Love actually? Or plain old domestic abuse?

Domestic Abuse is more common than most of us realise

domestic abuse: dramatic neon heartAs many prepare to treat their loved ones this Valentine’s Day, others are suffering the consequences of domestic abuse.

Many abusive relationships begin life with a flattering display of love and affection, which can then deteriorate into unreasonable jealousy and possessiveness, often leading to abusive and controlling behaviour which escalates over time.

Domestic abuse includes any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. This can be physical, sexual, emotional or financial.

Controlling behaviour makes a person feel subordinate or dependent. Often the abuser will achieve this by isolating their victim from sources of support, exploiting their resources for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence or regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten.

There are many factors at this time of year which can affect relationships, such as high expectations, stress and financial pressure. These can all lead to a relationship becoming abusive. Historic reports show a fall in incidents over the Valentine’s period. This may be because of increased campaigning around this time, or because victims are more reluctant to report such incidents at this time of year.

The Statistics

Despite a large amount of domestic abuse going unreported, it continues to represent a significant proportion of all reported violent crime. According to the 2015 Crime Survey for England and Wales, 11% of all crime reported was flagged as domestic abuse and it accounted for 34% of all violent crime report between April and June 2015.

If you think you may be experiencing domestic abuse or you are at all concerned for your safety, or the safety of your children, family solicitors can take fast and effective legal steps that can protect you.

There are a variety of potential remedies available in situations of domestic abuse.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Joanne Clarke, Associate, on or 01202 786127o or  please visit our website.

Click here to read an article on legal measures to take if you are at risk of domestic abuse.