03 Aug 2017

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant / domestic abuse

Comments: No Comments

The effects of domestic abuse

 

I did a Facebook live this week where I talk about the effects of domestic abuse. I also talked about what we say to ourselves and the importance of this.
I have received some amazing and humbling feedback including “A masterpiece’, “brave and inspiring’, ‘Courageous and motivational’. I have received many messages from both men and women, domestic abuse is not gender specific. Men and women can both resonate with this.
Unfortunately domestic abuse is something that we experience commonly within society. Abuse can come in many different shapes and forms and can include verbal, emotional, psychological and physical abuse. It is a common misconception, as was once mine, that domestic abuse only comes in the form of a punch or a kick – some type of physical violence. This is far from the truth. I am not justifying any kind of physical behaviour, of course not, but physical injuries can often disappear within a space of a few days, where as a constant chipping away at your self esteem can be something that can have lasting and long term damaging impacts and implications.
When we are subject to this kind of abuse over a long period of time, it can be something which becomes the familiar, the expected.

 

However, remember, you are not alone, you should not suffer in silence. Very often, if you are such a relationship, over time you can’t see anything outside of believing it is your fault. This is where feelings of guilt and shame set in. You are being told it is your fault on a daily basis by someone who supposedly loves you, so why wouldn’t you think it isn’t?

I want to tell you right here and now, categorically, this NOT your fault.

 

Despite what you are being told continually and the abuser will often blame everything outside of them – i.e. external circumstances. It took me a long time to get and understand this next part that I am going to share with you. This person, in this capacity is doing the best job that they can do at any given time. I am not saying it is right in any way, or of course, condoning such behaviour. What I am saying, is that the abuser does not know how to react or act differently. It is based on their own belief structure in terms of what they have learnt through life, what they have picked up from role models in terms of what is acceptable and not acceptable. It is likely they will have a very disjointed view of the world based on their own internal understandings whereby they are holding on to a great deal of inner turmoil and demons.

However, this is not good enough for you. You deserve better. You deserve the best. You deserve respect, honesty and integrity within a relationship, nothing less.

There is support out there, and I urge you to find it and take it. This will be the next step for you.

When you do get the necessary support and find the wonderful confidence to put you first and get out of this, you can then focus on you. Focus on rebuilding your confidence, your social network, pick your self esteem up off the floor. Use whatever new strategies you can learn to develop your mindset that may have ebbed away. Lead the new life for you and you won’t look back, trust me.

I will leave with some final tips. Don’t hesitate to get in contact if you need further support, advise or guidance.
What can I do?

This is not your fault!! It may feel like it when all hell is breaking lose and you are being told everything that is happening is a direct result of you. It isn’t.

  • Make sure you talk to somebody. Whether it is a close friend, a work colleague, a family member. Whoever it feels right to confide in. Don’t feel guilty or shameful for speaking out to someone and certainly don’t spend your time worrying what others think. Those who care about you will be supportive no matter what.
  • Don’t be alone. You can feel very isolated in such a relationship, but there is a way out. Speak to who you can and be open with others whenever you can.
  • Get some advise. Check out local services. There is a great deal of advise and support out there. Even if it’s just a friendly chat over a cuppa with a professional to know there are things that you can do to find a way out.
  • Have an exit plan and strategy and set yourself a date. Have you tried to leave several times before? Work out a strategy for leaving and involve others if you need to. Setting a deadline or timescale is also helpful.
  • There is life after this relationship! You are beautiful, wonderful, amazing and courageous. There is only one of you. You may not feel it now, and you may feel at the lowest ebb possible, but trust me, there is life after this. You can be happy again. You will be happy again. You are strong enough to be on your own. You have got the strength to do this, you will come out the other side stronger than you ever thought possible.
If you would like any more advise at all, or any further information about how I can support you, or anyone you know, please get in touch in confidence via the contact form below.
See what others have said who have used Janine’s services –
www.changeforsuccess/testimonials

 

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12 Jun 2017

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant

Comments: No Comments

Removing the shame and guilt – its okay to talk about domestic abuse

I was privileged and honoured to have been part of a conference held in Birmingham this weekend called Removing the Shame and Guilt.

