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domestic abuse

A restaurant in Belfast has issued an apology after a sign promoting their lunch-time deal was the subject of intense criticism in recent days.

Ribs and Bibs on Botanic Avenue promoted their £5 lunch with a distasteful reference to domestic abuse in a move which has understandably caused a furore on various social media channels in recent days.

"Ya can beat the wife, but ya can't beat a 5 pound lunch" read the controversial sign.

Members of the public who came across it wasted no time urging the restaurant to explain itself, with one social media user writing: "Why does ribs and bibs on botanic avenue think this sign is ok? Its horrific and makes light of an issue that's killing people."

 

A post on the restaurant's Facebook page suggested that they were refusing to take the public's distress seriously, with their reply only serving to further raise the ire of social media users.

"My God mate, get a life, it's a bit of wit on a small board outside a restaurant, we're not putting it on the front page of a newspaper, not making a move, see it for what it is, not as you see it," Ribs and Bibs wrote in a Facebook reply.

However, as criticism surrounding the promotion intensified, Ribs and Bibs issued a formal statement, and claimed that the individual responsible for creating the sign was new to the team.

"We do not condone abuse on men or women and the member of staff has only been working with us a couple of weeks and was on shift today by himself."

"We are dealing with it and would like to apologise for any offence caused and it will be dealt with by the management team."

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By the time the first hit came, I was already a shell of a person. When you see the psychological signs, don’t ignore them. When it feels wrong, it is wrong.”

One in five women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and unfortunately that number is on the rise. RTÉ are confronting the reality of domestic abuse in revealing new online documentary series – UPFRONT: Domestic Abuse. 

The two part documentary follows RTÉ reporter, Della Kilroy, as she talks to the women behind the statistics.

The series delves into the many forms of domestic abuse, from physical, emotional to sexual and financial. It also shows the various support option available to those who think they might be in an abusive relationship.

What's more, UPRONT: Domestic Abuse will feature an interview with a perpetrator who is currently enrolled in a rehabilitation programme.

Last year, Women's Aid received over 16,000 calls reporting domestic abuse and the charity revealed they have seen a huge increase in the amount of young women coming forward.

As well as that, a 2016 study conducted by the team here at SHEmazing revealed that dating abuse affects one in three women, with 60 per cent believing it was their fault.

Results also showed over half of the 1,000 women surveyed admitted to knowing someone in their immediate circle of friends that had been in an abusive relationship.

Any woman, regardless of age, class or occupation can find themselves in an abusive relationship and in this new online documentary we see business women, students and mothers share their own individual experiences.

Researcher and reporter for the RTÉ Player series UPFRONT, Della Kilroy said: ''You might think you don’t know someone that has been affected by domestic abuse, but research suggests you probably do. One in five women in Ireland will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime.''

''This means that every day in Ireland, women are beaten, raped and even hospitalised leaving ongoing physical and mental health issues. This doesn’t just happen in the home, as evidence points to an increasing number of young women experiencing abuse in dating relationships.''

UPFRONT is available to watch now on RTÉ Player .

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised, please contact:  Women’s Aid freephone 1800 341 900 1800 341 900 or visit  www.womensaid.ie and www.2in2u.ie

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Figures from Women's Aid, Ireland's national domestic support organisation, show that 19,000 contacts were made to the domestic abuse support service in 2016.

As well as reports of domestic abuse, there were nearly 4,000 disclosures of child abuse, according to RTE.

The service launched its extended National Freephone Helpline as a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service in September 2016, and this is the first report since that time. 

96 per cent of callers were women, while 4 per cent were men.

In regards to domestic abuse, the helpline saw a 70 per cent jump in calls logged, with 16,946 disclosures of domestic violence against women noted compared to 9,000 the year previously. 

11,000 of these calls were about emotional abuse, 3,500 were disclosures of assault and almost 700 were reports of rape, according to the report. 

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In a move which Imgur user, KrissyKross, hoped would help bring closure to years of domestic abuse, she shared a series of texts she received from her partner during their marriage.

Now divorced, KrissyKross explains that she kept the screenshots of the messages to remind herself how far she had come, and ultimately decided that she was ready to share her experience online.

"My ex-husband was a kind, loving man. That is, until I lost weight (at 5'3" and over 200lbs, it was sort of necessary.) I then got a job," she wrote on the post.

"Suddenly I was cheating, I lost weight to get men, I couldn't buy clothes that fit me after the 80 pounds lost because it showed off my body."

