I know it is sometimes tricky coming to or getting involved with something which you see as ‘for women’ but it’s what we women have been doing for years, making our ways into boardrooms, social clubs, social arenas where men have and sometimes still do dominate. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, easy to feel like everyone is looking at you and judging you. It can something feel threatening, can feel like being out of your element, being judged.
But here’s the thing, we need you. We need you to stand with us against domestic abuse. We know that not all men are abusers, that sometimes men are abused, that there are good guys in the world. Nearly all of the women interviewed in the book had good guys in their stories as well as strong women. Men who helped them, stood by them and stood next to them to face down the bully. Stand with us against the bullies and the dominators because some men will only listen to other men.
Domestic abuse is a pattern of behaviour that we all need to understand because the statistics are so high with 1 in 4 women facing it in their life time and 130,000 children living in households where there is abuse and 62% of them being directly harmed by the perpetrator (SafeLives). With statistics like that, we all come into contact with people who are scared in their own homes.
70% of domestic abuse survivors are women, which means 30% are men (Office of National Statistics). Understanding domestic abuse, how people get hooked in and trapped, what helps them get out and how to support them is genderless.
It is only by everyone standing together against it that it will stop.
I want my grandchildren to grow up in a world where domestic abuse seems as archaic and unthinkable as using the cane in school does for my children. Times have changed before, and they can again.
This issue affects us all so please be brave and join us by coming to the launch, buying the book and starting the difficult process of understanding and talking about domestic abuse so that we can all be part of the end of it.