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How common is domestic violence?
Is there really as much domestic violence these days?
The statistics still show that on average two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales
And as awareness grows that all forms of domestic violence/abuse is not only socially unacceptable but a crime reporting is going up.
Domestic abuse-related crime is 8% of total crime. And Domestic cases now account for 14.1% of all court prosecutions, and the volume of prosecutions rose this year to the highest level ever of 92,779 . 92.4% of defendants were male and 7.6% were women. 84% of victims were female and 16% were male.
On average the Police receive an emergency call relating to domestic violence/abuse every 30 seconds. And we know that the majority of domestic violence/abuse goes unreported to the Police.
Statistics are extremely valuable when trying to understand the scale of domestic abuse but it is important to remember that they often cannot give us the full picture.
Domestic violence/abuse is a largely hidden crime, occurring mainly in homes behind closed doors. As such, it can be difficult to record the context in which abuse is being perpetrated, or accurately measure the impact of the abuse on those who experience it.
Women are often afraid or unable to report or disclose domestic abuse to the police and may under-report domestic abuse in surveys, particularly during face-to-face interviews
Why doesn't she just leave?
We should not be asking what the victim could have done differently; we should be asking why the perpetrator inflicted violence.
There are multiple factors that prevent women leaving abusive relationships, including:
- The way the abuser has isolated them from family and friends
- Financial dependence – controlling finances is one form of abuse
- Lack of self-esteem and other mental and emotional health issues, often caused by the abuse.
- Escalation of violence – around half of women killed by their partners are in the process of leaving. They may also fear retribution taken against children or pets.
Does abuse stop if a women leaves?
Abuse often continues after women have left relationships. Ultimately we need to stop asking victims to prevent violence by leaving their homes; we need to examine the motivations of abusers and how their behaviour can be stopped.
What about Disabled Women?
Studies show that disabled women are twice as likely to experience gender based violence than non-disabled women, yet are less likely to seek help.
Are Muslim women more abused than other women?
Domestic violence affects women of all cultures, religions and ethnic backgrounds. Preliminary research suggests that 10% of Muslims experience or have experienced physical violence.
What is coercion and control?
On December 29th 2015 a new criminal offence of domestic abuse “coercive and controlling behaviour” came into force.
- 95 out of 100 domestic abuse survivors in one study reported experiencing coercive control.
- In a survey of over 450 domestic abuse practitioners, 62% believe there needs to be improved understanding of the traits and techniques of coercive and controlling behaviour among frontline officers.
- Three quarters of forces (34 forces) include coercive control as part of their domestic abuse training.
- The 2014/2015 Crime Survey for England and Wales found that 63% of female partner abuse victims had experienced non-physical abuse (emotional or financial) in the last year.
How reliable are domestic violence/abuse statistics
When looking at any statistics, there are two issues to consider:
- Reliability – i.e. are these results replicable? – would another person or organisation asking exactly the same questions, or collecting the same kinds of information, come up with the same figures?
- Validity – i.e. are they meaningful?
Factors which can affect both reliability and validity include:
- the definition of domestic violence and/or abuse which is used
- how information is collected who or what, and
- how many people or organisations are included who is collecting the information, and for what purpose.
Most domestic abuse statistics (e.g. crime figures) are based on specific incidents and kinds of behaviour.
However, in Cardiff Women’s Aid’s view, domestic abuse has to be seen within a context of power and control, which is usually gender-based.
Repeated and escalating abuse which takes place within a context of fear and intimidation does not easily show up in an incident-based form of statistical record; and emotional abuse – which may be perpetrated in various ways, and with various degrees of subtlety – may be completely disregarded, particularly when the focus is on crimes.
Is domestic violence a crime?
Yes domestic violence is a serious offense that can leave emotional (as well as physical) scars that last a lifetime.
Stalking and domestic violence?
Domestic violence situations may also involve stalking of the victim by an estranged partner. This may involve repeated, unwanted phone calls meant to harass the other spouse, showing up to a spouse's place of work uninvited, or sitting outside your spouse's house (perhaps in your car). The methods used to stalk someone are less important than it being a pattern of malicious behavior.