A disabled person is more likely to experience domestic abuse and may be less able to protect themselves – making them more vulnerable to the possibility of being abused. The risk of abuse can be increased as they are often reliant on the perpetrator for their care. This abuse can come from a partner, a carer, a family member or a friend.
Abuse can present itself in many ways in a relationship. Domestic abuse isn’t always physical abuse. It can also be mental abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse or coercive abuse. If you’re beginning to feel as if your partner, carer or family member is becoming abusive, there are a few behaviours that you can look out for. Watch out for these common red flags:
- Embarrassing or putting you down
- Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
- Making you feel that things you do are not good enough
- Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do
- Keeping you or discouraging you from seeing your friends or families
- Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
- Depriving you access to support services, such as medical services.
- Preventing you from making your own decisions
- Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
- Preventing you from working or attending school
- Blaming you for the abuse, or acting like it’s not really happening
- Destroying your property or threatening to hurt or kill your pets
- Intimidating you with weapons
- Shoving, slapping, choking or hitting you
- Attempting to stop you from pressing charges
- Threatening to commit suicide because of something you’ve done
- Threatening to hurt or kill you
- Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
- Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
- Preventing you from using birth control or pressuring you to become pregnant when you’re not ready
If you are experiencing any of these red flags, please seek help. Refuge is the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity and can be contacted on 0808 2000 247. Or, you can google ‘domestic abuse help near me’. You can also contact out helpline on 0333 5777 113. Our client referral manager Gail worked for a domestic abuse charity for over ten years after leaving the police force and has extensive experience of dealing with domestic abuse victims.