New figures shed light on how common domestic abuse is, with around 10% of women aged 16 to 24 experiencing it last year alone.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) surveyed people about whether they had experienced any ‘controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse’ from partners or family members.
Women were more likely to report abuse than men, however rates were concerning for both genders.
According to the survey, 10.5% of 16 to 19-year-old women experienced abuse in the 12-month period to March 2017. For men in the same age group, it was 6.9%.
As people left their teenage years, 9.6% of women aged 20 to 24 reported abuse compared to 5.5% of men.
The 12 signs to watch out for
- If they cut you off from friends and family
- Threatens to hurt you or people close to you if you leave
- Monitors your movements
- Criticises you constantly
- Blames you for the abuse
- Forces you to have sex with them
- Controls your life: Money, who you see, what you wear
- Changes mood suddenly from ‘charmer’ to ‘monster’
- Humiliates you in front of others
- Says you’re useless and couldn’t cope without them
- Intimidates you into doing what they want
- Makes you change your behaviour to avoid making them angry
Overall, police recorded 1.1 million incidents related to domestic abuse in 2016.
They estimate 1.9 million people aged 16 to 59 experienced some form of abuse with 63% of them women (1.2 million) and 37% men (713,000).
Out of 454 domestic murders recorded last year, 70% of the victims were women.
Many victims do not see justice, and there were just 46 arrests per 100 domestic abuse-related crimes recorded by 39 police forces last year, the report said.
Police made 93,590 prosecutions for domestic abuse in the year ending March 2017, of which 76% – around 71,000 – secured a conviction.
This video explains the signs to watch out for:
The report collects figures from the police, government and victim support groups and also uses data from Crime Survey for England and Wales, which includes 50,000 households.
The areas where most domestic abuse was recorded were Durham, Cleveland, Gwent, South Wales and London.
The fewest incidents were recorded in Cheshire, Dyfed-Powys, Surrey, North Yorkshire and Thames Valley.
But Katie Ghose, chief executive of domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, said ONS data cannot currently offer the ‘full picture’.
She said: ‘Domestic abuse by its very nature, hidden behind closed doors, is hard to capture in statistics alone.
‘Survivors often do not involve official bodies as it takes great courage to report abuse to the police; some women will never speak out because they don’t know if they will be believed, are not given the space to make the call or fear the repercussions if they do report the perpetrator to the police.’
A Government spokeswoman said: ‘Domestic violence and abuse is a devastating crime that shatters the lives of victims and families.
‘This Government is determined to ensure anyone facing the threat of domestic abuse has somewhere to turn to.’
If you are in an LGBT relationship you can also call the helpline run by Broken Rainbow and Galop UK, on 0300 999 5428 or 0800 9995428.
Male victims can call also the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327.