Coping with Domestic Abuse During Lockdown
In the first three weeks of lockdown, 16 women and children lost their lives to domestic abuse. It is a shocking statistic and one which opened the media’s eyes to the true nature of domestic abuse. In some ways, we are grateful for lockdown as it brought attention to domestic abuse and the real need sufferers have for outside support. Domestic abuse occurs every day of the year across the UK. And for the men, women and children who escape it, the horrors of what they suffered can leave them facing mental health disorders for the rest of their lives.
Lockdown was meant to keep the nation safe, but for many people, staying at home was the most dangerous thing they could do. If you have suffered at the hands of domestic abuse yourself during the lockdown, it can be hard to overcome the reality of what you have faced. No matter how long you suffered before you were able to leave, domestic abuse can have a lasting impact on your mental health.
Please keep reading to learn more about the impact of domestic abuse and how you can seek the support you need to come to terms with what has happened. You don’t have to live the rest of your life in fear because of what occurred, but instead, start a journey to a better mindset and a brighter future.
Domestic Abuse in Lockdown
The UN has described the worldwide increase in domestic abuse as a ‘shadow pandemic’ alongside Covid-19. The impact of this statement clearly highlights the terrifying reality of domestic abuse for thousands of people across the world. A reality too close to home for many in the UK. It is thought that domestic abuse cases have increased 20% during the lockdown as many men, women and children became trapped at home with their abuser.
The media was overwhelmed with stories and reports of domestic abuse during the lockdown, with many charities speaking out about the victim’s inability to seek help. This is seen in the 45,000 calls to the Metropolitan police concerning domestic abuse in the 11 weeks after the start of lockdown. Unfortunately, most of which were third-party reports by neighbours rather than the victims themselves.
For the men and women looking for a way to escape domestic abuse, I will always recommend you seeking support from a helpline or calling the police if you are in immediate danger. However, if you are looking to put the past abuse behind you and find happiness, then please keep reading.
Finding a Safe Space
The first thing you should do once you have left a toxic environment is to look for a safe space. This could be with friends and family who want to support you or seeking shelter with charities and support groups formed for domestic abuse victims. This gives you the first reassurance you need that you are safe from your abuser and with people who will protect both your location and identity. Where you first stay may only be temporary, but once you are in a permanent home, whether that is your own or with family, you can make this place your nest – a safe space you feel comfortable and relaxed in. This sense of security is vital for helping you start your recovery.
If police are involved, now is the time to take action and seek a restraining order. The further, both mentally and physically, you can get from your abuser, the easier it will be to get started on the path to improving your mental health and coming to terms with what happened to you. Once you are comfortable in a new space, you can take the next step – contacting a therapist.
Coming to Terms With What Happened
After suffering at the hands of a person for so long, it can be hard to open up and trust again. You may not feel ready or comfortable talking to friends and family about your experiences with domestic abuse. Often this is because we are afraid to accept reality, ashamed of what happened or too scared to relieve experiences. However, talking to someone about what has happened is vital for moving past the events.
A therapist can provide the safe space you need to open up about the domestic abuse and accept what has happened. Therapy is confidential, and nothing you say will be shared with anybody else. Building trust with you is vital for a therapist like myself to get you to open up and talk about the thoughts and feelings you experienced. This trust allows us to work together to create a plan for the future, as well as face the mental health disorders you may have gained as a result of your domestic abuse during the lockdown. With my top quality support, experience and informed advice, I can provide you with the guidance you need to have a future where the abuse no longer haunts you.
Check out my website today to learn more about my services as a therapist and how I can support your mental health journey. Domestic abuse has a significant effect on our mental health which shouldn’t be taken lightly. With my compassionate support and understanding, I can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel and how you can come to terms with what has happened to you.