We have been both inspired and shocked by the stories that have been shared with us since we began speaking out about domestic abuse. One in four women will suffer from domestic abuse in the UK over their lifetime and many children will suffer the consequences of growing up in these toxic environments.
Men can suffer from domestic abuse too, as we did, however fundamentally domestic abuse is a gendered crime committed by men against women and children. In highlighting this we hope not to detract from male victims, in fact we hope this will empower men to overcome the same constricting masculinity accountable for these crimes and not be ashamed of their experiences.
We hope that documenting the ubiquity of stories of domestic abuse can drive action. We want domestic abuse to end, rather than simply not hearing about it. We hope others can articulate the daily challenges and dilemmas that victims face.
Domestic abuse isn’t only physical violence. Psychological, emotional and financial abuse, isolation, and coercion and control are domestic abuse and are just as damaging in many cases over the longer term.
Where there is fear there is no consent. Victims of domestic abuse often have very little choice available to them. We hope stories can articulate this reality to others.
We have started this blog to provide insight into our lives as we move forward and overcome the abuse which we have suffered. We aim to regularly discuss and comment on all aspects of gender violence, domestic abuse and mental health.
A regular feature which we would like to include is a compilation and discussion on stories of abuse from others. Many people have opened up to us for the first time since we started talking about our lives. We hope this feature can provide a safe way for people to open up and begin the important steps of talking about what they have, or currently are, going through. We hope these stories can also highlight the similarities between domestic abuse cases; how they are not ‘isolated incidents’. Perpetrators have similar characteristics, and the manifestation of their abuse is part of a societal wide pattern. Hopefully, by drawing together all of these experiences, this will create a powerful tool to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of domestic abuse.
To submit your stories, e-mail us at CoCoAwareness@gmail.com, with 'Blog submission' as the email header. Please do not include any information which can identify yourself; we will remove this information and names to ensure anonymity and safety of those submissions. Follow us on Twitter at @CoCoAwareness and let’s get this much needed conversation started.
Thank you and take care,
Luke and Ryan