Safer Cumbria supports the Home Office definition of domestic violence,
Any incident or pattern of incidents 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 gender or sexuality.
This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim."*
Domestic violence currently claims 150 lives a year, and affects millions more.
Domestic violence is a serious public health issue and that the statistics are shocking. It will affect 1 in 4 women aged 19-44, 89% of the victims who suffer sustained domestic violence are female, however we also know that domestic violence can affect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and male victims. It has more repeat victims than any other crime.
Domestic violence can be perpetrated by family and extended family members, through forced marriage, female genital mutilation, and so-called 'honour crimes'. More worryingly, a recent survey by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) revealed that far too many of our young people are already being subjected to relationship abuse in their teenage years. This illustrates the extent of the problem and that we still have much to do to create a cultural change that makes domestic violence socially unacceptable for the next generation.