Domestic Violence (Mini-site)

Domestic Violence Mini-site

Please note, we are currently reviewing and updating all references to statistics on the Domestic Violence Mini-site. We apologise for the incovenience this may cause.

 

What is Domestic Violence

Domestic violence currently claims the lives of around two women a week, and affects millions more people. The Government is determined to prevent domestic violence happening or recurring, to protect and support its victims, and to bring offenders to justice.

The Government defines domestic violence 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 based violence’, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage.

(An adult is defined as any person aged 18 years or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or stepfamily).

Whatever form it takes, domestic violence is rarely a one-off incident, and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Domestic violence occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography. The figures show, however, that it consists mainly of violence by men against women. Children are also affected. Not only are many traumatised by what they witness, there is also a strong connection between domestic violence, sexual violence and child abuse.

Domestic violence is under-reported, but research shows that:

  • Domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent incidents.
  • One in four women and one in six men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime with women at greater risk of repeat victimisation and serious injury.
  • 89% of those suffering four or more incidents are women.
  • One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
  • On average, two women a week are killed by a current or former male partner.

Domestic violence has been steadily ascending the political agenda and has been recognised as a cross-government priority. The Home Office is working closely with other central Government departments, regional Government and local partnerships, particularly those responsible for crime and disorder, to ensure an effective, multi-agency response to domestic violence.

Progress on domestic violence since 1997:

  • Routine enquiry about domestic violence has been rolled out to all pregnant women.
  • In Education, domestic violence is being included in all routine assessments of children.
  • The Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence was formed, representing approximately 160 companies and over 2 million employees.
  • The joint FCO/Home Office Forced Marriage Unit assists approximately 300 victims and potential victims a year.
  • CLG has developed a range of accommodation options for victims including Sanctuary Scheme guidance.
  • Domestic violence training rolling out to all police and CPS prosecutors by 2008.
  • Every police force and CPS area now has a domestic violence co-ordinator. Every police force also has a domestic violence chanpion.
  • Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme continues with 64 SDVCs by April 2007.
  • Accredited domestic abuse perpetrator programmes now in all probation areas.

Last update: Monday, November 17, 2008

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