The Cost of Physical and Emotional Abuse
Abuse seems to be an underlying theme in many child and family cases. It is something that we as professionals see on a daily basis, whether the abuse is directed at a child or a parent, and it is one of the reasons why Social Services are involved with families. Abuse can take many forms, two being:
- Physical – where the abuser has bodily contact with another person causing them injury or trauma;
- Emotional – this can be in the form of criticising, shaming, blaming and manipulating another person.
Did you know that between 2018 and 2019, 2.4 million people experienced domestic abuse in the UK? This abuse affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men, with 49% of men not stating that they are suffering from domestic abuse. This kind of abuse normally happens behind closed doors and many outsiders do not realise it is happening. Many abuse victims are afraid and embarrassed to speak about what is happening, with 42% of victims believing domestic violence is not worth reporting. Do you think that it is worth reporting? Would you report it? In some cases, domestic abuse can drive its victims to suicide. 
KEY FACT: According to LWA (Living Without Abuse) approximately 400 people commit suicide each year who have attended hospital for domestic abuse injuries and 200 of these people attended hospital the same day they committed suicide.
If this is happening to you, at Ridley & Hall we can help you get a Non-Molestation Order.
This is a legally enforced order, but if breached, is a criminal offence. A non-molestation order means:
- No contact between the victim and abuser
- No contact between the victim and abuser through family or friends
- The abuser is not allowed within a certain proximity of you (this will depend on the circumstances of the case and what the court has ordered)
If the Local Authority has concerns of you or your child being physically and emotionally abused, they may take steps to become formally involved with your family. Sometimes, if they believe the risk to be very high, they may take steps to protect your children by removing them from your care. Examples of where this would take place include:
- The failing of one or both parents to protect their children from witnessing domestic abuse;
- The children are subject to the abuse and again are not being protected by either parent;
- A child can be considered ‘beyond parental control’ which is one of a variety of reasons for adoption breakdowns. This can include incidents of child on parent violence.
This behaviour is not limited to children in care or adoption, it can take place in any family. However, if your adoption is breaking down and you want advice on what steps are available to you, then please don’t hesitate to contact Sarah Brown on our freephone 0800 8 60 62 65 or via email.
If Social Services need to remove the children from the harmful situation, the children will go through care proceedings. At this point the Judge will determine one of the following:
- The child will return to one or both of their parents but only if it is safe to do so;
- The child will remain in a family/friend placement where the family member/ friend agrees to protect the child from potential harm;
- The child will go into long term foster care because the parents and any family/friend placement are deemed unsafe for the child or, if there is no family or friend placement available;
- The child will be placed for adoption where the Judge thinks it is necessary.
Please note that during care proceedings, everyone involved is able to have their say. For more information, please click here to find out about the basics of care proceedings.
Every case is different and at Ridley & Hall we are able to help those going through care proceedings, so if you have any questions or inquiries, then please don’t hesitate to contact Natalie Stephenson-Quayle on our freephone 0800 8 60 62 65 or via email.
There are many charities and organisations that domestic abuse victims can access for help and guidance. These include: National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV), Refuge, Respect, Mankind Initiative and Women’s Aid.