I see the snarling ghost of anger
Breathe his fiery breath into my fearful face.
I feel the hurt as angry hand
Violates my precious self
And cower as angry foot
Inflicts its hurt.
And tremble as savage eyes
Penetrate my soul.
How to keep the savage beast
“Stephen kicked the doors off the wardrobes and presses, and kicked the clotheshorse right across the kitchen. He started wrecking the place and pushing and grabbing me in front of our son in his highchair. The fear I saw in my sons eyes that day still brings a tear to my eye. This was his own father frightening him like this. I felt like this was a film, and couldn’t be happening. But, it was happening.”
That is one of several violent episodes of physical abuse by Stephen. Physical abuse is usually the most recognisable and the most difficult abuse to conceal. It is widespread and universal. Ann Jones in her work, Next Time She’ll Be Dead, states that domestic violence is the leading cause of injury in the United States. Lundy Bancroft reveals that up to 4 million women suffer partner assault each year in the U.S. Every 9 seconds a woman is battered there. When we take the impact on the families of victims, tens of millions of people are affected. Yet domestic violence is the most under-reported crime in America, where only 10% report abuse and only one tenth of family violence defendants are prosecuted. There is no reason to believe that the statistics are different for other countries.
Adapted from Jim O’Shea’s book Abuse. Domestic Violence, Workplace and School Bullying published by Cork University Press
PSYCHOTHERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
THERAPISTS IN TIPPERARY
DEATH OF A CHILD