Domestic abuse: myths and realities
On average, Police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour. And between March 2019 and March 2020, 2.3 million adults experienced domestic abuse in the UK. Despite these shocking statistics, there’s still some confusion around what domestic abuse is and who experiences it.
Myth: Domestic abuse is physical violence.
Reality: Abuse can take many forms, and can be psychological, emotional, sexual abuse, financial or digital abuse, as well as coercive control, harassment or stalking. It can be a single incident or pattern of incidents.
Myth: It’s always men who are abusive.
Reality: According to Refuge, 40% of homeless women state domestic violence as a contributor in their homelessness. However, anyone can be a victim because any relationship can become abusive – partners, parents, siblings, friends. Even though women are three times more likely to be arrested for incidents of abuse, Crown Prosecution Service research shows 93% of defendants in domestic abuse court cases are male, and 84% of victims are female.
Myth: Children aren’t always impacted.
Reality: It’s estimated that 62% of children in households where domestic violence is happening are also directly harmed. The effects are traumatic and long-lasting, and can impact every aspect of their lives as they grow up.
Myth: All couples argue – it’s not domestic abuse, it’s just a normal relationship.
Reality: Abuse and disagreement are not the same. It’s normal to have different opinions to your partner, but abuse is not a disagreement – it’s the use of violence or threats in order to control another person’s thinking, opinions, emotions and behaviour.
Myth: If someone is experiencing domestic abuse, they can always leave.
Reality: Leaving a relationship can be the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic abuse. We should not be asking victims why they do not leave, but perpetrators why don’t they stop. They may be frightened for their life or the safety of their children. They might not have anywhere to go, or not enough money to do it. Victims of abuse often become isolated from their family and friends, making it even more difficult to find a way out.
We’re here to help if you need us
If you’re a Newtide tenant and you’re suffering with domestic abuse at home, please let us know. We can Support you in several ways, we can help make your home more secure by doing things such as changing or installing additional locks on your doors and windows. We can help and support you looking at alternative types of accomodation and help you to access emergency accomodation if you need it. Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if you need us – we are here to help you.
Call us on 0808 168 4555 or read more on our Support & Wellbeing page.