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Nurses three times more likely to be victims of domestic abuse by Alan Selby - Research - Nurses Arena Forum

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Nurses three times more likely to be victims of domestic abuse by Alan Selby by Idowu Olabode : October 30, 2016, 07:50:29 AM
Nurses are three times more likely to suffer domestic abuse than the general public, shocking research has revealed.

As the NHS faces a staffing crisis, carers who remain are increasingly suffering at home as well as on the wards.

The Cavell Nurses’ Trust’s research findings have been branded “appalling” by the group’s chairman Simon Knighton.

He said: “Every day, in every corner of the UK, nurses are giving their all to care for their patients. Then behind closed doors around one in seven of these nurses is experiencing domestic abuse.”



Some 14 per cent have been victims of domestic abuse in the last year, with one in 50 suffering injury. This compares with a national average of 4.4 per cent.

Former nurse Claire Richards, of the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse, was “troubled” by the research results.

She said nurses’ dedication to helping others often left them more vulnerable to abuse. She said: “Violence is something we may experience in our professional lives and your mettle gets tested.

“You have a higher tolerance than the average person out there in the street.”

She felt nurses tend to try harder to stay in a relationship to make it work.

“It’s very much about wanting to fix things, wanting to heal things,” she said. “It’s a commitment to the partner, a commitment to the family.

“We are there for other people. We put them before ourselves and I think what the report has highlighted is, ‘Who is there for our nurses?’ The NHS should read this and see it as a wake-up call.”

The Cavell Nurses’ Trust has supported nurses, midwives and health assistants since being founded in 1917 following the execution of Edith Cavell, a British nurse shot dead by the Germans in 1915 for helping to evacuate 200 Allied soldiers in Belgium.

The report also found one in five nurses, midwives and healthcare assistants has been forced to skip meals in the past year because of money difficulties.

They are also twice as unlikely to be able to afford necessities such as decent shoes, heating and two meals a day.

The findings come a week after the Sunday People revealed 14 per cent of nurses have applied for payday loans , laying bare the hardship faced by NHS staff.

Dame Christine Beasley, former chief nursing officer and now a patron of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust, said: “I was very distressed to read these findings.

“Some frontline nurses face abuse from patients. To learn some are also facing abuse in their personal lives is shocking.

“Many nurses are also facing worrying levels of ill health and financial difficulties. While nurses support us, they need our support as well.”

'I had to get out, we weren't safe'


Louise loved her part-time job in a nursing home, earning some cash while studying at university. Her course wasn’t related to nursing and when it ended she was sad to think she would have to stop the job too.

So after encouragement from her colleagues at the home, she took the plunge and started her nursing degree.

“Something about nursing just clicked,” she says. “Caring for other people seemed the most natural job in the world for me to be doing.

“Once I realised that, I never looked back.”

Louise qualified in 2005 and worked as a staff nurse in her local hospital. She loved the variety and felt she had made the right decision.

Unfortunately, Louise’s partner was becoming increasingly abusive towards her – physically, emotionally and financially – and a couple of years ago her life turned upside down. Louise made the courageous decision to leave him, taking her young children with her. It was her
last resort.

“I just had to get out. Me and the children weren’t safe in that house and I had no choice but to leave and never go back.”

Louise and the children arrived at a women’s refuge with just a bag of clothes and one toy each for the youngsters. The refuge quickly found her somewhere to live but it meant moving hundreds of miles from her hometown, so she had to give up her job and leave her friends.

She was faced with starting her life over again from scratch and building a home for her children.

The family received help from the council and obtained furniture, a fridge and washing machine. But Louise couldn’t work, as she was caring for the children, so she struggled to buy essentials such as towels, cutlery, saucepans and curtains.

Cavell Nurses’ Trust was able to help and quickly enabled Louise to start making her new house into a home.

Louise aims to restart her nursing career and the trust enabled her to fund her Nursing & Midwifery Council registration costs. She is now taking the first few steps back towards being a nurse again.

“The help and support I’ve received from Cavell Nurses’ Trust has made a huge difference to us.

“It was so embarrassing to ask for help but having done it I would urge any nurses, midwives or healthcare assistants to be brave and take the step. You will not be judged.

“I’ve given so much during my nursing career and I’m so grateful to know that Cavell Nurses’ Trust is there for me if I need help.”

Source : UK Mirror

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