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Domestic Violence…Accounts for 17% Of All Violent Crime In The UK.

Domestic Violence – Statistics

 Every year in England and Wales around 63,000 women and children spend at least one night in a refuge. Of 224 female victims of homicide in 1997, 47% were killed by their current or former partner. This means that one woman dies as a result of domestic violence, approximately every three days.

Although domestic violence is often not reported, it is estimated that it accounts for 17% of all violent crime, has more repeat victims than any other crime and will affect one in four women and one in six men in their lifetime. 

Domestic Violence In Pregnancy  

Recent research has shown that domestic violence towards a woman might begin or escalate during her pregnancy and homicide is recognised to be a leading cause of death in pregnant women.

Amongst a group of pregnant women attending primary care in East London, 15% reported violence during their pregnancy; just under 40% reported that violence started whilst they were pregnant, whilst 30% who reported violence during pregnancy also reported they had at sometime suffered a miscarriage as a result.

From 2005, as a result of a government crackdown on the problem, pregnant women are now routinely asked, as part of their antenatal care, whether they are suffering domestic violence at the hands of their husband or boyfriend.


Domestic violence is not a specific statutory offence. The term describes a range of criminal offences and sometimes sub-criminal behaviour. As a result, there are many different definitions of domestic violence.

However a common definition is important for agencies working together, so as from 1st April 1999, The HM Inspectorate of Constabulary, has used the following definition for the reported incident returns, which it requires from police forces:-

“The term ‘domestic violence’ shall be understood to mean any violence between current or former partners in an intimate relationship, wherever and whenever the violence occurs. The violence may include physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse”.

The definition excludes other violence that might be considered to be domestic, such as the abuse of children and the elderly, or disabled family members. This type of violence is still important, but since it is different to partner abuse it requires separate procedures.

Tell Me About Domestic Violence. 

People experience domestic violence regardless of their social group, class, age, race, disability, sexuality and lifestyle. The abuse can begin at any time, in the first year, or after many years of life together. It may begin, continue, or escalate after a couple have separated and may take place not only in the home but also in a public place, such as in the street or in a public house.

As the above definition makes clear, domestic violence includes all kinds of physical, sexual, emotional and financial abuse, between people who are, or have been partners. In other words between those generally recognised as a couple, whether or not they are married and whether or not living together.

Typically the violence involves a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour, which tends to get worse over time. It can take a number of forms, some of which are directly and indirectly physical, such as assault, indecent assault, rape, destruction of property and threats.

Other types are non-physical, such as destructive criticism, pressure tactics, belittling, breaking trust, isolation, oppressive control of finances and harassment. The physical acts of domestic violence are criminal offences; the non-physical forms may also amount to offences under the Protection from Harassment Act.

Women are more likely than men to experience domestic violence in their lives and to suffer repeated victimisation. They are also more likely to be injured, or have to seek medical help and to experience frightening threats or upset.

Domestic Violence Against Men

Although publications usually refer to victims as women, people should be aware that some domestic violence against men does occur when the perpetrator is a woman. Domestic violence is also prevalent in same sex relationships.

New Government Domestic Violence Awareness Campaign.

Due to concerns about the prevalence of domestic violence, the Home Office is launching a new advertising campaign, aimed at the perpetrators of domestic violence with a very clear message: “GET HELP OR GET ARRESTED”.

The purpose of these messages is to make abusers face up to the consequences of their behaviour, which is the real threat of prosecution and losing their family. The campaign will also encourage perpetrators to ask for help by calling the Respect telephone line – 0845 122 8609.

The advertising activity will use a combination of local newspapers, local radio stations and poster campaigns, to be released across the country in three monthly phases.

If Someone You Know Is A Victim Of Domestic Violence

If you know or suspect that a family member, friend or work colleague is suffering from domestic violence, it is often difficult to know what action to take. It is very upsetting when you know that someone is hurting a person you care about and your first instinct may be to try to protect your friend or family member, but intervening can be dangerous for both of you.

If you should witness an assault, you can call the police on 999, otherwise telephone:- The National Domestic Violence Helpline (Free Phone 24hour) – 0808 2000 247.

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