This isn’t abuse…is it? – Gillian’s Journey #1

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This isn’t abuse…is it? – Gillian’s Journey #1


“As I listen to the radio, I go into a trance, hearing this woman talk about her relationship with her partner. I feel sorry for her as she speaks about how isolated she feels, how lonely, how afraid; I hear the sadness she felt when her young daughter said she was scared.

That radio interview keeps playing on my mind. What if my children feel scared? I’m the adult here. I can cope with his going on, I’m sure I can – it’s not that bad.  I mean, it’s not really abusive is it?

Okay, yes, I would be so embarrassed if my sister knew what life was really like inside my home. They all think I’m so lucky with my nice house and nice family.

He’s a great provider – we want for nothing.

And the neighbours all say he is so helpful, so charming, such fun.

And he is so proud of me – he likes to select clothes for me to wear –

And he has great ideas about my hair.

He’s not keen on the short dresses though – he says they make me look cheap.

It’s really nice with him a lot of the time, I do love them all but there are times when it gets too much:

the name calling,

the pinching,

the poking,

the kicking,

the intimidation

…and the threats to harm us all.

Does he mean it?

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

During 16 Days of Action on Violence and Abuse against Women (25 Nov – 10 Dec), we are publishing regular updates on Gillian’s story here at

For too many women we know – our daughters, our sisters, our friends – this is their experience.  Every day.

All abuse starts with control and can take the form of emotional, psychological, sexual, financial or physical abuse.  None of it is okay – all of it is a crime.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse or is affected by any of the issues mentioned above phone COPE Galway Domestic Abuse free and confidential service at 091 565 985 (24h).
When you’re ready to talk we’re ready to listen.

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