"He hit me and sexually assaulted me. He waited outside my work for whole shifts, not telling me if he was carrying the Beretta M9 he had purchased recently," she confided.

"I wanted to go out with two (female) coworkers for my 23rd birthday. I told him weeks in advance and when the time came he punched me in the face and slammed my head into the floor, only leaving me alone because he had duty that evening. I tried to go to the police in the middle of the night, he tailgated me the whole way."

"I tried to talk to his parents and they told me it was normal in a young marriage and I should reassure him. His father is a pastor in Tennessee and holds this belief."

KrissyKross explains that her decision to leave came after her husband harmed her pets, writing: "While he was at work I packed a bag, my pets, and their food and hid at a coworker's house and called NCIS and the police."

"I spent hours getting bruises photographed, giving my statement, waiting while they put him on restriction."

Giving Imgur users an insight into the events that followed, KrissyKross wrote: "He was charged with a handful of misdemeanors and two felonies. I accepted his guilty plea bargain for 8 months in the Miramar brig on the condition that the felony charges be dropped. The judge wanted to give him 10."

Thankfully, she is doing well today and reflects on her marriage as a time of growth and courage.

"This isn't really a sob story; I'm really proud of what I've done on my own. I just wanted to share for possibly some closure since I never really got that I save these text messages to remind myself how far I've come, not to cry over."

If you have been affected by this story, you can seek support and assistance from Safe Ireland.

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Mel B’s ex-husband, Stephen Belafonte, has dismissed claims that he physically and emotionally abused the former Spice Girl calling them "outrageous and unfounded".

The Los Angeles Superior Court granted the singer a temporary restraining order earlier this week after she filed documents detailing the extent of the domestic abuse she suffered.

In the papers, Mel claimed that she had suffered ''multiple physical beatings'' and that Stephen had threatened to release intimate videos of her.

According to reports the Spice Girl also claimed that Stephen got their nanny pregnant, forced her to take part in sexual acts with other women, and even stopped her from calling an ambulance when she overdosed on painkillers.

This comes just two weeks after Mel filed for divorce from the film producer after almost 10 years of marriage.

In a statement, representatives from Stephen’s legal team confirmed that he will soon be making an official response to the allegations.

"It's a shame that Ms Brown elected not to proceed in a respectful and amicable fashion in this very private matter."

"In due course, Mr Belafonte will be filing his response to the outrageous and unfounded allegations made by Ms Brown, which allegations he vehemently denies."

The couple, who have been married since 2007 have one daughter, Maddison, together.

Mel have has two other children form previous relationships, 18-year-old Pheonix and 9-year-old Angel. 

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When we think of domestic abuse or violence, we tend to automatically associate it with bruises; but the emotional and psychological aspect of an abusive relationship is just as damaging.

In actual fact, not all cases of domestic abuse involve physical violence, and research has shown that the emotional consequences of an abusive relationship – such as fear, distress and loss of confidence – can, in some instances, be the most damaging.

Indeed, according to a national survey conducted in 2003, both men and women who had endured domestic abuse admitted that the emotional consequences were the ‘worst thing’ about that experience.

And even where physical violence has not yet become a factor in that abuse, the emotional and psychological aspect can be a predictor of a more physical fallout going forward.

So, how do you define emotional or psychological abuse? Cosc (The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence) lists the following examples as characteristic of an abusive relationship:

  • Constant putdowns
  • Humiliating a partner in front of others
  • Hypercriticism
  • Constantly monitoring what their partner is doing
  • Excessive jealousy
  • Accusations of infidelity
  • Belittling accomplishments and goals
  • Use of intimidation or threats to gain compliance
  • Preventing them from seeing their family and friends
  • Threatening to hurt people they care about, and pets
  • Unreasonable demands
  • Threatening to remove access to children
  • Threatening suicide
  • Making their partner question their sanity
  • Emotional manipulation
  • Restricting their partner’s mobility and communications

The focus, from the perpetrator’s point of view, is to exert dominance over their partner, feeling in charge, attacking their self-esteem and isolating them from loved ones who could provide support.

