Page 1

We Can Break The Silence.

He tries to convince her she is crazy.

She uses anti-depressants or goes to counselling.

He takes on adult responsibilities.

He tells people she is unstable and he is having a hard time with her.

She withdraws from the community, worried that nobody would believe her side of the story.

They keep family business secret.

He switches off the electricity when he leaves for work so that she can’t waste it during the day.

She deals with the power being off by preparing meals the night before, putting batteries in the radio and living in one room during the day.

She doesn’t have friends around anymore, and never lets on that she knows what’s happening.

He abuses the farm animals or pets.

She won’t allow the children to have pets so he can’t hurt them anymore.

She is shocked to see Dad hurting animals that she loves.

–––––– We find it hard to believe he could be violent because he never shows his violence to us. But deep down we probably know he is violent or abusive to his family. We say nothing. We prefer not to get involved. We turn a blind eye. We let it happen.

–––––– You don’t mean to give me power, but you do. You tell her she is somehow to blame. You say nothing when I undermine and casually insult her. You do nothing when she asks for help.

He makes excuses for his behaviour – he drinks, his mother abused him, he has a short fuse, everyone is against him etc.

She looks for ways to help him – courses, couples therapy, anger management etc. – or just agrees with him to make life easier.

They hide make that pray

get angry with their Mum, his drink, go to the pub to him come home, keep quiet so he won’t get angry or just that it will stop.

He tells the Gardaí that he is the victim when she rings for protection from a violent assault.

With the protection provided by the Gardaí she uses this time to express her anger at his abuse.

She gets confused about what is the truth, and why the Gardaí believe Dad.

He gives her the worst beating he has ever given to teach her a lesson.

She goes to a refuge for safety when the nurse in the hospital gives her the information.

He hates being in a strange place and wants to go home, but he’s very worried about Mum.

He keeps trying to exert control, feeling con fident that nobody will challenge him.

When she gets support things change – she goes to classes or goes to a women’s group or gets a better job or meets people who listen to her and understand her.

She sees mum making friends, and has fresh hope that one day the house will be quiet like her cousin’s house.

If you are a woman who needs information and practical support we can help you. Ring 043 33 41511 (Longford Women’s Link) and ask for one of our Domestic Violence Workers.

If you are a family or friend of someone affected by domestic violence check out our web site at Or Women’s Aid at

Contact us between 9am and 6pm Monday to Friday. Services are free and con fidential. If you need crisis accommodation at night or on weekends contact:

Speak up! Only by challenging the permissive attitude of our society towards domestic abuse can we make a difference. By ignoring or excusing sexist attitudes (even seemingly harmless jokes or remarks), we are allowing the abuse to happen. Please help us to create a respectful and safe culture for women in Ireland.

Esker House Athlone at 090 6474122 Bethany House Longford at 043 33 48136. If You are in immediate physical danger ring 999 for the Gardaí.

Illustrated, designed and produced by Language. Copyright

Language 2009 all rights reserved.

We can break the silence  
We can break the silence  

Accounts of domestic violence