Domestic abuse can leave victims feeling lonely, isolated and often suffering from mental health issues like anxiety.
This year The Mental Health Foundation's theme is loneliness. Dealing with loneliness can be difficult, especially if you are in an abusive relationship and feel you have no one to turn to. The foundation is encouraging people to reach out to their community and have some resources available to help you take the next step towards help. They share that one in four adults feel lonely some or all of the time. Does this statistic shock you?
In Blackburn with Darwen nearly 50% of residents said they felt lonely within the last 7 days (2020-21, ONS).
As well as offering refuge, crisis support and other services at The Wish Centre we understand that there needs to be a focus on victims mental health and wellbeing after escaping abuse. Rebekah Wilson (Communications Officer and Volunteer Co-ordinator) says "what victims also need is in-depth, personalised psychological support – to overcome the mental trauma they have gone through. This can be a massive obstacle to recovery which needs addressing before they can truly move on and rebuild their lives. That’s where Counselling and CBT come in and are making such a difference at the Centre.”
Kathryn Wright, who has supported the Wish Centre as a qualified counsellor adds, "The victim may be technically safe but her feelings of feeling unsafe persist long after the immediate abuse and can be a significant barrier to moving on. It’s the result of how our minds respond to trauma and the fight/flight instinct which doesn’t just switch itself off. Feelings of high levels of anxiety persist.”
If you feel like you need help with your mental health here are some useful organisations that may be able to help: