Domestic Violence Counselling in London
No one should live in fear of abuse. Domestic Violence Counselling is a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space where you can begin to explore what is going on, what has happened and how you feel about it. Importantly it is a space to be heard and believed.
Are You In Crisis Following Domestic Violence or Assault?
It can be invaluable to access help, when in crisis, immediately after experiencing any type of Domestic Violence. Click the button to go to advice lines and help.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of behaviour characterised by the exercise of control or power by one person, or sometimes more than one person, over another within an intimate or family relationship.
Domestic abuse is inflicted in the following ways:
- Physically – hitting, beating, punching, burning, choking etc.
- Sexually – making someone have sex or perform sexual acts that they do not wish to.
- Psychologically /Emotionally – belittling, name calling, dismissing, eroding confidence, swearing and verbally abusing the individual or using emotional blackmail to manipulate.
- Financially – either by restricting access to joint funds, causing financial hardship or stealing from you.
- Social Isolation – Restricting access to friends or family or causing friends and family to lose contact over time or immediately. Controlling behaviour such as monitoring social network accounts and mobile phone or internet access.
Who Experiences Domestic Violence?
By far most domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women.
However, Domestic Violence also occurs in same sex relationships and to heterosexual men by their partners or other individuals in their family.
It is important to acknowledge that domestic abuse can affect individuals from any social, geographic or cultural group, and victims of domestic abuse can be of any age, class, race or religion, male or female.
Who is the Perpetrator of Domestic Violence?
Equally those inflicting the abuse can be from as diverse a group and importantly it is not always someone who is physically stronger or older who is the abuser. Domestic Abuse can be inflicted by able bodied people as well as individuals with disabilities and can be inflicted by children towards adults or the frail can be abusive to younger and stronger individuals.
Am I in an abusive relationship?
Does your partner / family member:
- Threaten you with violence and cause you to feel frightened?
- Intimidate you?
- Isolate you from sources of support?
- Regulate and control your behaviour?
- Put you down, call you names, shout at you, demean you?
- Humiliate you privately or in front of others?
- Follow you?
- Beat you, harm you, hurt you physically?
- Controls / restricts / withholds money?
- Tells you that their behaviour is your fault?
- Forces you to have sex when you do not want to?
- Hides things from you, moves things, causes you to feel you are “going mad?”
- Breaks, hides or ‘loses’ your belongings?
- Uses their culture, religion or personal problems as a reason for their behaviour?
- Makes decisions you are not happy with or did not agree to?
If some or all of this behaviour is happening to you within an intimate or family relationship, as a result you can feel:
- Confused about what is happening, thinking thoughts such as “am I imagining things?” “Is this abuse?”
- Conflicted feelings about your partner / family member
- Trapped, as though there is no way out of the relationship
- Trapped in relation to money and housing
- Worried about your children
- Fearful of what people will think, or do or say
- Alone and isolated, feeling as though you cannot speak to friends or family
- Ashamed, lacking in self-esteem and confidence
- Depressed and / or suicidal
- Feel that you deserve to be treated in this way
Domestic abuse is unacceptable. It is important to talk to someone:
In an emergency call the police on 999
If you are feeling unsafe:
Solace Woman’s Aid have information on how to keep yourself safe within an abusive relationship, and if you are planning to leave an abusive relationship:
Keeping Your Internet Browsing History Hidden
In order to keep yourself safe you may need to prevent your partner or someone else from seeing your internet browsing history.
The Woman’s Trust have a useful page for informing you on how to do this:
Below you will find further resources and information links.
How can Domestic Violence Counselling Help?
A Place to Be Heard, A Place To Be Believed
Accessing counselling when you are experiencing domestic violence is not about ‘advising’ or ‘telling’ you to leave the relationship.
Instead, counselling is a safe, confidential and non-judgmental space where you can begin to explore what is going on, what has happened and how you feel about it. Counselling is different from talking to friends or family, it is a confidential and non-judgemental space where you can discuss your feelings, thoughts and concerns about a relationship in your own time and in your own way.
Counselling for domestic violence is a space for you to work out what is going on with a counsellor who does not set themselves up as an ‘expert’ who will tell you what to do but rather creates a collaborative process and a two-way relationship . . . This means the problems you bring are something we work on together. We explore the issues and experiences that are important to you and looking at the changes you would like to make.
Importantly in counselling, there are no demands made on you to ‘explain’ yourself or ‘justify’ your worries or concerns about the relationship. It is a place where you can explore all the feelings you have about the relationship and, indeed, anything else from your life that comes up and feels relevant.
Just being able to talk to a counsellor about the situation and what is happening and being heard and believed can be an enormous relief.
Here are some links about domestic violence and counselling that me be helpful if it is something you are thinking about at the moment:
Useful Advice & Further Information About Domestic Violence & Abuse
Mens Advice Line:
Support and advice for men who are the victims of domestic abuse