"Domestic violence takes many forms: control, abuse, threats and physical violence, mainly to women and children, and even pets. I have seen in my mental health work how it can cause lasting psychological damage: self esteem is destroyed and violence becomes the norm. One young man told me he had to frequently skip school because his dad used him as a punchbag and he didn't know how to explain to his peers or teachers why his face was smashed up. He developed serious mental health problems. I once lived in the flat below a woman who was so scared of her partner, she asked me to help her flee him while he was at work. Terrified as we packed her belongings into her car, she asked me to take care of their cat, because she thought he might harm it to get back at her.
This is the reality of life for many. The need for support, safety, trust and humanity has never been greater. I'm proud to support Isle of Wight Women's Refuge in its vital work on the Island."