This event was for those who have experienced any form of domestic abuse. The event allowed survivors to come together in an super safe and supportive environment. I am proud to repot I was on the expert panel and I also delivered two confidence workshops.

 

With the conference in mind and raising awareness of domestic abuse, I wanted to discuss the following areas.

  • To raise awareness of the different types of abusive behaviours and why we struggle to identify these.
  • That is is okay to talk about abuse.
  • The importance of being open and talking through this stuff.
  • What can be done differently and what can be put in place if you think you are being abused or know someone that is.

 

I will take each in turn.

 

What are the different forms of abuse?

Abuse can present itself in a number of ways. It can include physical, psychological, emotional, verbal, financial and sexual abuse. It can form manipulating, controlling and intimidating behaviour. If you feel elements of control or coercion on any level, I would suggest this is a form of domestic abuse.

Why is it usually so hard to spot? Often in these types of situations, it can be the familiar or the known. Something you may have been used to for a long time. Therefore its often hard to identify it as abuse. Secondly, the abuser can be extremely clever at allowing you to believe or understand that this is somehow your fault, or that the problem is external to the abuser. I.e. something in their external environment. For example, blaming lack of money, job problems, friends or family being an issue. This is not the case. It is easier to blame everything outside of the situation. In fact the problem is with the abuser, don’t confuse if to be outside of him or her.

 

It’s okay to talk about abuse.

It is commonly very difficult to understand or accept that you are in an abusive relationship. This is due to feelings of familiarity or ‘normal’ behaviour. If you identify with any of the above, it is highly likely you are the victim of an abusive relationship.

The advise I would give is talk to someone about how you are feeling and what is going on for you. Often abusers can allow you to think that you are somehow to blame, leaving you feeling guilty and shameful. I would urge you to speak to someone. It might be a close friend, colleague or family member, it could be your GP, or it could be someone in an organisation locally. Whatever feels right for you. Remember, you will not be judged. You will be supported. Opening up and speaking is the first step to recovery and moving out of this.

 

What can be put in place if you are in an abusive relationship or know someone that is?

Once again, it is about talking and being able to open up. I accept it can be hard to do so initially and its like walking into the unknown. You can do it, stay strong and know that there is support there.

If you feel unsafe to do so within your current environment or anywhere near it, then consider a neutral place where you can meet someone for a coffee to chat. Speak to a friend or colleague for support. Between you find out locally what services are available in your area. There is help out there.

Then figure out a strategy. Have you thought about how you might leave this relationship? What needs to be put in place? Does an emergency bag need to be prepped? Have you given yourself a date or a time limit? – It can often be easier to stay in the relationship in the hope that things might change or that they might improve. Setting a time schedule for yourself can be one of the most powerful things to do. It gives you a clear guide of when you plan to leave. If you don’t get to this however, don’t beat yourself up. Leaving an abusive relationship can often be the most high risk time, so ensure there are safety measures in place with a view to steps you are taking.

 

This is NOT your fault, there is a life outside of this.

 

Consider how I might be able to help you or someone you know. I provide you with the strategies for the following areas – improve confidence, smash limiting beliefs, strengthen mindset, develop empowerment, self esteem and self worth.

 

If you would like to know more about how I can help you, or would like to speak to me in confidence, please put all your details in the contact form below.

 

 

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31 May 2017

BY: Janine Mitchell

Change consultant / Support and advice

Comments: No Comments

Domestic abuse and its effects – what can I do differently?

Even though domestic abuse and the awareness of it is much more widely talked about, there is still very much a taboo around this subject. Although more initiatives are being targeted towards victims of domestic abuse, we are still a fair way off.

Very often the surface isn’t even scratched. One area that should be improved is empowering those who are currently in such a situation, or who are trying to remove themselves from an abusive relationship.

The statistics of domestic abuse in the UK remain alarmingly high. It affects one in four women and one in six men. On average in an abusive relationship, over 35 assaults take place before the police are called. Even when abuse is reported to the police, often an offence goes unaccounted for and the perpetrator isn’t prosecuted.

