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Barbed tongues

September 05 2018
There must be a textbook for domestic violence, writes Rosie Roksoph

There must be a textbook for domestic violence...

When it comes to domestic abuse, the perpetrator relies heavily on the fear he/she is able to instil in the victim. They do this in order to ensure their crime stays hidden. No matter how much an abuser claims to love you (maybe even believing it themselves), the kinds of obsessive, all-consuming attention they pay you, which may seem quite intoxicating if you’re unused to attention, is simply another form of controlling behaviour and is also textbook stuff.

Taking the experience of four women I have talked with recently and including my own, it’s eerie to hear the similarities. We’ve all been told “If you leave me I will kill myself”, “I would die for you”, “No one will ever love you like I love you”, and “I swear this will never happen again”.

If I didn’t know better, I could swear there’s an academy teaching men the skills of how to abuse their women. Our exes all went to it and graduated with top marks.

Abusers are often clever manipulators and will have you believing they are godlike in their ability to keep tabs on you at all times. Many back up this claim by stalking.

If you are fearful because someone you know is victimising you like this, remember you are not alone. Anyone with real power and real strength would never have to make you feel bad about yourself or hurt you to prove themselves. And if they were right why would they wait until you are both behind closed doors to make their point? In the vast majority of cases once an abuser, always an abuser. It can often escalate into worse violence and in many cases end in murder. So, if you are thinking about returning to an abusive partner who swears it won’t happen again, or who says they will kill you or your loved ones if you leave, please believe me: you are better off steering clear.


Stop domestic violence

If you are in immediate danger from domestic violence, call 999. If you need a conversation try the contacts below:

Domestic Violence Helpline: (24 hour & free from a landline or call box) 0808 2000 24/7 or look at This is a way for women (with or without children) to be referred to emergency safe accommodation.

Women’s Aid: Clear website info about how to recognise domestic violence and what to do next

Solace: In London provides refuge and move on accommodation to women and children made homeless through domestic or sexual abuse -

Samaritans: Call 116 123 for emotional support or email