#29Know your place

The fictional stories I have written & narrated in this series aim to shine a light on the subtle examples of what it might look & feel like to be harmed by those you love & trust. 

coercive control being at the centre of most of the stories. 

Systematically the voices of those affected by trauma & domestic abuse have been silenced. I have focussed on the maze of shame & self blame that can prevent women in mid & later life to even realise what is happening to them, never mind escape. 

The stories also touch on women’s health. How menopause & mental health diagnosis can be used to disempower &  derail women, leaving them feeling the problem is with them. Coping strategies & normal healthy responses to trauma can often be diagnosed as a condition or disorder, rather than seen for what they really are. 

Consider a woman who has been abused & harmed most of her life, sometimes since early childhood.

She mistrusts people, feels angry, worries about her safety. She might be loud, quiet, withdrawn, silent, shout, scream. 

Why do we as society assume her behaviour is ‘symptom’?

Why do we not see her response to abuse & harm as completely rational? 

Also consider how the trauma of physical abuse can increase the risk of stroke, brain injury & memory problems.

If you have been kicked in the head, starved of oxygen once or repeatedly, you may be more likely to develop symptoms which affect other bodily functions. 

As we age these conditions might be assumed to be ‘age related’ rather than identify if the cause. 

There is emerging research highlighting that head injuries from sport can increase the risk of dementia, but we rarely talk about this in the context of domestic abuse. And the research on strangulation & the risk of stroke has barely been covered by the media. 

Domestic abuse is a public health issue. 
The impact on mental & physical health can be catastrophic.

I don’t have all the answers but i want to open up some critical thinking & curiosity. And play my part in giving a voice to the invisible women who have been forced to stay silent for too long.

Whilst I try to avoid graphic descriptions, these stories are harrowing. 

On my website you can find the ‘Visible Women’ series, where you will hear from a range of women who will share their thoughts & feelings about confidence, visibility & ageing.

Whilst there are specialist services out there to help those affected seek support & safety, my focus is on self validation & learning. 

By waking up to the oppression we face, we can move forward.

You can find a selection of books & authors who have inspired me in the other sections of this website.. 

I write these stories from a white working class heterosexual perspective I do not represent the millions of people affected by domestic abuse & trauma. 

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