Signs that an individual may be experiencing emotional and psychological domestic abuse

  • They are anxious to please their partner
  • They are afraid of their partner
  • They talk about their partner’s temper, possessiveness or jealousy
  • They are restricted from seeing family and friends
  • They are limited in access to money or a car
  • They are depressed, anxious or suicidal
  • They seem to have very low self-esteem
  • They are acting submissive

 

Signs that an individual may be a perpetrator of emotional and psychological domestic abuse

  • They act excessively jealous of their partner
  • They insult or embarrass their partner in public
  • They yell at/try to intimidate their partner

What to do next:

For a loved one or friend

Your next move is very important; it’s only natural that you want to help, and you can – but you need to handle this sensitive situation very, very carefully.

The first step is to express concern. Look for a private moment when you can have a word with the individual, and begin by asking them if they are OK. Let them know that you are concerned about them, and assure them that you are there if they ever need support or someone to talk to. The important thing here is not to push them if they don’t feel like opening up.

The next step is to assure them that the abuse they are experiencing is not their fault. Use positive, affirming statements such as: ‘No one deserves to be treated this way’ and ‘You are not to blame’.

While you should most definitely offer your support and an ear to talk to, avoid giving advice. What you can do is encourage them to make their own decisions, and provide them with a list of resources. Check out www.whatwouldyoudo.ie for reference and advice.

For a stranger

The situation can be slightly different if you suspect or witness abuse between strangers. If you have decided that a situation requires an intervention, and you are happy that it is safe to do so, Cosc (The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence) advises that you follow the ‘three D’ formula: Distract, Delegate, and Direct.

Distract

The goal here is to prevent the situation from getting worse, or to buy enough time to check in with the potential victim. An example of distraction is to ask for directions. This way, you could potentially distract the person about to commit violence, or get a moment alone to ask the victim if there is a problem.

Delegate

Do you know a friend of the victim who could help? If so, have a word with them and express your concern. If there is no one nearby who is close to the victim, and you feel the situation doesn’t call for Garda involvement, look for someone who might be in a better position than you to get involved – for example, a bouncer.

Direct

This involves approaching either the potential victim or potential abuser, and intervening yourself. Remember that you are putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, so it’s best to make your actions subtle: use body language to express disapproval, and make your concern known by keeping an eye on the situation. If you choose a direct approach, express your concern with a statement like, ‘I’m concerned about what just happened? Is anything wrong?’

Brought to you by
COSC

Over 300,000 people in Ireland have been severely abused by a partner at some point in their lives. If you have witnessed or experienced domestic violence/abusive behaviour by a partner, or you are concerned you have abused someone, you can prevent it from happening again.

For more information, simply follow this link.

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When we think about the warning signs of domestic abuse, it’s natural that bruising is the first red flag that would spring to mind. While bruises and marks are among the tell-tale signs of an abusive relationship, there are so many other signs that are not always obvious.

With an estimated 213,000 women and 88,000 men in Ireland experiencing severe abuse by a partner at some point in their lives, domestic abuse is much more common than many of us realise. This is why it’s so important to arm ourselves with as much knowledge as possible about the signs of abuse, and how we can respond.

Before we run through the tell-tale signs that someone may be suffering in an abusive relationship, we need to define domestic abuse or violence; that is, the use of physical or emotional force or threat of physical force, including sexual violence in close adult relationships, in order to control the victim.

Domestic abuse can be perpetrated by your spouse or intimate partner, an ex-partner, another family member, and/or another person within the home. It is considered a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviours that take place within a relationship, or even after a relationship has come to an end.

Signs that an individual could be experiencing domestic abuse or violence:

  • They are anxious to please their partner
  • They seem afraid of their partner, and talk about their partner’s temper, possessiveness or jealousy
  • They are restricted from seeing family and/or friends
  • They have limited access to money or a car
  • They appear depressed, anxious or suicidal
  • They have physical injuries, and often wear unusual clothing to cover them (e.g. sunglasses indoors, long sleeves in hot weather)
  • They are acting submissive

Signs that an individual could be the perpetrator of domestic abuse or violence:

  • They are acting excessively jealous of their partner
  • They insult or embarrass their partner in public
  • They yell at/try to intimidate their partner

What to do next:

For a loved one or friend

Your next move is very important; it’s only natural that you want to help, and you can – but you need to handle this sensitive situation very, very carefully.

The first step is to express concern. Look for a private moment when you can have a word with the individual, and begin by asking them if they are OK. Let them know that you are concerned about them, and assure them that you are there if they ever need support or someone to talk to. The important thing here is not to push them if they don’t feel like opening up.

