You are not alone

When I’m having a bad day, I try to remember that however hard it is for me, it’s a thousand times harder for my partner. And yes, sometimes I have to say that several times over… but it does help.

Stefan, A partner

It is incredibly difficult to provide care without it having an impact on your own physical and mental well-being. Caring for someone who has been a victim of crime carries additional stress and your own trauma and stress makes it doubly difficult.

None of us are heroes. The idealised image of self-sacrificing care, the awards in the media for compassionate acts of selflessness over decades – they aren’t reality. All of us at some point have ‘nasty’ thoughts, say the wrong thing or fail to provide care perfectly. And sometimes, just occasionally, a home truth can actually move things forward. It’s very easy to get ‘trapped’ doing things that you probably don’t need to do because your loved one (or other people around you!) seem to expect you to do it.

If you are the point of losing control…

  • Walk away

  • Shut the door

  • Phone someone to come and help

  • If there is ‘no-one’ phone the duty social worker at your local council

  • Failing that, phone 999 and ask for the police or an ambulance

Sometimes, there is a massive fear of what will happen if you don’t answer the phone, respond to the text message or go running up the stairs immediately.

Being ‘good enough’ can be better than being perfect because if nothing else, it will encourage your loved one to move towards or regain independence. If you do everything perfectly and immediately there is little incentive for anyone else to do anything.