Home Community and neighbourhoods Could you spot the signs of non-physical domestic abuse?

Could you spot the signs of non-physical domestic abuse?

by Guy Murphy

Partners in Knowsley, including the Council, Merseyside Police and other specialist organisations, are working together to raise awareness of domestic abuse and reminding people that you don’t have to experience physical violence to be a victim.

Domestic abuse can take many forms. The non-physical signs of domestic abuse are really hard to spot, and perpetrators frequently find a way of excusing their behaviour or worse still blaming the victim for prompting it in the first place. This can mean victims start to doubt themselves, lose confidence and potentially isolate themselves from people who they could turn to for help.

That’s why it’s really important that everyone is aware of some of the more subtle signs to domestic abuse to look out for in your own relationships and those of your family and friends.

This could include:

  • Unexplained jealousy of other relationships with friends or family
  • Attempts to control yours or others finances
  • Frequently checking on where you are and what you are doing
  • Monitoring your mobile phone or social media accounts
  • Discouraging you from seeing friends or family
  • Encouraging you to stay at home or preventing you from leaving home without them

Often these actions will build up slowly – almost without the victim realising or anyone being aware, but these are really concerning behaviours and should not be ignored.

One Knowsley resident shared their story of experiencing domestic abuse that wasn’t violent. You can read it here.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Communities & Neighbourhoods said:

“When I do have the opportunity to talk to survivors of domestic abuse, I am often struck by just how many people say that they almost didn’t recognise themselves as victims of domestic abuse as they had not experienced physical violence. In reality, many of the things they had experienced had been just as serious and had huge impact on their lives, but it often takes time to spot the signs and all the while, damage is being done.

Whilst physical violence still remains a key issue people really do need to be aware of many of the other non-physical signs of abuse – which are often harder to spot and easier to hide.

No matter what form the abuse takes, please remember it is not something you should accept, and help is available for you.”

If you’re a Knowsley resident experiencing domestic abuse or you know someone who is, you are not alone, and help is available.

If you, your child, or anyone in the family are at immediate risk of harm, you should contact the police urgently, call 999. If you are not at immediate risk but are concerned, please contact one of the services listed below:

Knowsley Council Safer Communities Service (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)
Tel: 0151 443 2610


Knowsley Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub

Tel: 0151 443 2600

The First Step (Specialist Domestic Abuse Service)

Tel: 0151 548 3333

Website: www.thefirststep.org.uk

Savera UK

Helpline 0800 107 0726


Support is also available through:

  • National Domestic violence Helpline 0808 2000 247
  • Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327
  • LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline 0800 999 5428