Women’s Aid is a national charity which co-ordinates and supports a network of over 370 local domestic violence organisations, providing over 500 refuges, helplines, outreach services and advice centres. They work in partnership with government departments, social services, police, health care professionals and other voluntary organisations to provide an integrated approach to domestic violence. They:
• Offer support and a place of safety to abused women and children by providing refuges and other services
• Empower women affected by domestic violence to determine their own lives
• Provide a national information and referral point for abused women through the Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, our website and other resources
• Recognise and meet the needs of children affected by domestic violence
• Promote policies and practices to prevent domestic violence
• Raise awareness of the extent and impact of domestic violence in society
I know from my work that domestic violence is all too common. It affects both men and women, although the majority of cases in my experience are male on female violence, and statistics appear to back this up. And domestic violence against women is very often more serious than that against men and is likely to have more long term or serious effects upon the women it affects. Although it is difficult to be precise, statistics suggest that 1 in 4 women is likely to experience domestic violence at some point and according to British Crime Statistics over 80% of reported domestic violence was perpetrated against women (although of there may be many reasons for underreporting by both men and women including social stigma).
Want more shocking statistics? 42% of all female homicide victims compared with 4% of male homicide victims, were killed by current or former partners or lovers in England and Wales in the year 2000/01. This equates to 102 women, an average of two women each week (Home Office 2001).
It all makes you think, doesn’t it? And its really not easy for a woman to leave an abusive relationship, for oh so many reasons (especially when there are kids). You probably know someone who has been in this boat even if you don’t realise it.
I would like to help ensure that people who need support at this difficult time can find help when they need it. If you would like to help please visit my justgiving page and donate a few pennies.
0808 2000 247 – Freephone 24 Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline
Run partnership between Refuge and Women’s Aid Federation of England.