The national charity, SafeLives, states that each year nearly 2 million people in the UK suffer some form of domestic abuse.
1.3 million female victims (8.2% of the population) and 600,000 male victims (4% of the population), and that each year, more than 100,000 people in the UK are at high risk and imminent risk of being murdered or seriously injured as a result of domestic abuse.
It can affect anyone, regardless of age, economic background, ethnicity, gender or sexuality. How the abuse manifests can take many different forms, including:
- emotional abuse
- financial / economic abuse
- threats and intimidation
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- coercive control
- harassment and stalking
- culture issues such as honour based violence, forced marriage and female genital mutilation
However the abuse occurs, the crux is that it takes power and control away from the individual and into the hands of the perpetrator. The perpetrator can be a spouse or partner, but can also be a family member, carer or ex-partner. Living with domestic abuse can be exhausting and very lonely, as often nobody around you realises what is going on. Every person is different and so is their situation, so it is important to listen and not make assumptions if a person experiencing domestic abuse chooses to confide in you. There is a range of support available locally and nationally, specialising in understanding the complexities of domestic abuse and how it affects those involved. There are also services which focus upon children and young people, as well as male and female specific services.
In Essex, COMPASS provide a single point of access for anyone who is experiencing, or supporting someone who is experiencing, domestic abuse. The helpline can be contacted on 0330 333 7444, 24 hours a day, enabling callers to speak with a trained member of staff who will complete an assessment and ensure contact is made with the most appropriate support service. This may include refuge accommodation, support in the community or counselling, for example.
Those preferring to make contact online can click here, where there will be an easy to use online form for both public and professionals wishing to make a referral. Making contact is a huge step for anyone experiencing domestic abuse, and callers will be treated with respect and understanding.
If you would like information and details of other services and support available in your area related to domestic abuse or other health and social care matters, call us on 0300 500 1895 or email at [email protected].
Information & Signposting Lead