This can be for a number of reasons, but the common ones are the victim retracting their statement or that there is not enough evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to prosecute within a high proportion of cases.

Sadly, there also remains a lack of awareness of the effects of domestic abuse and many within the system are poorly educated within the area. There continues to be much victim blame and there is also much minimisation. This goes right the way across the system.

A lack of education is one area that doesn’t help. Remarkably only last year, Justice Gilbert sitting in Manchester Crown Court commented that a woman had left herself open to a sexual assault by being “foolish” and drinking too much. Minimising perpetrator accountability in this way and the use of victim-blaming terms highlights the need to educate not just the young, but criminal justice staff and wider society about the importance of domestic abuse and the language used to describe it (The Guardian, December 2016).

Abuse can come in a variety of forms. Physical, emotional, psychological, financial, sexual. There is very much an underlying level of power, control and coercion. This can actually be linked to certain beliefs of the perpetrator which can be traced to feelings of insecurity and inadequacy. The level of control and manipulation will be exerted.

Any perception on this being lost can result in more manipulation or lead to violence or confrontation. The perpetrator does not want to lose control and will do anything in their grasp to regain this. This is why the victim is usually at a critical high risk of abuse if they attempt to leave the relationship.

 

What can I do if this is me or affecting someone I know?

People can change. We all can, in an instant. But equally it is our greatest fear. It will be much easier for a perpetrator to say they want to change, rather than actually doing so. Although we might want more than anything in the world for someone else to change, we can’t change others. We can only control our own responses and our own decisions.

What we can control is the choices we make. What we can do is look at our own underlying beliefs and see what we can change in order to allow ourselves to grow and develop. It is therefore important to look at our own stuff. I am not detracting blame from anyone here. But we can only work on us.

I will give you an example. I often tell clients, what we hold in mind, we then go on to attract, at a subconscious level.

I have always considered myself to be very independent. My parents had a very traditional relationship. This was not the type of relationship I envisaged myself in. I would often say that I didn’t want to be in a relationship where I was being controlled by someone else. So notice the word in that sentence ‘being controlled’. The subconscious forgets the do’s or don’t but holds in mind what we are saying, even if we don’t actually want it on a conscious level. Guess what I ended up attracting?…an abusive and controlling relationship.

 

What is keeping me or someone I know stuck?

Look at what is preventing you from moving on. Is it lack of confidence? Are you scared of being on your own? Are there children involved? Its there blame being directed and you are thinking this is all your fault (it isn’t by the way, but it took me some time to learn that one!) These are things that you can change, although it might not feel like it right now. What is underlying these thoughts and feelings?

 

What can I do?

Here are a few ideas of what you can do and how you can enable yourself to move forward.

 

  • Remember, this is not your fault!! It may feel like it when all hell is breaking lose and you are being told everything that is happening is a direct result of you. It isn’t.

 

  • Make sure you talk to somebody. Whether it is a close friend, a work colleague, a family member. Whoever it feels right to confide in. Don’t feel guilty or shameful for speaking out to someone and certainly don’t spend your time worrying what others think. Those who care about you will be supportive no matter what.

 

  • Don’t be alone. You can feel very isolated in such a relationship, but there is a way out. Speak to who you can and be open with others whenever you can.

 

  • Get some advise. Check out local services. There is a great deal of advise and support out there. Even if it’s just a friendly chat over a cuppa with a professional to know there are things that you can do to find a way out.

 

  • Have an exit plan and strategy and set yourself a date. Have you tried to leave several times before? Work out a strategy for leaving and involve others if you need to. Setting a deadline or timescale is also helpful.

 

There is life after this relationship! You are beautiful, wonderful, amazing and courageous. There is only one of you. You may not feel it now, and you may feel at the lowest ebb possible, but trust me, there is life after this. You can be happy again. You will be happy again. You are strong enough to be on your own. You have got the strength to do this, you will come out the other side stronger than you ever thought possible.

 

If you would like any more advise at all, or any further information about how I can support you, or anyone you know, please get in touch in confidence via the contact form below.

 

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