Murdered by my boyfriend – don’t become another statistic

Am I in an Abusive Relationship?
We all want the Fairytale ending and in the midst of a relationship, which is rarely ever all bad, in which excuses and promises are regularly made and broken, it can be difficult to even acknowledge that something is really wrong.
Domestic violence is physical, psychological, sexual or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.
Everyone argues from time to time and it is common to fall out with family friends and partners. We also can do and say things that we later regret. However certain behaviour, like violence, can never be acceptable and there are additional types of behaviours which, when they happen more than once and a pattern starts to form, are likely to be indicative of abuse.
While every relationship and every experience of Domestic Abuse is different there are common factors. This list can help you to recognise if you, or someone you know, are in an abusive relationship. That recognition is the first step towards a future where you are able to prevent the abuse and enjoy a healthy relationship and your Happily Ever After.
• Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting; mocking; accusing; name calling; verbally threatening.
• Pressure tactics: sulking; threatening to withhold money, disconnecting the telephone, taking the car away, taking the children away, or reporting you to welfare agencies unless you comply with their demands; threatening or attempting suicide; withholding or pressuring you to use drugs or other substances; lying to your friends and family about you; telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.
• Disrespect: persistently putting you down in front of other people; not listening or responding when you talk; interrupting your telephone calls; taking money from your purse without asking; refusing to help with childcare or housework.
• Breaking trust: lying to you; withholding information from you; being jealous; having other relationships; breaking promises and shared agreements.
• Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls; telling you where you can and cannot go; preventing you from seeing friends and relatives; shutting you in the house.
• Harassment: following you; checking up on you; not allowing you any privacy (for example, opening your mail), repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you; embarrassing you in public; accompanying you everywhere you go.
• Threats: making angry gestures; using physical size to intimidate; shouting you down; destroying your possessions; breaking things; punching walls; wielding a knife or a gun; threatening to kill or harm you and the children; threatening to kill or harm family pets; threats of suicide.
• Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts; having sex with you when you don’t want it; forcing you to look at pornographic material; forcing you to have sex with other people; any degrading treatment related to your sexuality or to whether you are lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.
• Physical violence: punching; slapping; hitting; biting; pinching; kicking; pulling hair out; pushing; shoving; burning; strangling.
• Denial: saying the abuse doesn’t happen; saying you caused the abusive behaviour; being publicly gentle and patient; crying and begging for forgiveness; saying it will never happen again.
Help Available
No one deserves to be abused and there is plenty of help and support available should you decide you want it.
At Breeze & Wyles Solicitors we have solicitors who are specialised in dealing with Domestic Abuse and can offer sympathetic and practical advice and assistance in relation issues such as the occupation and ownership of the house both in the short and longer terms, protective injunctions, the arrangements for children, finances and divorce. Where eligible Legal Aid remains available.
For more information contact our Family Team on 01992 558411.
Useful Contacts:-
Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
(Run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge)
Phone: 0808 2000 247
Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327
The Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic violence and abuse. It welcomes calls from all men – in heterosexual or same-sex relationships.
Respect Phoneline – 0808 802 40 40 (free from landlines and mobile phones)
For domestic violence perpetrators. Monday – Friday 10am-1pm and 2pm-5pm. You can also email
Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline offers free and confidential advice, support, signposting and referrals to anyone affected or concerned by domestic abuse between 10am and 10pm Monday to Friday.
Phone: 08 088 088 088
Safer Places – an independent domestic abuse charity dedicated to supporting adults and children affected by domestic abuse. Able to provide a wide range of services to support you and respond to your individual needs and circumstances, whether it is in our refuge accommodation or in the community.
All our services work in a holistic and empowering way to help enable you to live independent lives free from domestic abuse. Call 08450 177668 or email
In an emergency dial 999.
Karen Johnson – (Associate Solicitor and Family Mediator) – A Graduate of the University of East Anglia who then completed her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law in London and then Qualified as a Solicitor in 2002 working in a local High Street Firm before Joining Breeze & Wyles Solicitors in 2009 and becoming an Associate with the firm in 2011.
Karen is a highly skilled and experienced Family Solicitor with in excess of 10 years experience of working in Family Law. She is a Resolution Accredited Specialist in the fields of Domestic Violence and Financial Matters. Karen is additionally a Family Mediator trained by and a member of the Family Mediators Association (The FMA) an association with over 20 years experience of Family Mediation.


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