Domestic abuse is a criminal act and we must all do more to prevent it from happening.
According MK Together, the Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment 2018-20 estimated that approximately 12,000 adults in Milton Keynes will experience domestic abuse each year. In fact, police statistics showed a 4% increase in domestic violence (2017- 2020) in the area.
by Emma Johnson
What is Domestic Abuse?
The government define domestic violence as:
any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender of sexuality.
Who Experiences Domestic Abuse?
Let’s face it, in reality within every community, regardless of age, gender, social background, religion, sexuality or ethnicity people experience domestic violence. Very sadly, men are most likely to carry out domestic violence incidents against women. Equally shocking, approximately 3% of the older generation, that is over 65 years of age also experience domestic abuse.
What counts as Domestic Abuse?
People experience psychological and controlling abuse, physical, sexual, financial and emotional. Some abusers use coercive behaviours designed to gradually intimidate, humiliate and frighten their victim. Others may adopt controlling behaviours that increasingly isolate a person taking their independence and resources. Eventually, they feel unable to reach out for support or escape. Other victims will be taken overseas, often during holiday times, where they experience harmful practices like Female Genital Mutilation. Honour Based Crimes which families believe protect or defend the honour of their families and community can also happen. In 2014, the government made forced marriages a criminal offence and the perpetrator can face up to 7 years in prison.
In contrast to what abusers and victims believe, domestic violence is shown to be rarely a one-off. Generally, it will very often become more frequent and scarily more severe as time goes on. Often the abuse takes place behind closed doors with the couple putting on a display of happiness in public. Again as time goes on abusers can get confident and become abusive in front of others.
What Can You Do? Where Can You Go?
Despite all our knowledge and available information many victims feel they can’t report the crime, some are too frightened and some blame themselves.
MK ACT is a charity in Milton Keynes which works with families to help them move on from fear and abuse. They provide safe emergency accommodation to people aged 16 years and up as well as their children.
They also provide helpful information about how to protect yourself from abusers discovering your internet activity. This includes using computers at the library, a friend’s house or work, however they aslo explain how you can hide your tracks, use private browsing and delete your browsing history.
Website: MK ACT
Telephone: 0344 375 4307
Helpline: 0344 375 4307 Monday – Friday 9am-5pm, calls are charged at local rate.
REFUGE National Domestic Abuse
Refuge is a national domestic abuse help charity. They can advice on access to specialist refuge accommodation for you and your children. In addition they can support your to find other specialists services in your community whether or not you have left your partner.
24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247
Charity aiming to shape and co-ordinate responses to domestic abuse.
Website: Women’s Aid