Sooooooo this is a very different post.
This week, I’m not dropping any funny stories, but I’m dropping statistics, and it’s all about domestic abuse. It’s a really simple read – not too long, just stats and explanations, because it’s important that we understand what domestic abuse is so we can have a better chance of supporting it’s victims and survivors.
Why am I talking about abuse?
The Office of National Statistics dropped the latest stats on domestic abuse on Wednesday, and we found out that in the year ending March 2020, there were 2.3 million victims of domestic abuse aged 16 to 74.
1.6 million victims were women – that’s more that two-thirds – and 757,000 were men.
Women aged 20-24 were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse than women aged 25 and above.
The police recorded 1.3 million domestic abuse-related crimes/incidents in 2019/20, excluding the Greater Manchester Police.
74% of these recorded crimes are committed against female victims.
1 in 10 of all offences recorded by the police are domestic abuse related.
Research has shown that domestic abuse costs over £66 billion in England and Wales. The biggest cost being the physical and emotional harms facing victims (£47 billion), followed by a very large cost to the economy (£14 billion) due to lost output – that’s time off work and reduced productivity as a result of the domestic abuse.
Defining Domestic Abuse
Without pulling out my lawyer hat, domestic abuse looks like this: abuse that occurs between two people aged over 16, who are personally connected to each other.
– people who are married to each other (or have been married to each other before)
– people in civil partnerships
– people in romantic relationships
– people who have a child/children together
– people who are relatives
The domestic “abuse” also looks different. Not just the typical violence but it also can be:
– physical or sexual
– violence or threats
– controlling or coercive behaviour
– psychological or emotional
– economic abuse, meaning the abuser has a negative effect on the victim’s ability to find work, keep money or procure goods and services.
Sometimes abuse happens once, and sometimes it is repeated behaviour.
Who are the victims?
Domestic abuse can affect anyone, irrespective of your gender, age or race. Obviously we know that it affects women at a disproportionate rate, so we owe it to ourselves and our sisters/mothers/aunts/friends to educate ourselves on it.
I say “women” because women are always more likely to experience repeated victimisation, more likely to be physically assaulted and more likely to be killed as result of domestic abuse.
Women are also more likely to experience non-physical abuse, including emotional and financial abuse.
And there is still so much that we don’t know about male victims of domestic abuse.
Yeah, men are victims too.
Men experience the exact type of abuse that women do, but they face really complicated barriers in getting support, such as the shame, the fear of being stigmatised, the social expectations, the hypermasculinity, the pressures of bravado, the stigma, and of course, the myth that men cannot be victimised.
I’m going to leave it here for this week. I’ll probably come back to this topic next week or in a few week’s time because there is soooo much more to say about domestic abuse, but I will save it for another post, maybe for when I cover spotting the signs of abuse/what domestic abuse feels like and looks like.
For now, I will just say let’s keep educating ourselves, because deep it – every 3 days a woman dies at the hand of her abuser. 1 in 4 women are going to be affected by domestic abuse in their lifetime and 1 in 6 men will be affected by it. So if it’s not affecting you, could it be affecting someone you know?
Until next time…
If you need help and advice, the National Domestic Abuse Helpline can always be called, for free and in confidence, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The Men’s Advice Line is another confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them. Telephone: 0808 801 0327 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Yeah babes, I’m about links.