Wednesday 25th November sees the start of the 16 Days of Action campaign. This is an important opportunity to raise awareness and call for changes at a national and local level to make men, women and children safe from abuse.

As part of this campaign we will be sharing information about our services and details about how to access support.

Today, Jane, a Senior Domestic Abuse Case Worker at Hertfordshire Mind Network, shares information about how to recognise abuse and how our Domestic Abuse service can help support people in this situation.  

By helping you recognise what it is:

Anyone can suffer domestic abuse – any age group, any ethnicity, any walk of life, or level of education, any sexual orientation. Acknowledging that you are in an unhealthy relationship can be very difficult – here are a few signs to look out for:

  • You notice that it is your partner who seems to make all the rules in the relationship.
  • You feel afraid of your partner much of the time.
  • You find yourself seeing less and less of your own friends and family.
  • You change the way you look, act, speak in order to keep things calm.
  • You don’t have control of your own money.
  • You often feel ignored or humiliated.

It may be that you recognise that some of your actions are having a negative impact on the person you live with:

  • You find you are becoming critical of your partner’s appearance or actions.
  • You behave in way you find difficult to admit to friends or family.
  • You blame your partner or your children when you lose your temper (even if you apologise afterwards).
  • You feel jealous of contact your partner has with others.
  • You don’t always take account of your partner’s needs and wishes and treat them as equal to your own.
  • You believe that you have a right to tell your partner what he/she may do or say.

Domestic abuse often happens within intimate relationships, but can also happen between other family members such as child to adult or between siblings.

By helping you rebuild your life

Putting safety first - We always put client safety first – this means ensuring that we carry out a detailed risk assessment and offer safety planning to all victims of domestic abuse.

Providing emotional support - We offer confidential one to one support that is built around the needs of each individual client

Signposting and advocacy - Helping you access specialist services, and liaising with other support agencies to ensure that your voice is heard on issues such as housing, social services, your children’s needs and NHS services

Providing tools & strategies to build self-esteem and help you develop healthy relationships and bring about lasting and positive changes.

And here’s what we won’t do:

We won’t make value judgments about the way you choose to live your life, or the decisions that you make.

We won’t tell you what to do – we will work to empower you to make your own informed choices.

We will not keep things from you – or take actions that affect you without your consent*

*Exceptions:  if there is a risk of harm to yourself or others, or legal requirement.

Accessing support

If you are 18 years or over, male or female, living in the Three Rivers area and you have been affected by domestic abuse, then click here to access our Domestic Abuse Service.

If you are 18 years or over, male or female, living in the Three Rivers area and feel that your actions may be harming someone you live with and you would like our help, then click here to access our Domestic Abuse (Prevention) Service.

You can also contact the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088, open from 9am - 9pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 4pm weekends. For more information click here.