Valentine’s Day is for celebrating love, relationships and looking for deals of cheap chocolate after. It’s coined as being a magical day full of celebration and for many it is. However, this may not be the case for everyone. This website post is dedicated to those who may not be looking forward to the pink and hearts that mean Valentine’s Day is fully under way.
You are seen, you are important and there are lots of services here for you.
There are many reasons why we may not be looking forward to the 14th of February.
There will be many people, regardless of gender, race, age and sexuality, experiencing domestic abuse and for them, Valentine’s Day may be a day full of expectations and anxiety. It is important to remember that domestic abuse does not mean solely physical violence but also includes behaviour such as coercive and controlling behaviours, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and financial abuse and it does not discriminate.
Some people may be anxious about what their partner may expect from them sexually. Regardless of the day of the year, consent is key in any sexual relationship. If you are unsure about a situation and feeling uncomfortable, it is okay to leave. If you are planning a first date on Valentine’s Day, let people you trust know where you will be. It can also be useful to have a plan in place about who you can call if you do start to feel uncomfortable. If you experience an unwanted sexual experience of any kind and would like to consider reporting to the police or would just like to have a conversation about how you feel, you can always speak with one of the ISVA’s (Independent Sexual Violence Advisors) at Yellow Door who can support you to make the best decision for you.
Some survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse can find Valentine’s Day to be a difficult reminder of their relationship. It is important that we remember to be kind to ourselves, whether that means staying in and watching TV, cooking some nice food or calling our friend so we’re not alone. Please remember that this feeling will pass. If you know someone who is experiencing domestic abuse, reach out to them where possible, invite them for a coffee and a chat, and let them know that you are there.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please know that you are not alone. If you would like further support and when you are ready, you can contact the National Domestic Abuse helpline for advice. If you are in immediate danger call the Police. If you have experienced domestic abuse in the past would like to learn more about healthy relationships, Yellow Door organises a programme called Pattern Changing which explores this further.
Police Emergency Number: 999
Police Non-emergency: 101
Treetops Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) (Southampton):
Number: 0300 123 6616
Number: 023 8063 6313 (open every Wednesday 4-7pm)
National Domestic Abuse:
Number: 0844 8044 999 (open 24 hrs)
PIPPA (Domestic Abuse Helpline, Southampton):
Number: 023 8091 7917
Number: 116 123
The Survivor’s Trust:
Number: 023 8091 7917