Agencies across West Sussex including members of the Chichester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership uses the following definition from the Department of Health on how to describe what domestic violence is:
"Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse which can include psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional between adults (over 17 years of age) who are or have been intimate partners or family members, (which is defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, grandparents, in laws and step family) regardless of gender or sexuality."
Domestic violence - did you know?
- Both women and men can suffer domestic violence and it occurs regardless of the victim's age, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity
- Research has shown that 1 in 4 women are likely to suffer abuse at some stage in their life. It is also likely to become more serious and more frequent the longer it persists.
- Research has shown that 1 in 6 men will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in their lives.
- At least 2 women in the UK die each week from domestic violence.
- A typical incident happens on average 35 times or over a period of 7 years, before a woman seeks external help.
- Domestic violence often starts or intensifies during pregnancy.
- Violence is unlikely to cease on separation of partners.
- Domestic violence is seriously under reported.
- Women tend not to talk about their circumstances because of the fear of serious repercussions, possible loss of their home or the effect on their children.
- In any one day nearly 7000 women and children are sheltering from violence in refuges in England and Wales.
The impact of domestic violence on children
- 90% of incidents children of the family are in the same or next room.
- Children may be profoundly affected and damaged by witnessing and experiencing domestic violence.
- There is a growing recognition of links between domestic violence and the sexual abuse of children.
- Domestic violence can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, fear and anxiety in children.
- Domestic violence is often associated with behavioural problems in children.
- Many young adults receiving counselling say that they have suffered physical, sexual and emotional harm as children.