Women’s Aid defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour in close or intimate relationships. It includes physical, emotional, sexual and mental abuse.
The abuse is used most frequently by men to maintain power over ‘their’ women within family relationship. But children, and other family members, can also be hurt.
Violence can also occur in lesbian and gay relationships, as well as from women to men.
It can include a range of behaviour:
Domestic Violence is very common. Research shows that it can affect one in four women in their lifetime, regardless of age, social class, race, disability or lifestyle.
(British Medical association, 1999)
Over 52,000 women and children spent at least one night in a refuge in England during 1996-7 (WAFE Annual Report, 1997)
The 1995 World Development Report by the United Nations shows, that on a world scale, domestic violence is a significant cause of disability and death (Social Services Inspectorate (1996) Domestic Violence and Social Care)
In 90% of incidents involving domestic violence, the children are in the same or the next room (Hughes, 1992)
The NCH study found 75% of mothers said their children had witnessed domestic violence, 33% had seen their mothers beaten up, 10% had witnessed sexual violence (NCH, 1994)
Domestic violence is the least likely violent crime to be reported to the police. Only one out of three crimes resulting in injury are reported (British Crime Survey, 1996)
Each year, 45% of female homicide victims are killed by present or former male partners compared to 8% of male victims. On average, two women per week are killed in England and Wales by their partners/ex-partners (Criminal Statistics (1992) Home Office)
Women are at greatest risk of homicide at the point of separation or after leaving a violent partner (Daly & Wilson (1988) Homicide Aldane Gruyter).
This document was downloaded from: http://www.basildonwa.org