Many domestic abuse incidents still going unreported

To mark International Women’s Day tomorrow, the domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid has published Survival and Beyond: the domestic abuse report 2017, to celebrate “the extraordinary women who run the national network of refuges and outreach support services who help save the lives of women and their children who are experiencing domestic abuse every day.” The report looks at service provision and the needs of women and children who are victims of domestic abuse, including change over time from 2010 to 2017.

Amongst the findings in the report were that only 28% of women using community-based services (such as drop-in services and counselling support) reported domestic abuse to the police, while 43.7% who use refuges reported. Further, of those who reported, only 13.2% of the community-based service users and 17% of the women resident in refuge services said that there had been a criminal case or criminal sanctions taken against the perpetrator.

Commenting upon the figures Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“From our work with survivors, we know that it takes a lot of strength and courage for women to build up the confidence to report domestic abuse to the police.

“The police have made significant progress in transforming their response to tackling domestic abuse, but for some women the barriers to reporting to the police or proceeding with a prosecution will remain insurmountable.

“That’s why it is vital that all agencies, from healthcare to housing, make tackling domestic abuse their business.

“Our new findings show that very few women experiencing domestic abuse see any criminal justice outcomes in their cases and have limited involvement with the police, but they do access lifesaving support from specialist services.

“That’s why refuges and community-based support services are vital for survivors to be able to get the help they need, when and where they need it. These life-saving services are not an optional extra but an essential piece of the jigsaw in our response to domestic abuse.”

You can read the full report here and a summary of it here.

For information about how you can protect yourself from domestic violence and abuse, see this post.

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Image: Women’s Aid