Disturbed and Distressed

So tomorrow (today) turned out to be a long and wearying day and left me not really feeling like answering an Enlightening Question.

The reason is that I attended training for my volunteer role today (week 6 of 8) and this week we covered domestic abuse. It was distressing so I thought I would share that with you.

In the UK:

  • A report of domestic violence is made to the police EVERY 60 SECONDS.
  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.
  • 10.3% of men have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16.
  • Only 10% of male victims will report their experiences to the police
  • A woman dies from domestic violence every three days.
  • On average, victims will experience 50 instances of domestic violence before they ever report it.
  • Within families, children are in the same or the next room during 90% of domestic abuse incidents.

Forms of abuse can be controlling/coercive and include:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Sexual
  • Financial
  • Psychological


I think the most shocking statistic that I learned today was that there are approximately 270 refuge facilities for women and only 19 for men in the UK: this compared to over 1000 refuge facilities for animals.

The most distressing part of the day was the section where we went through scenarios. For this we are given a situation and asked to discuss what we would do. Everyone was thoughtful, compassionate and considerate – until there was a scenario with a man:

“Connie and Jon have two children aged nine and four. They all live with Connie’s mother, Doreen. Jon lost his job a year ago and he can’t find new employment. He is becoming increasingly depressed. Connie and Doreen nag him about this constantly, telling him he is a good for nothing and just isn’t looking hard enough. They both have part-time jobs and they expect him to do the cleaning and ironing as well as washing-up and bed-making. When you visit, they criticise his efforts to you but tell him he may as well make himself useful as he has nothing else to do.”

There was some talk about supporting him to get treatment for his depression but there was no real acceptance from the group that this is a form of domestic abuse. In fact, the conversation deteriorated into a talk about how bad men are at domestic chores.

It worries me that compassionate, empathetic, caring women can still have such outdated opinions. If it had been a woman in that situation, everyone would have been affronted, angry, disturbed… the list goes on.

I don’t really have any insights or wisdom to share with you about this, other than to say that people are people and abuse is abuse. No matter whether it’s a man or a woman, nobody deserves to be disparaged or mistreated by others.




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