Did anyone watch The Abused last night on Channel 5? What an eye-opening documentary providing an insight into what happens to victims of domestic abuse once the police become involved.
It’s hard to accurately quantify the statistics for domestic abuse, because it’s a largely hidden crime, occurring primarily in the home, but according to the programme-makers:
An estimated two million adults were subjected to domestic abuse in Britain last year
although it is felt the real figure is much higher.
Domestic abuse can involve one incident or a pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour causing physical, social, mental, financial or emotional harm. The abuse can be actual or threatened. In the majority of cases the incidents are between partners or ex-partners, but could also involve a family member or a carer.
Sadly, domestic abuse often goes unreported for many years - if not forever. Victims are often too fearful to report the behaviour to anyone and are regularly isolated from friends and family.
Domestic abuse is a criminal offence and is taken seriously by the police. All domestic abuse should be reported to the police for action to be taken. Domestic assaults, harassment and coercive control are all criminal offences and can all attract custodial sentences.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, but don’t feel able to turn to the police, we can help you get legal protection by applying to the court for an injunction order. This can give you breathing space to recover and make decisions about the future. An injunction can also prohibit further abuse and exclude the perpetrator from the home.
The impact domestic abuse has upon children and young people cannot be ignored. Evidence shows that children who witness domestic abuse are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, sleeping difficulties, and nightmares. There is also an increased likelihood that they may become aggressive. All these behaviours can be significant and long-lasting. One of the victims interviewed in the programme said that she felt that her young son, who had witnessed domestic violence, had become extremely protective of her and also that his speech was delayed.
Domestic abuse is unacceptable. If you need confidential advice please don't hesitate to call us now on 0800 118 1500 or email Rebecca Till directly. Our family team is always here to help.
Legal aid may be available, and enables us to provide you with initial legal advice and/or make a court application for an injunction.
For more information please contact us