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Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Key Statistics

  • On average two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales.
  • Domestic abuse-related crime is 8% of total crime. 
  • On average the police receive an emergency call relating to domestic abuse every 30 seconds.
  • Domestic cases now account for 14.1% of all court prosecutions, and statistics highlight that the volume of prosecutions has risen to the highest level ever of 92,779 . 92.4% of defendants were male and 7.6% were women. 84% of victims were female and 16% were male.

Many of the women who contact CIS’ters were not only sexually abused as children, but also lived in a home where Domestic Abuse took place. Whilst many organisations who campaign on the issue of Domestic Abuse/Violence prefer to relegate the role of a child to that of a witness, within CIS’ters we know that many of our members were also victims, in that it is emotional abuse to witness harm being done to another person i.e. they experienced Domestic Abuse. In addition, the sexual abuse that the child is experiencing can be by the same perpetrator of Domestic Abuse, or by someone else in the family.  If you know of a child who is experiencing Domestic Abuse, you might find this handbook helpful. How Can my Child be Affected by Domestic Abuse?

Helpful Links

Women's Aid  'How Common is Domestic Abuse?' - One in seven (14.2 per cent) children and young people under the age of 18 will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood.  This website has lots of useful information and resources, including a chat facility.

The Freedom Programme - The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help victims of domestic abuse make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess. The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.

The programme usually lasts for 11 or 12 weeks and is FREE. It is provided by hundreds of agencies across the UK. Some of them are rolling so women can join at any time but this varies according to local needs, etc.

24 Hour Helpline

National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge) which is available on 0808 2000 247 - 7 days a week.  It is answered by fully trained female helpline support workers and volunteers who will answer your call in confidence. All calls to the helpline are free from mobiles and landlines.