Samantha De Bono Counselling Bromley

Bromley & Harley Street

tel: 07588 931 401

email me

When we look at the likes of the Johnny Depp and Amber Heard trial that is currently filling all our social media platforms, it is difficult to understand why the rich and famous would fall prey to domestic abuse.  They have everything; beauty, immense wealth, status, fame, adoration, perfect homes, fabulous life styles, amazing jobs, yet still they stay in a relationship that passed its sell-by date a long time ago.  So why?

Well the answer to that is simple.  It really doesn’t matter how rich or famous you are because at the end of the day, you're just human and human beings are fallible.  So, just like us, their self worth will be dependent on how their childhood’s went and whether they have dealt with low self esteem.

When getting into a new relationship, it isn’t always obvious that it might become an abusive one.  We can’t necessarily tell straight away.

Abusers don’t exactly advertise the fact that they have form for this sort of thing, so at the beginning of most relationships we are completely happy.  Everything seems to go perfectly.

The important thing is to notice and not ignore red flags.  It’s so easy to overlook these things because when we have rose coloured spectacles on, red flags just look like regular flags.

Abuse can happen to anyone. Life would be so easy if we could categorise, but in all my years as a Psychotherapist and Couples Counsellor, I have seen a huge variety of people from all walks of life and professions who have suffered through an abusive relationship and not one of these people have stayed because they enjoyed the abuse. That old chestnut “They must like it or they’d leave”  - Total B.S. People stay for many reasons, but enjoyment is the most unlikely.

As the relationship goes on, controlling and possessive behaviours can start to show. Sometimes aggression is present, but early on, it’s usually toward inanimate objects or towards others in the form of extreme road rage, physical or verbal abuse towards other people outside of the relationship. 

Domestic abuse doesn’t always look the same across every relationship.  But the most common factor to all abuse is Power and Control.  Abusers will always try to control and have power over their partner.

These are red flags you can look for.  If you are experiencing one or more of the following, please talk to someone you trust. Preferably not some one your partner is connected to. 

Does your partner ever...

  • punch or kick inanimate objects if they’re angry with you?
  • put you down with derogatory comments?
  • make you feel like you can’t do anything right?
  • make you feel nervous when they’re upset?
  • get jealous when you spend time with others?
  • bad mouth your friends and/or family?
  • throw things at you when they’re angry?
  • control who you see, who you talk to, what you do or where you go?
  • tell you that you’re a terrible parent? Tell you you’ll lose the children or they’ll take them from you?
  • look at you or behave in a way that they know scares you?
  • push you, pull your hair, squeeze your face, spit at you, choke you, slap you?
  • stop you seeing friends or family?
  • control the money in the relationship? Make you ask for money? Take your money?
  • Make all the decisions? Won’t allow you to make decisions? Makes you feel like you make wrong decisions?
  • Prevent you from working or making your own money?
  • stop you from being independent?
  • gaslight you, tell you that this is not abuse. Tell you that YOU are the abuser?
  • tell you that you cause their behaviour.  Tell you If you didn’t do X,Y or Z they wouldn’t get angry?
  • Damage your property or possessions?
  • threaten to harm or kill your pet?
  • drive recklessly when you are in the car?
  • intimidate you with weapons?
  • pressure you to be affectionate or to have sex when you don’t want it?
  • lose their temper at the slightest thing and berate you for it?
  • Refuse to let you leave the room when you’re asking for time-out?
  • pressure you into using drugs or alcohol?
  • threaten to expose initiate photographs or information to family and friends if you try to end the relationship or when they’re upset?
  • threaten suicide if you try to end the relationship?
  • Threaten to kill you?
  • threaten to kill your children then themselves?

Abusers make a choice to abuse, so don’t feel bad for them when they give you excuses for what they are doing, but do be careful not to put yourself at further risk. Asking a friend to keep an overnight bag of things you might need if you want to leave quickly.  Leaving your passport and important documents with a trusted friend or family member in case of an emergency. 

Abuse does not have to be violent for it to be damaging, so please do not think you are over reacting if your partner doesn’t get violent. Psychological and emotional abuse is just as unacceptable and intolerable and takes just as long to recover from.

Useful contacts:

National Domestic Abuse Helpline -

0800 2000 247 (England)

0808 802 1414 (Northern Ireland)

0800 027 1234 (Scotland)

0808 80 10 800 (Wales)

Men’s Advice Line (UK wide) - 0808 801 0327

Bright Sky is a mobile app and website for anyone experiencing domestic abuse or who is worried about someone else.

If you would like to contact me for counselling please do not hesitate to do so. I’m on 07588931401 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.