6th January 2022 at 2:16 am #136594LovecoffeeParticipant
Is it worth reporting domestic abuse to the police even if it is not violent abuse?
There is an online form that can be filled out online. Is it worth doing this? What happens once the form has been filled out?
I’m at my wits end with the emotional abuse now and just don’t know where to turn at the moment. I’ve told him that his behaviour is domestic abuse and he basically says I’m crazy and that I’m the abusive one. He says that I do things on purpose to annoy him and get a reaction. He says that if he is just reacting to what I am doing wrong that this isn’t abuse. I’m just so scared and stressed out now.
6th January 2022 at 6:42 am #136596DarcyParticipant
Hi beautiful Angel… Lovecoffee,
It should always be worth reporting abuse, however I have to be honest with you this isn’t then always actioned in the way it should be with the outcome that you may be wanting
Firstly I would consider what your options are once you have reported it … do you have anywhere to go, would you feel comfortable reporting him and then going back to live with him, how are you set financially, what emotional support do you have … friends/ family?
These are all questions I would consider first … you have to be practical and safe guard yourself incase the police do not
What is your intention once you have reported him, what do you want the outcome to be?
Please don’t think I am putting you off reporting him, I would just ask you to think about yourself first and your safety
If you still want to go ahead and report him just make sure you have things in place first
Talk to Women’s aid and they should be able to help you with a plan and probably give better advice than me!
I just wanted to let you know you have been heard and everything you are feeling is valid … there is hope and things can change
Sending you continued love and support
6th January 2022 at 11:42 am #136605BananaboatParticipant
I don’t know about using the online form, I reported via phone one incident and the police came round several hours later and were lovely. I was given the option of whether to press charges or not, although they did make it clear they can decide this too. As there are kids in the property they did a referral to local services who also came to see me and gave options. It’s a lot to talk through when you’re used to coping with it all behind closed doors but it helps to realise you’re not alone in this, there’s support. As Darcy said, the main priority is your safety, what is your ideal outcome? The saying ‘no you’re the abuser’ is classic deflection, they’ll never admit to their faults and will fully blame you. Please don’t let his words get into your head. Why not have a chat with womansaid on their online chat or phone line before contacting the police, they’ll be able to talk through your options and staying safe.
6th January 2022 at 2:35 pm #136617Wants To HelpParticipant
Both of the above ladies have given you great advice and I echo what Darcy has said.
Legally, the definition of domestic abuse includes physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, financial abuse and controlling and coercive behaviour. The police can deal with the physical abuse as this is covered with criminal offences of various levels of assault, they can deal with sexual abuse as this is covered by offences under the Sexual Offences Act, but emotional abuse, psychological abuse and financial abuse is usually one that the police record and file as an ’emotional domestic’ and often includes verbal arguments, shouting, insults, disagreements and differences of opinions, failing to pay child maintenance, emptying joint bank accounts to name but a few. They will do a referral to Children’s Services if you have children as this is required by policy, and with your consent they can refer your details to the local DA support group for your area.
Depending on the the type of emotional abuse and the history, they may record this as a crime of coercive and controlling behaviour if what you describe fits the criteria and they may arrest him.
The police will ask you a series of questions to complete a Risk Assessment. This is known as a DASH and it stands for Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Harassment. It covers the current incident that you are reporting and historical behaviour to you and/or others. If your answers to the questions amount to a criminal offence (and some people have no idea their answers amount to a criminal offence) then the police can take action on your answers with or without your consent. Examples of this is are:
Has [the abuser] ever hurt your child/ren or another child? If you answer “yes, when he gets angry with the children he smacks them if they annoy him” the police will raise crimes for assaults on the children. The children will then be seen by Social Workers, interviewed by Child Protection Officers and he will be either arrested for those assaults or required to be interviewed about them. This type of intervention work is often why women don’t trust the police and won’t call them; they ring the police for one thing and the police run with a whole different investigation and the lady loses more control of what is happening.
Has [the abuser] ever done anything of a sexual nature by force or what you are uncomfortable with?
If you answer “yes, sometimes when he’s drunk he will start having sex with me when I’m sleeping and I wake up to find him on top of me” they will record a crime of rape and start a rape investigation. I have known many women get absolutely horrified by this as they do not want their partner dealt with for a rape and have not knowingly or willingly reported a rape. Again, they lose trust in the police.
I am not suggesting you do not report your abuse to the police at all, but you need to be aware of what they can or can’t do. Darcy is right by saying they may not be able to provide the safe guarding you require or give you the help you want. They are not the agency that can resolve or help with ALL areas of domestic abuse but they have to, by policy and Home Office requirements, record ALL reports of domestic abuse made to them even if it is just to file it with no further action. Some ladies are disappointed by this because they have hoped that the police are the answer to their abusive relationships when often there is nothing they can do but record your concern and refer you to other agencies.
I left my abusive relationship without any help from the police at all, the support services were the ones who provided the best and safest options for me.
I hope this helps with your decision making.
10th January 2022 at 4:15 pm #136801WhiskyRoseParticipant
I can only offer my experience, and maybe it will resonate or maybe it will just be another perspective.
I am also living with and trying to get out of a emotionally manipulative abusive relationship, which is non violent.
I have heard him say the exact things that you have said in your post, that it is only a reaction to me, and what I have done to him. It is a way for him to manipulate and confuse you and make you feel crazy. My thoughts were ‘how is it me, what have I done?’ but it is a way for them to make you focus on yourself and how you are at fault and distract you away from their behaviour and their wrongness. They are never to blame in their heads, it’s all everyone elses fault, especially yours – but this is not true, that in itself is abuse.
I put off talking to the police because it was not violent, I don’t have kids, and felt like it wasn’t as bad as other people have it. I filled out a Clares Law form online to see if he had any history recorded, and from that the police then contacted me to talk and do a risk assessment. Mine came out as Low, which means they don’t really do anything but the important thing is…. it’s recorded.
That’s super important, if anything further escalates, the police have a record of the fact he has been abusive. My friends explained to me how important it is even if there is no action from them other than having a record of events, and how the behaviour has made you feel.
For support that the police may not give you, there is so much support on the womensaid chat and local helplines that have really helped me. most importantly it’s given me confidence to continue to try and leave him and education, knowledge of what he’s doing, when he’s doing it so I know it isn’t me, it is him and he is trying to manipulate.
Sorry for the long post, wanted to let you know you are not alone
Best of luck xx
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