Helping you get through tough times

Nigella’s not alone in suffering domestic abuse

If you’ve accessed any media in the past week you’ll know about the horrific images of celebrity chef Nigella Lawson and her husband Charles Saatchi.

For anyone who hasn’t, they were of the couple sitting in a restaurant, with Charles’ hand around Nigella’s throat. She looked visibly distressed, and was then photographed leaving in tears.


Charles has since handed himself into the police for a ‘cautioning’ and released a statement saying that it was a “playful tiff”. He said they were having a heated debate and he held her throat to emphasise his point.

What is violence?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines violence as the “use of physical force or power, threatened or actual…which results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, or deprivation.”

While we don’t know what happened between Nigella and her husband, we can surmise from the photos that his behaviour was bullying and completely inappropriate. Even if this was a once off occurrence, it was a violent act towards his wife, therefore it was domestic abuse.

In this instance a husband was abusing his wife, but in some families the roles could be reversed. Also other family relationships may have abusive dynamics. Siblings, parent and child, extended family members – the list goes on.


It might seem like domestic violence is hidden behind closed doors, and is something that only happens to others. The reality is it could be happening anywhere and to anyone.

The thought that violence in families has a particular form, and only happens to certain kinds of people doesn’t help anyone. Anybody can be abused.

The images of Nigella and her husband show that no matter how glamorous or perfect someone’s life appears to be – that’s all it might be: an appearance.


No one ever deserves to be abused, either physically or emotionally. There is never an excuse.

Taking that first step and finding help when you or someone you care for is suffering domestic violence is not easy. Knowing that help is available and even just checking out your options online or phoning an organisation could be the beginning of the end to the abuse.

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