- May 2016
Domestic abuse - make it stop
A recent screening by the BBC “Behind Closed Doors” gave a hard hitting and insightful documentary on the impact of domestic abuse on the victim and how the police deal with perpetrators of such crimes. Families live with domestic abuse for far too long before getting effective help – on average 2.5 years.
Cutting the time it takes to find and help victims and their families is critical to stop murder, serious injury, and enduring harm.
Too many missed opportunities
But there are still far too many missed opportunities to get help for families experiencing domestic abuse. Statistics show that 85% of victims sought help five times on average from professionals in the year before they got effective help to stop the abuse.
In the year before they got effective help:
- Four in five high-risk victims (78%) and two-thirds of medium-risk victims (62%) reported the abuse to the police.
- Nearly a quarter of high-risk victims (23%) and one in ten medium-risk victims went to an accident and emergency department because of their injuries. In the most extreme cases, victims reported that they attended A&E 15 times.
The work to be done
Very often the victims of domestic violence do not know, or are simply not aware of the help that may be available to them, or they may be too ashamed to let people know. Victims attend at hospitals for their injuries but are often accompanied by the person who caused the injuries which, in turn, means that the victim is not able to openly discuss how those injuries came about. Maybe they hope that the health care professionals will somehow “notice” that something is amiss.
More is needed to assist and find every family as quickly as possible, and get the response right, first time, for every family.
All mainstream services, police, social services, health care and other agencies must create an environment where any member of the family can tell someone about domestic abuse, and know that it will be acted on, and every professional should make identifying domestic abuse part of what they do. Day-to-day they should ask about domestic violence whenever they are worried about a family.
We at Jackamans Solicitors have a specialist domestic violence department, based at our Ipswich Office. We have extensive knowledge of noticing the signs as to whether or not somebody is the victim of a domestic violence situation and can often assist by obtaining a Non-molestation order which is available by application to a court. Applications are sometimes made on notice, which means the abuser will be aware of the application against them. If there is fear that this notification may engender further abuse or violence, then it is possible to apply for a non-molestation order without notice, which means the abuser is unaware of the proceedings. But the application does not become effective until it is served on the abuser. If a non-molestation order is made without notice, then there will often need to be a second hearing later on with both parties present to allow the other party a chance to respond and challenge the order.
We can offer a confidential helpline service to people who are suffering as a result of violence at home. Please call us in absolute confidence to find out more on 01473 255591.back to articles...