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Domestic violence and abuse, defined by Government, is:

any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling Behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive Behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. (This is not a legal definition).

Women’s Aid

Women’s Aid is a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services and build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated. They state that:

Domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes’. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently ‘violent’.

One in four women will suffer from domestic abuse at some stage in their lives and one in 7 men will be victims of domestic abuse. We know that on average a woman is assaulted 35 times before she makes her first call for help.

On average 2 women a week are murdered in the UK by a partner or ex-partner.

In West Lancashire:

  • An estimated 1.9 million adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year, according to the year ending March 2017 Crime Survey for England and Wales (1.2 million women, 713,000 men).
  • The police recorded 1.1 million domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in the year ending March 2017 and of these, 46% were recorded as domestic abuse-related crimes; domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by the police accounted for 32% of violent crimes.
  • There were 46 arrests per 100 domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by 39 police forces in the year ending June 2017.
  • The majority of victims of domestic homicides recorded between April 2013 and March 2016 were females (70%).
  • A decision to charge was made for 72% of domestic abuse-related cases referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) by the police, and of those that proceeded to court, convictions were secured for 76% of domestic abuse-related prosecutions.
  • There were 305 refuge services operating in England and Wales in 2017.
  • A total of 83,136 high-risk cases were discussed at multi-agency risk assessment conferences in the year ending March 2017, equating to 36 cases per 10,000 adult females.
Acknowledgement: Domestic Abuse in England And Wales

Domestic abuse can affect anyone whatever their social background, age, gender, religion, sexuality or ethnicity. Men are victims of domestic violence/abuse, however, the vast majority of incidents are carried out by men against women.