The next step is to assure them that the abuse they are experiencing is not their fault. Use positive, affirming statements such as: ‘No one deserves to be treated this way’ and ‘You are not to blame’.

While you should most definitely offer your support and an ear to talk to, avoid giving advice. What you can do is encourage them to make their own decisions, and provide them with a list of resources. Check out www.whatwouldyoudo.ie for reference and advice.

For a stranger

The situation can be slightly different if you suspect or witness abuse between strangers. If you have decided that a situation requires an intervention, and you are happy that it is safe to do so, Cosc (The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence) advises that you follow the ‘three D’ formula: Distract, Delegate, and Direct.

Distract

The goal here is to prevent the situation from getting worse, or to buy enough time to check in with the potential victim. An example of distraction is to ask for directions. This way, you could potentially distract the person about to commit violence, or get a moment alone to ask the victim if there is a problem.

Delegate

Do you know a friend of the victim who could help? If so, have a word with them and express your concern. If there is no one nearby who is close to the victim, and you feel the situation doesn’t call for Garda involvement, look for someone who might be in a better position than you to get involved – for example, a bouncer.

Direct

This involves approaching either the potential victim or potential abuser, and intervening yourself. Remember that you are putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation, so it’s best to make your actions subtle: use body language to express disapproval, and make your concern known by keeping an eye on the situation. If you choose a direct approach, express your concern with a statement like, ‘I’m concerned about what just happened? Is anything wrong?’

 

Brought to you by
COSC

Over 300,000 people in Ireland have been severely abused by a partner at some point in their lives. If you have witnessed or experienced domestic violence/abusive behaviour by a partner, or you are concerned you have abused someone, you can prevent it from happening again.

For more information, simply follow this link.

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Johnny Depp has been in the dog house with fans after allegations from now ex-wife Amber Rose that Johnny was the perpetrator of domestic violence towards her. 

However, the tide is clearly turning back in favour of the actor as he accepted a People's Choice Award for Favourite Movie Icon last night.

The star was noticeably humble in has acceptance as he thanked fans for the honour. 

"I appreciate it very much, you have no idea how much I appreciate it" he told the crowd.

"I truly feel that need to thank you," he said. 

The star also made reference to the fans who stood by him "through whatever good times or bad," seemingly referencing the allegations from his ex.

But not everyone believes that the star should be forgiven in the eyes of the public so soon. 

"Johnny Depp deserves to be in prison and y'all stay giving him awards."

"Abusers gonna abuse. Congrats on enabling that," said one outraged ex-fan.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard just finalised their divorce mere days ago.

The pair settled their divorce and her domestic violence case with a $7 million dollar settlement. 

Amber plans to split the settlement and donate it to the American Civil Liberties Union, who work to prevent violence against women, and the Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

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A Moroccan television station has been forced to apologise for broadcasting a makeup tutorial which encourages women to conceal injuries acquired through domestic violence.

Daytime TV show Sabihayat and its network 2M faced major backlash online after last week’s airing of the controversial segment which offered “beauty tips” to those who wish to “camouflage traces of violence”.

2M has since released a statement through its Facebook account admitting that the feature was “completely inappropriate” considering “the gravity of the subject of violence against women”.

Thousands of people signed a petition on Change.org calling for “severe sanctions” to be brought against the show for attempting to normalise domestic abuse.

“Do not cover domestic violence with makeup, condemn the aggressor,” wrote the page’s founder.

While the model used for the programme’s demonstration wore fake bruises, Twitter users were offended by the suggestion that victims of violence should hide the work of their abusers.

“Instead of giving women makeup tips to hide evidence of #domesticabuse, please teach men how not to abuse women,” wrote one woman.

“Host spends more time talking about the best brand of makeup to cover domestic violence bruises than the actual issue of domestic violence,” said another.

 

 

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As new images reveal the toxic nature of her romance with Russian businessman Egor Tarabasov, Lindsay Lohan has spoken publicly for the first time about the violence in their relationship.

After two weeks of intense drama – which saw Lindsay suggest she was pregnant and openly claim Egor had cheated on her – the troubled star has now told the Daily Mail that there have been numerous instances of violence since she and Egor first began their romance less than ten month ago.

Speaking of the night Lindsay was heard screaming outside her London home that Egor had tried to strangle her, the star said: “Egor and I had been out for dinner.  We danced, it was fun.”

“When we got home I went to bed and Egor went out.  A few hours later he came back and when I woke up he was standing over me.  He wasn't himself, he was being very aggressive and he attacked me.”

