Now it is recognised that domestic violence is a serious social problem of epidemic scale. Not too long ago it was considered private, something occurring and to be hushed up and dealt with behind closed doors. Regrettably, way too many people still have that attitude.
Domestic violence is a crime as serious as other violent crimes.
Every week in England and Wales, two women are killed by current or former partners. It costs society an estimated £15.7 billion a year. One in four of young people, aged 10 to 24, reported that they experienced domestic violence and abuse during their childhood. Crime relating to domestic abuse constitutes some eight percent of all recorded crime. On average the police receive an emergency call relating to domestic abuse every 30 seconds. (Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse, HMIC, 2014)
Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, by a partner or ex-partner.
Domestic violence is ‘domestic’, referring to forms of violence that occur between people in intimate and familiar relationships. It is mostly experienced by women and perpetrated by men but it also includes violence against men by their female partners and violence within same-sex relationships.
It also includes forms of family violence perpetrated by one or more family members, such as forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so called “honour crimes”.
Violence includes, but does not exclusively limited to physical assaults. The defining nature of domestic violence is that it is an ongoing pattern of behaviour, ranging from subtle coercive acts to violent physical abuse, to exercise power and control.
Acts of domestic violence includes:
- emotional abuse – e.g. undermining self-esteem and self-worth
- verbal abuse— e.g. humiliation in private and public
- social abuse— e.g. isolation from family and friends
- financial abuse— e.g. controlling all money, preventing looking for employment
- psychological abuse—e.g.making threats regarding custody of children, misuse of religious beliefs or practices to force victims into subordination
- physical abuse—e.g. inflicting bodily harm
- sexual abuse—e.g. rape, sex degradation
The private nature of the context in which violence occurs determines that most incidents of domestic violence are unreported. The extent of the problem is largely unknown. It is important to learn to recognise those suffering from abuse.
Follow these links to learn more about Domestic Violence.