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The Facts

Domestic abuse is very serious and accounts for almost 25% of all recorded violent crime It is something which affects all sectors of society, irrespective of socio-economic status, lifestyle, age, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion and disability. It can also occur across a range of different family and intimate relationships such as, extended families and heterosexual, homosexual and transgender relationships and marriages.

Although it may take many different forms, it is important to try to bear in mind that such behaviour is not the victim’s fault, but that of the perpetrator and is commonly borne out of a desire to control the victim.

Although domestic abuse can affect up to 1 in 6 men, statistically women are far more likely to become victims. The following statistics show that:

• One in four women will be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetimes.

• A woman’s current or former partner commits 54% of rapes in the UK.

• Two women a week are killed by their partner or ex-partner in England & Wales.

• At least 12 women die each year as a result of “honour killing” (Fawcett Society, 2009)

• 30% of domestic abuse starts, or gets worse, during pregnancy.

• One in five workers are subject to violent attacks at work

• Half of women feel unsafe when walking alone at night in their area;

• Reported rape has increased by 165% in the last ten years; the conviction rate has dropped from 24% to 9%.

Domestic violence is largely hidden. It occurs in private and is likely to be concealed or denied by those subjected to the abuse as well as by those who perpetrate the abuse – and so most incidents are unreported largely because of real or perceived fear of the consequences.

Domestic abuse also has a significant impact on children. Statistics show that:

• In over 90% of domestic abuse incidents, a child is present or in an adjacent room.

• Nearly 75% of children on the Child Protection register live in households where domestic abuse occurs.

• There is a strong link between domestic violence and child abuse, with estimates ranging from 30% to 66% (Hester et al, 2000; Edleson, 1999; Humphreys & Thiara, 2002).

• Around 21% of girls, experience some form of child sexual abuse (HM Government 2007)

• One in five teenage girls have been hit by a boyfriend, one third of teenage girls believe that cheating justifies violence, and over 40% of all girls said they would consider giving a boy a second chance if he hit them (Sugar and NSPCC (2005) Teen abuse survey of Great Britain).