Safer Cumbria support the Home Office definition of domestic violence,
‘Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality'.
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.
Domestic violence is rarely a one off incident, and should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Children are also affected, not only are many traumatised by what they witness, there is also a strong connection between domestic violence and child abuse. Victims of domestic violence suffer on many levels, health, housing, education, and lose the freedom to live their lives how they want, and without fear.
An adult is defined as any person aged 18 years or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or stepfamily.