 

 

The Freaky Friday actress then revealed her motivation for now sharing her story.  She said: “I wanted to do this interview because it's time to tell the truth.”

“There have been so many lies printed about me recently.  I've kept quiet for so long but now I'm scared of what Egor might do to me and to himself.”

“It's not the first time.  That's the problem.  But this time, someone saw.  I didn't call anyone, I've dealt with enough police in LA.  I just left the house and went to the Connaught [Hotel] for the night.”

“I contacted my good friend Hofit Golan who was in St Tropez.  She said, ‘Get on a plane, come and meet me,’ so I did.  I needed some time for myself.”

 

 

Despite their troubled relationship, the former child star told the Daily Mail she is still wearing her engagement ring because she had hoped to reunite with Egor.

She said: “I haven't taken it off, even after all this…The truth is, I wanted to make things work, but now I'm not sure that I can.”

“I know I'm not an angel but I've tried to fix things.  It's down to him now.  I had suggested we go for couples' counselling but there comes a time when I have to put myself first, my family, and also think about my career which I've worked so hard for.”

 

“I also don't want to let my fans down by not being the strong woman I have become.”

Lindsay – who admitted she had hoped to get married and start a family with 23-year-old Egor – said: “I realise now you can’t stay in a relationship just for love.”

“No woman can be hit and stay with that person if that person isn’t prepared to say sorry.”

 

 

Nap time (I managed to sneak a pic before full nap mode) relaxation after water sports

A photo posted by Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan) on

We hope Lindsay remains strong during this difficult time. 

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Former Zoey 101 actor Christopher Massey has been arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, TMZ reports.

The 26-year-old – who used to play Michael Barret in the teen TV show – was in Las Vegas when the incident happened. The site claims that Christopher pushed his girlfriend, Cassalei Jackson, to the ground in the middle of a club after the pair fell into an argument.

 

A photo posted by Cassalei Jackson (@cassalei) on

The club's security then became involved and called the police who arrested him for a domestic violence misdemeanour. Mr Massey claims that his girlfriend fell over as they were leaving and the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.

Christopher has since been released on bail and it is thought that Cassalei will not press any charges against him.  

Feature image: Nickelodeon

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Emma Murphy caught the attention of millions yesterday when she spoke out against her estranged partner, Francis Usanga.

In a six-minute long video clip posted to Facebook and later viewed millions of times, the Dublin mother-of-two spoke of the physical and mental abuse she says she suffered at the hands of her ex-partner.

But in conversation with The Irish Sun today, Mr Usanga, a fitness instructor and gym owner, denies many of her allegations.

Although he admits infidelity – indeed, a child he fathered is due to be born to another woman next week – he denies ever punching Ms Murphy.

"Yes I did push her. I pushed her, I didn't punch her," he explains to the newspaper. "It was just the force."

"I did sleep with someone else. But I did not punch and I absolutely did not split her head open.

"I know nobody will believe me but I am not a violent person. I never, ever want to hurt anyone," he added.

Mr Usanga, 28, is well-known in Dublin body-building and exercise circles and has appeared as a fitness expert on RTE's Today programme.

One school-friend of Ms Murphy's also exclusively told SHEmazing! that they believe Emma was cheated on with more than one woman.

"He would meet a lot of clients at his gym and certainly there were women afterwards who claimed they had sex with Francis while he was with Emma.

"More than one woman afterwards said they were pregnant too."

They added: "He's a big guy – he obviously looks after himself and really focuses on weight-training; he'd pack a lot of punch, certainly. You wouldn't square up to him, put it that way."

The fitness instructor, a former Mr International Ireland, furthermore told The Sun that his business has been impacted by Emma's video.

“My business is now destroyed," he said. "I’ve clients demanding their money back. I don’t know what to do."

He says he believes Emma's black eye is a result of the fall she maintained after he pushed her. "She fell like, either on the car or the ground," he explained.

Yesterday, singer Sinead O'Connor took to her Facebook page to offer her support to Ms Murphy. Sharing her video, she called her an "extremely brave and inspiring young woman."

She went on to state: "Anyone who would hit the mother or father of their children is also definitely going to hit the children.

"That's the other reason to leave." Sinead added that she reckoned Emma deserves a "knighthood".

By chance, just last year Francis appeared in Sinead's 8 Good Reasons video. He even posted a snap of him with the singer on his website.

 

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