Domestic violence affects individuals from all walks of life. London Metropolitan Police defines it as any threatening behaviour, abuse or violence of psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional nature between either a couple or family members.
Although the report of this crime and successful prosecution against perpetrators are on the rise, domestic violence remains prevalent.
Hackney council has the highest rate of reporting domestic violence and, accounting for 20% of all crimes in the borough. Nationwide, it’s estimated that only 35 percent of all incidents are reported. About 19 percent of all reported victims are men.
The Office for National Statistics says that two women are killed every week by their partners, on average, in England and Wales. It says 8 percent of these women will suffer violence at the hands of a partner in their lifetime.
“I sometimes witness couples who start a journey very happy and come back fighting. In the majority of these cases alcohol plays a big role. I can only imagine what happens when they get home,” said 35-year-old Gareth Jones, customer service advisor at London Overground.
A 25-year-old medical student, Joice Toure said: “I was the only one who couldn’t see his abuse. It took me three years to finally gather the courage to end my relationship.
“My advice to anyone going through a violent relationship is to confront him or her at the very first sign. If he or she refuses to seek counselling then end the relationship because it get harder the longer you stay.”
In 2015, Clare’s Law was passed to protect a potential victim. Clare Wood from Manchester was set on fire and strangled by her partner in 2009. She was unaware that he had a record of previous domestic violence and her father, a retired police officer, campaigned for the law to come into force after her death.
The law allows anyone at risk to request a disclosure of a partner’s violent past. This can be done either by walking into a police station or by dialling 101. If you are at immediate risk, dial 999.