16 Days of Activism & the 16 Warning Signs of Abuse
In the UK, two women every single week are killed by an abusive partner. Abuse, both physical and verbal, can be hidden by the abuser and the victim alike; this is why we must all take the time to be aware of the red flags that can indicate if a friend or colleague is being abused.
Ending Violence Against Women
16 Days of Activism runs from the 25th November to the 10th December
, and is a campaign by the United Nations Secretary-General to End Violence against Women. To support the 16 days campaign, we're looking at 16 warning signs that could indicate that your friend or colleague is being abused by their partner:
- A change in personality, for example, if she goes from being confident to quite withdrawn since seeing a new partner
- It becomes difficult to make plans to see her, plans are cancelled at the last minute, or she needs to leave early
- She is difficult to communicate with, e.g. not answering calls
- She rarely goes out without her partner
- She needs to update her partner on her whereabouts
- You notice she is receiving an unusual amount of messages or calls if she goes out
- She won't agree to attend social events with work such as after work drinks or the Christmas party, or becomes anxious and needs to ask for permission from her partner before making plans
- Having injuries that aren't explained, or if the explanation for the injury doesn't seem to match the injury
- Less freedom over money or using the car, or she needs to ask her partner for permission first
- Drinking becomes a problem or she begins using illegal substances
- You notice she has lost interest in hobbies or activities
- Being late for work or missing work – 53% of abused women miss at least 3 days of work a month
- A change in performance at work
- Appearing more stressed or upset at work
- Checking the clock and becoming anxious about needing to leave work on time
- Wearing clothes to cover up, such as scarves or long sleeves, especially when this isn't suitable for the weather.
With 1 in 4 women in England and Wales still experiencing violence at the hands of their partner in their lifetime, it is clear to see why it is so important to know about and spot any signs that could indicate your friend or colleague is suffering abuse at home.
Ensuring Employers Support Victims
The workplace is where we spend a great deal of our time, and this can often be one of the only safe places for a victim.
Emma Pearmaine, our Director of Family Services, is a Trustee for the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (The Corporate Alliance)
. The Corporate Alliance is the first domestic violence charity to address domestic violence in the workplace.
The Corporate Alliance works with employers to educate them on how to recognise if an employee is being abused and advises on how they can help those suffering abuse get their freedom back. This plays an important role in supporting efforts to escape violence, and also reduces the estimated £1.9 billion cost to society from women taking time off work to recover from injuries.
A Family Law Team Supporting Victims
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, our Family Law
team can help to support you in taking back control. Our specialist Domestic Violence Solicitors
are experts in offering confidential advice for victims of domestic violence on all the available options. This could include Non-Molestation orders
or Occupation Orders
to help secure your freedom and safety from an abuser.Remember that whilst there are legal protections, charities also play a crucial role in providing advice and assistance for victims of domestic abuse. Important organisations include the National Domestic Violence Helpline, Refuge, and Women's Aid.