Violence leaves marks. Get help, there’s plenty of help available!

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Violence leaves marks Ge t he lp , he lp av ai la bl e! th er e’s pl en ty of

Is someone abusing you? When we hear the term ‘domestic

their religion and opinion are also acts

violence’, the first thing that usually

of violence.

comes to mind is physical violence. If fists are not swinging, it may be easier

Domestic violence and violence in a

to think that violence does not concern

close relationship refer to situations in

me or my loved ones.

which someone is abusing a current or former partner, their child or someone

Hitting, kicking and strangling are

else close to them. It is easier for you

acts of violence, and so are pushing,

to recognise violence in your own

pulling hair, slapping and tearing at

relationships and those around you

someone’s clothes. Violent acts do not

when you know what is considered to

always leave physical marks. Abuse of

be violent behaviour.

power and suppression, intimidation and controlling are acts of psychological

Get help. Recovering from a violent

violence. Controlling someone else’s

relationship is easier when you are not

free time or finances, violation of

alone. Help others to get help. You can

sexual self-determination and limiting

take the first step to stop violence by

another person’s freedom to express

addressing it.

“The worst thing was the mental grip he had on me. The injuries and marks caused by his punches healed, but the emotional damage didn’t go away. I couldn’t understand how I could be so completely lost. --- How I could let someone lead me, when I know what I’m doing is wrong but I still do it. It was the worst thing.” (Tarinakengät, stories about violence*)


sh ip is ea si er a vi ol en t re la ti on Re co ve ri ng fr om . wh en yo u ge t he lp

Did you know? These are also acts

of violence:

– verbal suppression and humiliation, either in private or in the presence of other people – coercion and intimidation – even when done by shouting, throwing objects or threatening to hurt people close to you or your pet – controlling other people’s movements, how they spend their time or money and preventing them from meeting their friends and relatives – coercion and forcing someone to participate in


sexual acts against their will – constantly and deliberately ignoring someone’s needs.

Violence often begins gradually and by stealth Violence rarely comes into a relationship all of a sudden and openly. On the contrary – there may be many good aspects in the relationship. Jealousy over the time you spend alone and in other people’s company may feel like a gesture of love. Pushing someone around and having a temper may attract attention, but these mean nothing compared to the good things – nobody’s perfect! Still, a good relationship never causes fear or a sense of threat. “At first, he restricted my going out; I wasn’t allowed to keep in touch with my friends or go out and about anywhere.

en ed , If yo u ar e fr ig ht ge t he lp . ta lk ab ou t it an d

Then it was name-calling and suppression. I had to dress in a certain way, have my hair cut in a certain way and cook certain kinds of foods. In fact, he wanted to make all the decisions. We had been seeing each other for about a year when he attacked me

“It started with the silent treatment.

for the first time.”(Tarinakengät)

At first, I didn’t even realise that he was sulking. I got the silent treatment once a

“My friends said that he was treating

month and then he’d behave as if I didn’t

me really badly and that I should leave


him. But they don’t understand that he’s wonderful, really, even if he calls me a whore and pushes me around when he’s angry.”(Jenna, 15)

Violent behaviour often becomes frequent and more brutal Mental and physical violence undermines the victim’s self-confidence, their confidence in their own values and emotions. Abuse begins to feel like a normal part of life. It is deceptively easy to cross the line to more brutally violent behaviour. Violence rarely stops by itself, which is why someone has to intervene.

“I was always walking on eggshells. If something didn’t go his way, I was worried about him throwing something at my head, how long the silent treatment would last for, or if he was going to squeeze my throat too forcefully this time.” (Tarinakengät)

“Then I got pregnant. We were going to be a real family. After the first assault, which was completely unexpected, something changed permanently. I hoped things would be OK, but something in my subconscious said that this was the beginning of something much


worse.” (Tarinakengät)

in s s bu t th e fe ar re ma Th e ba tt er in g st op

Intentional and repeated failure to act is abuse Failure to act, just as acting, may be violent behaviour if it endangers the well-being or safety of a loved one. Violence is often negligence of care or help, or degrading treatment. It is children, the elderly and the disabled – those who are dependent on others – who are especially vulnerable.

