An extreme escape from domestic abuse
Domestic abuse is something no-one should have to witness – but sadly, many people do every day. When left unchecked, the violent and manipulative behaviour of one partner can escalate, with potentially life-threatening results. However, it is not always the abuser that makes an attempt on the victim’s life.
The following true story was contributed by a brave volunteer of The Empowerment Network UK and contains an honest account that may be upsetting to some:
Coming from a family afflicted by domestic abuse, alcohol and affairs, perhaps I should not have been surprised by the events that unfolded in front of me on one particular night.
I was sat watching TV with my mother while she sat quietly writing a letter. After bidding me goodnight she went to bed. I thought nothing of this until I went into the kitchen and found the letter on the table addressed to my father, along with empty tablet bottles. It was a suicide attempt.
I dialled 999 and was told to keep her awake and pour water on her face. A family friend appeared and quickly filled a bucket and poured it over her. The ambulance arrived at the same time as my father and brother. As we sat in the hospital while Mum had her stomach pumped, all Dad could say was ‘this was a put-up job!’ I could not believe what he was saying. I had just witnessed my mother try to take her life, and my father was uncaring.
My mother had some psychiatric help, which proved useless as her feelings remained, but as a third party to the domestic abuse, I was offered nothing. The friends and family who witness abuse are on the outside looking in, like looking through a window. But who can you turn to for help? There is plenty of help out there for victims and even abusers, but being a third party comes with its own challenges, like not being able to stop the abuse without becoming a victim yourself. If a third party tells of such incidents, they are told either that it is not their business, or that they’ll ‘get over it’. Even worse, their stories might be met with a shrug of the shoulders.
Suicide is a serious risk for victims of domestic abuse, as they often feel it is the only way to escape. At the moment, abusive partners are not held responsible if their spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend commits suicide as a result of their behaviour.