For many, February 14th is a day to show your loved one just how much you care and love them. It’s a special day for romantic gestures such as buying chocolates or flowers or planning a dinner date for two.
However, for some Valentines Day is just another day full of fear, as Valentines Day can be used as an opportunity for an abusers “love” to turn into unreasonable jealousy, possessiveness and sometimes violence, leaving you feeling hurt, confused, isolated and frightened.
It can be confusing to realise that you may be in an abusive relationship as the perpetrator will use coercive and controlling behaviour and various tactics, the abuse can escalate from sulking, name calling or threats, to incidents of physical or sexual abuse. and the abuser will try to find any excuse to exert power and control in your relationship.
Valentines Day can also be used as a way to harass and as an intimidation tactic from ex partners. Receiving a beautiful bouquet on 14th February should make you feel special, but when it’s from the person who is the abuser it can bring up painful memories making you fearful (which is the intention) and leaving you feeling vulnerable and unsure of your feelings. Abusers will try to mask their sinister intentions with romantic gifts trying to win you back making you question your decisions and maybe giving them another chance.
Domestic abuse is a hidden crime, occurring mainly in homes behind closed doors. It affects every corner of society regardless of gender, class, age, race, religion or sexual orientation, it’s rarely a “one‐off” and is usually a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour by one person over another.
If you recognise that you are in an abusive relationship, show your self some love whether it’s Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year and talk to someone who understands.
The Live Fear Free Helpline can be contacted on 0808 80 10 800 24 hours, day and night 7 days a week.You can contact your local Calan DVS in Neath Port Talbot, South Powys, Bridgend or Amman Valley our contact numbers are on our website www.calandvs.org.uk
Always call the police on 999 in an emergency