“Sometimes I’m afraid when I’m alone

“My wife needs help with almost

at home in the evening, when my mum

everything. She can no longer look

and dad are out, and I don’t know

after herself. Her memory is also going.

where they are. Then I’d like to go to

Sometimes I get annoyed and go out for

my neighbour’s.” (Emmi, 5)

the day even though I know she won’t remember to take her medicine.”

e to yo u Do es so me on e cl os go wi th ou t ca re ? St ep in .

(Matti, 70)

A child’s safety is the responsibility of an adult A child must never be ill-treated or

the child themselves. Children must

raised using physical abuse. Failure

stay alert because of the abuse, which

to care for a child and intimidation or

is extremely stressful. They may also

oppression of a child is violence. Abuse

feel ashamed of the violent behaviour

between adults is also harmful to a­ child

in their family or think that they are to

even if it is not directed at the child.


A child who does not feel safe may find

Living in a violent environment harms

it difficult to sleep and eat. Learning

children and affects the ability of adults

may become more difficult and the

to be reliable parents. Children need to

child’s development may slow down.

be heard because they cannot change

Unhappiness may manifest itself as

their circumstances. It is up to adults

reticence or violent behaviour towards

to make the changes. Children have

oneself or others. Children do not

the right to live in a safe, loving and

always show the effects of violence,

supportive environment. No matter

yet it frightens them. Happiness and

what your position is, it is your duty is

playfulness can turn into worry about

to safeguard the welfare of a child.

their loved ones, their pet and the about

Do not abandon the child.

“I make a hole and I lie there, and I imagine that I’m a mouse eating the walls to escape from the prison.” (Jimi, 6)


et Vi ol en ce is a se cr

il d. il d fr om be in g a ch th at pr ev en ts a ch

Where to find help? If you have been ill-treated or

You can come to a shelter alone or with

threatened, do not wait and hope for

your children any time. Staying at a

things to get better tomorrow. Violence

shelter is free. It is intended to be a

in any form is never acceptable. It is

short-term refuge when staying at home

possible to lead a safe and violence-free

is frightening or dangerous because of


violence or the threat of violence.

The shelters and community care

The community care services help

services run by the Federation of

victims and perpetrators of violence for

Mother and Child Homes and Shelters’

as long as necessary. Customers can

member associations help more than

make an appointment for a meeting

6,000 people across Finland every year.

with the services, participate in guided

Call a shelter if you want to talk about

peer groups or live in supported

your experiences with someone or if

accommodation. Support is available

you are not sure whether staying at

for both adults and children. You can

home is safe.

find information, peer support and professional help online at:

co mf or ta bl e, Ev en if it fe el s un

d vi ol en ce . ta lk ab ou t fe ar an u. l so me on e he ar s yo Ke ep ta lk in g un ti is av ai la bl e. Pr of es sio na l he lp

People behaving violently can also get help Violent behaviour is always the responsibility of the perpetrator. If you behave violently or you are concerned about not being able to control your behaviour, get help. You only need to contact the community care services at the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters. The primary objective of the support is to anticipate dangerous situations and to stop the abuse. If you have children, you will also be helped to see the situation from their perspective. By accepting help you are assuming responsibility for ending the abuse. GETTY IMAGES

Information about shelters and community care services:

Nollalinja offers support, tel. 080 005 005.

The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters Asemamiehenkatu 4 A | 00520 Helsinki | tel. 09 4542 440 (+358 9 4542 440) * Read more about the Tarinakengät stories:


av es ma rk s. on cl os e to yo u le rs pe a by r ou vi ha Vi ol en t be en yo u ge t he lp . Co pi ng is ea sie r wh

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