No More Week takes place from 8th to 14th March 2020. The purpose of this seventh annual awareness campaign is to say ‘no more’ to domestic abuse; ultimately inspiring everyone to help create a culture of safety, equality and respect – no matter where you are.
What is domestic abuse?
According to The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) it is estimated that for the year ending March 2019, 31% of women and 15% of men aged 16 to 59 had experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16, with some enduring more than 50 incidents of domestic abuse before they seek help.
Domestic abuse is categorised as any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.
The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
- physical abuse
- psychological and emotional abuse
- verbal abuse
- sexual abuse
- financial abuse
- coercive control
- digital and online abuse
- honour-based violence
- forced marriage
- female genital mutilation (FGM)
Launched in 2013, the non-profit organisation No More provides public awareness campaigns, marketing tools, and communications resources for anti-violence organisations, large and small. Encouraging everyone – women and men, youth and adults, from all walks of life – to be part of the solution.
No More sparks national and international grassroots action, bringing together the largest coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, governmental agencies, major corporations, universities, communities and individuals, all under a common brand and a unifying symbol in support of a world free of violence.
No More Verbal Abuse
At the end of last month, No More launched their campaign #NoMoreVerbalAbuse in a bid to raise awareness about verbal abuse, and to provide resources for individuals in need.
Psychological abuse is estimated to be the most common form of intimate partner abuse, affecting 35-49% of men and women. The research on verbal abuse, however, is limited. This is, in part, because so many cases go unreported.
Verbal abuse refers to the ways in which a person uses their words to cause harm. It is one tactic in a range of deliberate behaviours that a person may use to gain and maintain power and control over another in an intimate relationship. Verbal abuse is characterised by insults, name-calling, put-downs, criticising, and other demeaning language designed to bully, intimidate, frighten, humiliate, degrade and diminish the victim’s self-worth and sense of safety. Ultimately, it causes invisible scars with potential lifetime impact.
Pamela Zaballa, Global Executive Director of No More, says: “Verbal abuse is so often unidentified that some survivors don’t even realise it is occurring until it escalates. We will continue to stand with survivors, elevate this issue, and help men and women say No More to this kind of abuse.”
The international No More Verbal Abuse website provides further information about verbal abuse, how to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships, along with survivor stories and a toolkit with plenty of resources.
Help in South Lincolnshire
Recent estimates from the CSEW suggest that over a three-year period, an estimated 7% of the resident population of Lincolnshire aged 16-59 have experienced at least one domestic abuse incident (approximately 27,400 people). This is above the national average of 6.2%.
South Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service (SoLDAS), the charity which is also known as Boston’s Women’s Aid, has outreach and drop-in centres in Holbeach, Sutton Bridge, Boston and Spalding – along with a number of programmes to help both the individuals and families affected by domestic abuse.
Jayne (not her real name) who suffered domestic abuse for 20 years, says: “There is a fine line between love and hate. You can really love someone but do not like their behaviour or how they are. The abuse I suffered was violent, emotional, controlling and obsessive. When you are in the relationship, you keep hoping things will get better. But that is just justification. I was in a complete haze.”
She adds: “I do believe that if I did not eventually reach out for help, I would not be sitting here now. At Women’s Aid there is no judging. It is not judgemental.”
To get in touch with SoLDAS for help and advice, contact Boston Women’s Aid at bostonwomensaid.org.uk or call 01205 311272.