All Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Abuse

At Refuge on the Helpline

Charity Event at the Skylon in London with Patrons Juile Walters & Mel B

What is Domestic Violence

As a spokeswoman on issues concerning domestic abuse; as a Campaign Champion for Women's Aid an organisation involved with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Domestic Violence - which I attend and a previous helpline worker for Refuge, I know how important it is to continually raise awareness of this crime that kills 2 women a week.  I had lived within a domestically violent household from the age of 5. By the time I broke free, I found myself having to rebuild my life and career whilst looking after my daughter who had only just turned 2.  I still cannot believe that I have come this far, not only am I still alive after fleeing from a marriage that could have taken my life - but I have managed to forge a new one for myself, initially as a sole parent of 5 years continuing into my second marriage of over 20 years! Two more children and 28 years later I have stood as an Independent in a General Election and I am a Local Councillor!  I am not saying it was easy, far from it - life was a challenge financially, emotionally and mentally - but I would do it all again because I have achieved the wonderful life I live now and am able to share my story to help victims living with domestic violence today. 

Domestic violence is the systematic pattern of behaviour on the part of the abuser designed to control his partner.

The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. Anyone forced to alter their behaviour because they are frightened of their partner’s reaction is being abused. It can begin at any stage of the relationship. Domestic violence is rarely a one-off. Incidents generally become more frequent and severe over time.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of age, social background, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Whilst domestic violence happens in all relationships (heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), statistics show the vast majority of domestic violence incidents are carried out by men and experienced by women.

Domestic violence is a crime. It can kill you and it can kill your children.  Please seek help which can be given confidentially by contacting any of the organisations below.

Are you being Abused
  • Is your partner excessively jealous and possessive?

  • Is he charming one minute and abusive the next? Does he have sudden changes of mood – like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

  • Is he stopping you from seeing your family and friends? Do you feel isolated?

  • Is he constantly criticizing you and putting you down in public?

  • Does he embarrass you, often in front of family and friends, so that you are seen in a bad light?

  • Does your partner play mind games and make you unsure of your own judgment?

  • Does he tell you you’re useless and couldn’t cope without him?

  • Does he control your money?

  • Does he tell you what to wear, who to see, where to go, what to think?

  • Does he pressure you to have sex when you don’t want to?

  • Are you starting to walk on eggshells to avoid making him angry?

  • Does he monitor your movements? Or check up on you via your email, Facebook, Twitter or by looking at your text messages?

  • Does he use anger and intimidation to frighten you and make you comply with his demands?

  • Has your partner ever threatened you, or intimidated you by using violent language or smashing up the furniture?

  • Are you forced to alter your behaviour because you are frightened of your partner’s reaction?

  • Are you blamed for their behaviour e.g. they say you were “asking for it” or deserved the abuse?


If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you may be experiencing domestic violence. Abuse is a crime and it is never your fault. You don’t have to deal with this alone.