Nurses are three times more likely to suffer abuse at home than other people according to “shocking and appalling “ findings of a nursing charity.
They are often at the sharp end of abuse at work and the Cavell Nurses’ Trust uncovered a shocking picture of nurses suffering abuse when they get home too.
One in seven nurses said it happened in the last year and one in 50 were injured as well, according to its report Skint, shaken, yet still caring.
In the population as a whole one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic violence.
Simon Knighton, the chairman of the Cavell Nurses’ Trust said: “Every day in every corner of the UK, nurses are giving their all to care for their patients. Then behind closed doors, one in seven of these nurses is experiencing domestic abuse – this is both shocking and appalling.”
It’s thought that the nursing values of care, compassion and courage could be one of the reasons why they experience such high levels of abuse, according to the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse.
Former mental health nurse Claire Richards, from NCSPVA’s Institute of Health and Society said: “The values that nurses adhere to in their career – including the six Cs of nursing – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, commitment – may increase the likelihood of them staying with an abusive partner for reasons of altruism or a possible belief their partner needs them.”
She added: “Nurses may see their partner’s behaviour as part of a wider problem, such as depression, unemployment or a drink problem they they seek to treat or heal.”
She told NIP that nurses can develop tolerance to poor behaviour because of dealing with challenging situations at work.
Ms Richards advised nurses: “You have to take care of yourself – self care is really important. What may happen is you lose a sense of yourself and may not be in a good place.
She also urged colleagues to raise the issue sensitively if they are concerned about a colleague.
The Refuge helpline is available on 0808 2000247 and the Men’s Advice Line is on 0808 8010327, she said.
The report’s other findings highlight the financial hardship faced by nurses.
It said they are nearly twice as likely as the average person to be unable to afford basic necessities.
One in five said they skipped meals in the last year because of money problems.
Half the nurses questioned said they could not afford to replace worn out furniture and 44% said they could not afford to save even £20 a month.