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Keep your eyes – and mind – open to signs of domestic abuse

Abuse is often hidden behind an 'ordinary' relationship, says RCN Nurse of the Year Amanda Burston
Domestic abuse

A recent conversation I had with a friend helps demonstrate how abuse is happening all around us, yet we may not recognise it.

As a 65-year-old father, husband, son, brother, uncle and now grandfather, Stephen* had felt lucky that none of the women in his family had suffered any form of domestic abuse. He was proud of the women in his life, and saw them as strong personalities, leaders, with great morals and values.

Not long ago he asked me to have a coffee with him. We spoke about abuse – what it is, how it affects people, the complexities of an abusive relationship, and the difficulties of supporting victims.

He said his sister Elsie, who had moved to Canada with her husband 40 years earlier, appeared dutiful, respectful, and shared every aspect of her life with her husband, always by his side. But only recently Elsie,

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