what is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is persistent and controlling behavior by a partner or ex-partner which causes physical, sexual and/or emotional harm. It often gets worse over time. It is very common. In most cases, it is experienced by women and children and is perpetrated by men.
It’s important to understand that domestic abuse is not an isolated incident.
It is not a fight or an argument.
There may be no bruises
Domestic abuse is pattern of dominating and isolating someone through fear and threats, or undermining their self-confidence and self-esteem. It often involves serious and sustained physical and sexual abuse which can cause injuries and lead to long-term health problems. Women (and their children) are sometimes killed by a partner or ex-partner.
A range of terms is used to denote the behaviour described as domestic abuse which includes: coercive control, intimate partner terrorism, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, woman abuse and family violence.
Women and children can recover from the effects of domestic abuse and move on with their lives.
Domestic Abuse from a child’s perspective
Children experience domestic abuse by seeing or hearing the abuse, its aftermath, or by being physically hurt themselves. Read more about the impact of domestic abuse on children.
Research with young people with experience of domestic abuse suggests that children’s perspectives are unique and adults cannot speak for them. Cedar provides a space that allows a child or young person to share their experiences of their mothers abuse and for that experience to be heard, validated and believed in a safe and confidential space amongst peers.
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A phrase commonly used is coercive control. This outlines the range of behaviors and actions that an abuser may use to keep their partner, and her children, “in line”. Find out more about coercive control.
While we know that mothers often make strenuous efforts to protect their children, we also know that the pervasive nature of domestic abuse means that children are often very aware of, and at times directly involved in, the abuse.
Find out more about the impact of domestic abuse on children.
Cedar is a unique and powerful approach that has been shown to bring about transformational change for children and mothers affected by domestic abuse. It is a progressive and innovative in the way it improves participants understanding of domestic abuse, emotional literacy and confidence and self-esteem. It is also shown to improve the mother-child relationship and enhances a sense of safety and coping strategies through safety planning and addressing the emotional and physical safety needs of children.
Find out more about how cedar supports domestic abuse recovery.
We understand more now about domestic abuse and its effects on us and our children. We learned that it wasn’t our fault.