What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic violence and abuse is not just about physical violence. It comes in many forms:
- Blaming: Put all the blame on you - saying that you caused the violent behaviour
- Threats: Making angry gestures or intimidating you with weapons, shouting at you, punching walls, breaking crockery, threatening to cause harm to you or the children or themselves if they don't get their own way. Threats to kill
- Harassment: Constantly checking your movement, and accounting for your time, opening your mail and overhearing phone conversations, embarrassing you in public
- Physical violence: Pushing, kicking, biting, slapping, making you have a tattoo, pulling hair, slapping or strangling
- Isolation: Not letting you see your friends or family members, expecting you to stay indoors most of the time
- Sexual violence: Forcing you to carryout sexual acts against your will, using force or intimidation to have sex with you
- Financial abuse: Withhold money for basic essential item, ask for accounts of small change
- Criticising: Constantly criticising putting you down in front of others, criticising your appearance, your cooking, your parenting skills.You have the right to live a life free from violence and fear.
What should I do if I'm experiencing domestic violence and abuse?
Greater Manchester Police have a specialist department with trained domestic violence and abuse officers who can help. They can be contacted on 0161 856 8064.
Make a safety plan
Making a safety plan will help you to feel more in control of the situation and give you the confidence to take action to protect yourself and your children.
Here are some tips to help you draw up a plan of action for your safety:
- Keep a diary of domestic violence and abuse incidents
- Know where you can quickly and easily access a phone
- Keep a list of emergency contact numbers with you, including friends, relatives and the police
- Keep some money aside for emergency bus, train, cab fares or food and accommodation costs
- Have an extra set of keys for the house, flat or car
- Keep keys, money and a set of clothes for you and your children packed ready in a bag and leave it with a friend or relative you can trust.
If you are planning to leave, try to:
- Leave when you are sure that the perpetrator is not around
- Take all of your children with you
- Take legal and financial papers, marriage and birth certificates, court orders, NHS cards, passport, driving licence, child credit books, address book, bank books, chequebooks, credit cards etc
- Take a few personal possessions which have sentimental value
- Take favourite toys for the children
- Take clothing for several days
- Take any medicines you or your children might need.
- You have the right to live a life free from violence and fear.
- You are not alone: Research shows that as many as one in ten women are in an abusive relationship. It happens to women of all ages, classes, races, and religions.
- You are not to blame: Your partner or the perpetrator has choices about the way they behave
- You can't change your partner's behaviour: The only way for the perpetrator to change is for them to realise that they have a problem and seek help.
- You are in danger if you ignore the violence: The violence tends to get worse the longer it goes on.
- Break the silence - do not remain isolated: Get help from someone you trust, or you can contact one of the organisations that offer specialist information and support,
- The impact on children: The impact of domestic violence and abuse on children can be similar to the effect of any other abuse or trauma
- There is life after an abusive relationship: Many people discover they enjoy living without a partner and others form new and loving relationships that they never believed were possible when they were with their violent partner.
Safe Accommodation Strategy
Under the new Domestic Abuse Bill 2021, Bury Council has a new statutory duty - to provide safe accommodation for victims of domestic abuse and their families.
We produced a needs assessment earlier this year to provide insight into the volume and type of accommodation we need and the support that would need to go in to provide victims with the next opportunity to recover and move on with their lives.
Supporting this process is the development of a Safe Accommodation Strategy which sets out our approach to keeping victims safe in accommodation and how we will get there.
We therefore asked Bury residents for their views as to the content of this strategy and whether we need to be doing anything different (this has now closed).