As domestic violence awareness has increased over the last few years, it has become evident that abuse can occur within a number of different relationships. This abuse can cover incidents of violence occurring between married couples, abuse between roommates, dating couples, those in same sex relationships as well as abuse of elders by family members.
The Hampton Trust refer to domestic abuse as a means of gaining power and control over a current or ex partner. We also support the Home Office's definition of Domestic Abuse as:
“Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.” This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called ‘honour killings’.
As well as involving physical and sexual violence, it can also include non-physical abuse such as verbal, racist, psychological and emotional abuse. Forms of control include controlling money, access to material goods, who the partner sees or phones and how long they spend with other people. Whether actual or threatened behaviour all of this constitutes as domestic abuse.
In an abusive relationship, the abuser may use a number of tactics other than physical violence in order to maintain power and control over his or her partner:
Emotional and verbal abuse
This can be in the form of put-downs, public humiliation, name-calling and manipulation by their partners. Many victims have said that the emotional abuse they have suffered has left the deepest level of scars.
It is often common for the abuser to become jealous within the relationship and insist that the victim not see their friends or family members. Resulting in the victim feeling a sense of isolation.
Threats and Intimidation
Threats, including threats of violence, suicide, or of taking away the children, are a very common tactic employed by the abuser.
The existence of emotional and verbal abuse, attempts to isolate, and threats or intimidation within a relationship may be an indication that physical abuse may follow.
Domestic abuse occurs across all ages, races and classes regardless of education, income or mental ability and can also be carried out by women against men.
It is important to acknowledge that all forms of domestic abuse can have damaging and lasting effects on the victims and other members of the family. The impact of domestic abuse on children and young people can not be underestimated in terms of their immediate safety, emotional and physical wellbeing and long term development.
Key Facts on Domestic Abuse
Domestic violence accounts for between 16% and 25% of all recorded violent crime. (Home Office, 2004; Dodd et al., 2004; BCS, 1998; Dobash and Dobash, 1980)
45% women and 26% men have experienced at least one incident of inter-personal violence in their lifetime. However when there were more than 4 incidents (i.e. ongoing domestic or sexual abuse) 89% of victims were women.
In any one year, there are 13 million separate incidents of physical violence or threats of violence against women from partners or former partners, (Walby and Allen, 2004)
Violence affects both men and women: In 2001/2002 81% of women and 19% of men were victim/survivors of Domestic Violence.
2 women a week are killed in an incident involving Domestic Violence
Nearly 50% of all female murder victims are killed by a partner or ex partner
35% of murders in the last five years have been as a consequence of Domestic Violence
At least 2 incidents of Domestic Violence are reported to the police every 60 seconds
On average, a woman will have been a victim of domestic violence 35 times before she reports the abuse
A personal safety plan is a way of helping to protect yourself and your children. It helps you think about how you can increase your safety either within the relationship or if you leave.More about this programme
Our projects target perpetrators and victims of violence and abuse, as well as sufferers of social isolation. They are preventative, educational and therapeutic and include LINX, ECO,Turnaround, ADAPT, I.S.V.A. and Planning for the Future.More about this programme