What's it like for them?

Both victims and perpetrators say they feel a lot of shame about the violence in their lives. They want to hide it from people around them. It’s hard to admit what’s happening.

But deep down no-one wants to be violent or to be hurt by someone else.

Research shows that men who are violent found the most effective help was from other men, especially respected peers and people who had 'walked the talk'.

It often takes many attempts for victims to leave a violent relationship. There are many reasons for them to stay which may not be obvious to helpers:

  • keeping the family together
  • fear of managing alone
  • fear the violence will get worse if they leave
  • lack of money
  • love for the person
  • hope the violence will stop.

Families often try to hide the violence or accept it as normal. What you say and do could help them to admit what’s happening and get help.