Domestic Violence has taken centre stage since headlines revealed that not even the famous household goddess, Nigella Lawson, is exempt from this abuse. No longer the archetype of domesticity, Ms Lawson has been described as ‘the face of Domestic Abuse’ by the press.
Domestic Violence has taken centre stage since headlines revealed that not even the famous household goddess, Nigella Lawson, is exempt from this abuse. No longer the archetype of domesticity, Ms Lawson has been described as ‘the face of Domestic Abuse’ by the press. The celebrity world may not offer much in useful instruction, however it has highlighted how domestic abuse affects any person from any background and must be confronted as soon as possible.
Recent surveys show that approximately 100,000 individuals are at high risk of serious harm or murder as a result of Domestic Abuse (CAADA, 2012). This terrifying statistic may come as a result of the nation’s emersion in the recession. In 2009, the Government Equalities Office released a booklet called ‘Real Help Now for Women’. This predicted the correlation between recession and Domestic Violence; “Economic downturns can be difficult times for family relationships. Worries about finances can create additional tension and in some cases, where couples have already decided to part, problems over selling the family home can deepen tensions." The National Centre for Domestic Violence agrees having seen a rise of 19% in domestic violence cases between 2009 and 2012. However, this may be due to a greater awareness of help offered to those in abusive relationships.
Regardless of gender, class, disability or race, any threatening behaviour between partners or family members is classed as Domestic Abuse. This type of behaviour includes psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional. The most concerning fact, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, is that 70% of domestic violence cases go unreported. On average, a victim will be abused by their spouse or partner 35 times before reporting the matter to the authorities. It’s often hard to recognise Domestic Abuse when it is concealed behind the public shows of affection. It is far harder to speak out when you are the victim. No-one could ever wish for another to suffer such torment; however the exposure of such abuse within a high profile relationship, such as Nigella Lawson and Charles Saatchi’s, hopefully will encourage others to speak out and escape violent relationships.
Men can also be victims of domestic abuse but their plight is barely recognised because of a lack of awareness. Mankind is an organisation supporting men suffering from domestic violence and ensure male victims of domestic abuse receive the help they need.
Sometimes, despite how much you attempt to protect them, Children can be victims of domestic abuse. The perpetrator may not aim the abuse directly towards the children. However, if they witness or hear of the incidents, it is possible they will suffer emotional harm.
If you are suffering from Domestic Abuse of a physical or violent nature you should contact the police immediately. If you would like a permanent solution you may be entitled to apply for a Non-Molestation Order through the family courts. A Non-Molestation Order is an order that can prohibit the perpetrator from doing certain things. The terms of an order can vary and is dependant upon the needs of victim. To those who are eligible, Legal Aid continues to be available in this area of law.
For more information contact our family department.