WHAT IS DOMESTIC ABUSE?

Beatriz Simpson (student)

Domestic abuse or domestic violence is any incident 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 their gender or sexuality.

Domestic abuse can be psychological, physical, sexual, financial, or emotional.

The fact that it is in a domestic environment is an aggravating factor because of the abuse of trust involved. Some of these crimes include:

Violence

Controlling or coercive behaviour

“Honour based” abuse and forced marriage

Female genital mutilation

Stalking and harassment

WHAT DOES THE LAW SAY?

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 covers not just physical abuse, but psychological and emotional treatment and coercive and controlling behaviour, where abusers isolate their victim from their friends and relatives or control their finances. Campaigners suggest that domestic violence kills 15 times more people than terrorism in the UK, most of the victims are women but not all. Campaigners said that it is estimated that 400 victims of domestic violence take their own lives every year.

Domestic-abuse related cases referred to prosecutors for consideration for charge fell 11% last year despite an increase in matters being reported to the police.

Legal aid may be available to assist victims who need an injunction, even if the CPS do not bring criminal charges.

Here at Staffordshire University Legal advice Clinic we can advise on family-related issues. If we cannot help, we will be able to refer you to another organisation who may be able to assist, please call 01782 294800 for an appointment.

 

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