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Mental health and domestic abuse

Domestic violence and other abuse is the most common cause of depression and other mental health difficulties in women.

Domestic violence is not only about deliberately causing physical injury but also psychological harm. The impact of living with domestic violence, which systematically distorts a person’s beliefs about themselves and their world, will have a profound effect on their mental health, including the way they think, feel and behave, and the distress that they experience.

Men and women with all types of mental health problems are more likely to have experienced domestic violence than the general population.

Abusers may use mental health problems to exert further control by:

  • Telling you that you’re mad - and you may come to believe it
  • They may tell you that you couldn't cope without them
  • They may speak for you, or refuse to let you go out without them, because you need them to look after you
  • They may tell you no-one else would put up with you

Don't blame yourself. Your mental health difficulties are not your fault, and you are not responsible for the abuse; the abuser is. You are entitled to help as much as any other abused person, and if you have additional support needs, you should get help with those too.

Support services

Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust
01603 421 421
Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust provides a wide range of health and social care services, specialising in mental health and wellbeing. You can search for services on their website.

Mind Services 
Norwich and Central
01603 432457 
We exist to provide excellent care and support for people with, and at risk of, mental health problems. We do this through the diversity of acceptable and effective services and through the provision of public awareness raising.

West Norfolk Mind
01553 776966
West Norfolk Mind is a specialist mental health charity providing local services to support people, their families, their carers and their employers.

Great Yarmouth Mind

01493 842129

Together for Mental Wellbeing
01603 485095
Services of housing related support for people with mental health needs

Julian Support
01603 767718 
Working with the strengths of people with mental health difficulties, to help them lead an independent life of their choice.

Safe and reliable mental health advice for older people and those who care for them

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