Domestic abuse is the power and control one partner exerts over the other. This type of abuse can come in multiple forms, including:
Emotional abuse / Psychological abuse
Financial abuse (denying or exerting control over basic essentials)
What are Signs of an Abusive Relationship?
No one should live in fear of the person they love. Abuse is a pattern that can escalate from threats and verbal abuse to violence. Even if there is no physical abuse, consequences can still be very damaging. The most telling sign of an abusive relationship is fear of your partner; walking on eggshells to avoid a blow-up. Other signs are when your partner:
Loses their temper easily over small things
Humiliates, criticises, undermines or belittles you
Makes sure you’re always available for what he wants, when he wants it
Tries to control your actions; where you go, who you see, what you do, watch and listen
Tries to control your basic essentials; phone, food, money, car
A safety plan is a series of actions you can take when you feel afraid or threatened. Such a plan, prepared in advance, can maximise your safety and prevent panic. You may wish to consider some of the following:
Where can you go to make a telephone call?
A safe place where you can stay in an emergency. This may be a friend or relative, our refuge or a hotel or B&B.
Where to keep the number of the safe place.
How to get to the safe place, decide beforehand how you will get to your safe place at different times of day or night.
The number of a local taxi firm.
What to tell the children, and how you tell it to them, when you need to put the safety plan into action.
The possibility to discuss your safety plan with a trusted friend, so that they can support you if you need to put it into action.
Call the Gardaí if you have been assaulted or are in fear of an assault. They can advise and guide on the legal aspects of domestic abuse.
Make a list of important numbers (some can be found on the left of the page) and keep them in a safe place in case you don’t have your phone:
Social Welfare Office/Health
Rape Crisis Centre
Law Centre/ Solicitor
Local Authority Housing
Collect together some of the following items now so you won’t have to return for them. Hide them somewhere you can get them in a hurry.
A mobile phone for use in an emergency.
Hiding emergency money, keys and important documents with a friend for easy access in an emergency. These would include marriage certificate, birth certificates (yours and your children’s), photographs of previous injuries, medical cards (yours and your children’s), PPS number and /or social welfare card, children’s allowance book, bank details / credit union books.