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For every 3 victims of domestic abuse 2 will be women and 1 will be a man.

Domestic abuse effects both genders. It also effects people from every kind of background and culture. Statistics show that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will suffer domestic abuse during their lifetime.

Given these statistics, there is every chance that a friend or relative of your own could be suffering from domestic abuse.

There are many ways in which you can support a friend or relative that is suffering from abuse and you can spot the signs.

Signs to look out for in someone suffering domestic violence:-

- any signs of unexplained injuries from physical harm such as, bruising, cuts or scrapes.

- the person may become withdrawn and seem that they have things on their mind that they do not wish to share.

- the person may make excuses not to socialise or go out without the person subjecting them to abuse. They may also cancel plans at the last minute.

- the person may seem to be struggling financially all of a sudden if their financial situation is being controlled.

- the person suffering the abuse may minimise the behaviour of the perpetrator particularly, if they are suffering from verbal and/or emotional abuse.

- the person may change their appearance, stop wearing certain clothes and/or wearing make up etc.

- the person suffering the abuse may not attend work or they may be late for work on a regular basis.

- the victim may not go anywhere alone or travel alone, the perpetrator may insist on taking them wherever they may go.

This is not an exhaustive list and every person that suffers domestic abuse can react in different ways. Some victims may not wish to speak out and confide in their closest friends or family, others may provide only snippets of information but miss out serious or significant incidents.

In many cases, the person suffering the abuse may have a lowered self-esteem as they are being subject to put downs and verbal abuse that is effecting their confidence and how they perceive themselves.

Unfortunately, domestic abuse is much more common than people would wish to acknowledge and accept. As stated above, it can effect any person irrespective of their gender, sexuality and culture.

Domestic abuse takes many forms. It can be physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, sexual or financial.

It doesn’t matter what form of domestic abuse a person is being subjected to, it is wrong and they do not have to continue to be in a relationship where they are subject to abuse.

There is a lot of help for victims of domestic abuse. Many charities provide support and can help with the various options available to the victim.

It is also advisable for the person suffering domestic abuse to obtain legal advice from a family law Solicitor. In many cases immediate protection can be obtained for the victim and the family law Solicitor can advise on issues that may follow such as divorce, financial matters, matters concerning children of the parties and any Local Authority involvement.

If you or anyone that you know is suffering from domestic abuse then do not suffer alone.

It can take a lot of courage for someone to speak out and seek help as they often fear the repercussions from the perpetrator however, having a friend or family member with them to provide additional emotional support can go a long way to helping them and ensuring that they know that they are not alone.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and need some advice contact our Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email family@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777 to book a free thirty minute consultation, to discuss matters in a confidential manner or to obtain further information. We also offer early morning and late evening appointments across our offices.