Sadly Domestic Abuse is an everyday occurrence for many people, and it is not a gender specific problem.
It is often a silent abuse, survivors are well trained by their abusers on how to hide the truth, to give reasons as to why they may have bruises and marks.
By far the most hidden form is that of Coercive Control.
It is of course now illegal, but many will still not report the incidents.
Dorset Police have been working with Bournemouth University in producing some animation videos on the subject, they are very powerful and can be found here http://www.cutyourstrings.co.uk/
This form of abuse has been going on for years, unnoticed, the damage that is causes is enormous.
A survivor will have any self-esteem knocked out of them, not only physically, but mentally. Their independence is cut, any social interaction is not allowed.
Their friends are alienated from them, their family members are alienated from them, their life becomes controlled.
Abusers will use intimidation, degradation and isolation.
Survivors live in fear.
The public need to be aware of this hideous crime, and hopefully these animations will do just that, it is good to also see the full support of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
This form of control not only hurts and damages the survivor but also the children who may well be witnessing and in fact be victims themselves.
It is not acceptable behaviour.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing this crime help them to get support and to report it to the Police. It is no longer OK to turn a blind eye, or just to think “Oh, well they just like to live that way.”
Coercive Control is illegal, it is a crime.
You can also follow on Twitter #CutYourStrings
Help and support can also be found http://www.mankind.org.uk/help-for-victims/types-of-domestic-abuse/
I tried to find a helpline which was not gender specific but to no avail.