence. We are HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) registered and also members of BACP (The British Association of Dramatherapists). We have a team of highly skilled, professional counsellors and associate therapists to help you through with the use of creative art therapies.

 

Creative art therapies involve using arts in a therapeutic environment with a trained therapist. You do not need to have any artistic skill or previous experience of dance, drama, music or visual art to find arts therapies helpful. The aim isn’t to produce a great work of art, but to use what you create to understand yourself better. In arts therapy, your therapist helps you to create something — such as a piece of music, a drawing, a play or a dance routine — as a way of expressing your feelings, often without using words.

 

Creative art therapies can be offered in group sessions, one-to-one or with family therapy depending on your own preference. We will match you to our best suited therapist/counsellor to help you with any of your issues. All our counselling is strictly confidential and nothing said in the therapy space will leave the room.

 

There are many different modalities in which creative arts can be offered to you ranging from the following;

 

Drama/Puppetry
Offers profound reflection on who we are and the roles we play. These art forms are also centrally concerned with how people change people, for better or worse, and the sort of connections they make with each other, e.g. superficial, conflictual, brutal, deadened or deeply enriching. Drama and puppetry can also offer vital insights into ‘situation’: how past situations are still colouring those in the present. Working with puppets is ideal for circumventing a reluctance to speak about feelings.

Sculpture/Clay
Sculpture offers a person the power to speak through touch. Its power lies more in the emotional resonance of substance. Sculpture invites a sensual engagement with the world. Clay expresses qualities and forms of feeling, directly, plainly, free of the clutter of any associations of the everyday.

Poetry
Literal words can misrepresent, underplay, hide rather than reveal and frequently offering only approximations to any recalled experience. In poetry as a multi-sensorial form, ‘amplifies the music of what happens’ (Seamus Heaney). ‘A poetic basis of mind’ (Hillman) can lead to a far more profound experience of life.

Sandplay
Clients choose from a whole world of miniature people, animals and buildings and arrange them in the controlled space of the ‘theatre of the sandbox’. This theatre then offers a profound overview of important life issues. Once feelings are organised and externalised in sandplay, they can be contemplated from a distance, and then assimilated.

Music
The dynamic forms in music are recognisable as vital forms of felt life: the rises and falls, the surges and flooding’s, the tensions and intensities, the changes in tempo, the dissonances, harmonies and resolutions. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing. Music can convey the full qualitative and energetic aspects of an important relationship, atmosphere crucial event, or ongoing situation.

Bodywork/Movement
Forms encapture the complex inter-relations between time, weight, space, flow. We know these forms intimately in our emotional experiencing, so much so that both movement and still pose can provoke all manner of resonance. It is also possible to work with what the body is already communicating symbolically, whether through posture, gesture and gait, or through illness and injury. Movement is integral to the very process of change.

 

http://artspsychotherapy.org/iate-training/arts-psychotherapy-courses?gclid=CI-hrYfz280CFTUz0wodvl8Oag

 

If you would like to receive counselling from The AOC please fill out on of our online referral forms and send to support@theaoc.org.uk You will have a choice of 3 different types of referral forms;

  1. For individuals or couples
  2. Family referral form
  3. Group referral form

Please select the referral form most suited to you i.e. if you would like group therapy, fill out the group referral form.

Simply click the following link to find out more information and complete one of our referral forms:

https://www.theaoc.org.uk/about-the-arts-of-change/self-referral-therapy-forms/

We provide our clients with high-quality, evidence based expertise in the form of personal therapy and counselling. To help anyone suffering with any type of eating disorder.

Here is an example of a creative art therapy from The AOC in more detail;

Dramatherapy

Dramatherapy is a form of psychological therapy/psychotherapy in which all of the performance arts are utilised within the therapeutic relationship. Dramatherapy addresses a wide range of personal and emotional difficulties. Clients who are referred to a dramatherapist do not need to have previous experience or skill in acting, theatre or drama. Dramatherapists are trained to enable clients to find the most suitable medium for them to engage in group or individual therapy to address and resolve, or make troubling issues more bearable. Dramatherapists work in a wide variety of settings with people of all ages:

  • in schools
  • in mental health
  • in general health and social care settings
  • in prisons
  • in hospices
  • in the voluntary sector
  • in private practice

Dramatherapists are both artists and clinicians and draw on their trainings in theatre, drama and therapy to create methods to engage clients in effecting psychological, emotional and social changes.  The therapy gives equal validity to body and mind within the dramatic context; stories, myths, play-texts, puppetry, masks and improvisation are examples of the range of artistic interventions a dramatherapist may employ.  These will enable the client to explore difficult and painful life experiences through a creative-expressive approach. Dramatherapists are trained in both psychological and arts-specific assessment and evaluation techniques. They are committed to generating practice-based evidence and deliver sound evidence-based practice.

The British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth)

 

We can also offer our clients integrative counselling;

Integrative Counselling

Integrative therapy, or integrative counselling is a combined approach to psychotherapy that brings together different elements of specific therapies. Integrative therapists take the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. Each person needs to be considered as a whole and counselling techniques must be tailored to their individual needs and personal circumstances. 

Integrative counselling maintains the idea that there are many ways in which human psychology can be explored and understood – no one theory holds the answer. All theories are considered to have value, even if their foundational principles contradict each other – hence the need to integrate them. 

The integrative approach also refers to the infusion of a person’s personality and needs – integrating the affective, behavioural, cognitive, and physiological systems within one person, as well as addressing social and spiritual aspects. Essentially, integrative counsellors are not only concerned with what works, but why it works – tailoring therapy to their clients and not the client to the therapy.

Top Health Tips

  1. Have an intervention plan –Work out a plan to get an intervention operation in action
  2. Ring the bell –If you are the neighbour of a family experiencing Domestic Violence, please take the time to ring their bell when you hear a violent situation happening. You could use the old neighbourly approach of asking to borrow a cup of sugar or some milk as an excuse. If you feel that it could get dangerous, bring another person with you so there will be more than one witness
  3. Put the right numbers on speed-dial – If you have a mobile phone, make sure to put the most helpful numbers on speed-dial i.e. friend/loved one who can help.
  4. Keep your phone (and some money) on you at all times –Also remember to keep it fully charged at all times. You will never know when a situation will erupt, so it is crucial to have it on hand, especially if you know you might be alone with your abuser. Also have cash in hand in case you need to make a run for your life.
  5. Never feel like its your fault – It is not your fault, don’t ever think it is. It’s the abuser with the problem, you are the victim.
  6. Contact us The AOC can help your overcome and put a stop to the sexual abuse you may be experiencing/experienced. Call or email us: 07568 568131 / support@theaoc.org.uk