I’ve been ‘stewing’ over this topic for weeks. When the government made the decision to put the nation on lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, my thoughts went to women (and men) who live with abusive partners. Then, I saw a news headline which stated that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan called on the government to make financial support accessible to all victims of domestic abuse. Finally, last week I spotted a post on Instagram which lead to information on support for people who are in lockdown and at risk of domestic abuse. So, I decided to take the plunge and write a post to share a memory, as well as, the link to relevant support departments. Social distancing and/or being in isolation due to the Coronavirus shouldn’t mean being at risk of domestic abuse.
It’s not a soap opera
I am always mindful when writing about personal topics that the story is not mine alone. Therefore, I will simply say that I lost someone dear to me, quite possibly due to domestic abuse. As a child I looked up to her. She was a vibrant, funny, stylish independent woman albeit not always good at relationship choices. Even as a child I noticed it. Unfortunately, her last long term relationship was abusive.
I don’t know why she never left for good. If memory services me correctly she did leave at least once. Whether or not those close to her tried to assist, I cannot say. When she died, I remember feeling rightly for wrongly that her partner was partially to blame. I don’t know all the details. How did I know about the abuse? I caught snips of conversations. Grownups… children know even if you think they don’t.
Thinking back, I believe it impacted on my relationship choices. I want anyone possessive. I believed that I didn’t want anyone to love me too much. Thankfully, in time I learnt from my own youthful misadventures and found a life partner just right for me.
Support For Victims Of Domestic Abuse
It is not for us to judge how or why someone ends up in an abusive relationship. We only need to care enough have systems in place to help. Additionally, it’s worth noting that it’s not race-specific. Black women are generally perceived as strong, feisty and resourceful. Nonetheless, we are not immune to such violence.
The government has shared guidelines and links to support anyone for who has concerns regarding domestic abuse, along with the number to National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247. Their website seems thorough and includes links to the following:
Southall Black Sisters – support for Black (Asian and African-Caribbean women)
Stay Safe East – support for disabled victims and survivors of abuse who live in Waltham Forest, Newham, Enfield, Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Southwark. Person(s) who live outside of the catchment area, can contact them for assistance finding a local service.
Sign Health – provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language (BSL). WhatsApp or Facetime: 07970 350366
The list above is not exhaustive. More information is available on the government website. I hope you have found this post helpful.
Stay strong, stay safe AND just as important ask for help if you need, whatever the situation may be.