effect on women 685 1in4-3750Effects of domestic violence on women

An abused woman lives in fear, unable to predict when the next attack will come. She may become isolated from friends and family, and increasingly dependent on her abuser. In these circumstances it can be very hard to make sense of what is really happening. Over time her self-esteem may be worn down, like water dripping on a stone. She may start to believe her abuser’s insults. She may blame herself for the abuse, or deny that it is taking place. She may ignore it, hoping that her partner – the man she loves – will change.

Abused women often experience conflicting emotions such as fear, anger, shame, resentment, sadness and powerlessness. They are not weak, submissive victims – quite the opposite, they are courageous and resourceful. It takes huge strength to live with an abusive partner. Women have to adopt all kinds of coping strategies to survive each day.

Refuge recognises the enormous courage it takes for a woman to escape domestic violence. We support her and her children every step of the way and empower them to rebuild their lives – free from fear.

For more on the effects of domestic violence on women, read Power and Control by Sandra Horley CBE, chief executive of Refuge.