Domestic Abuse – What can be done to help victims? 24 August 2017 domestic abuse Leading charity Woman’s Aid defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behavior, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex- partner, but also a family or carer. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men. Although less common, men can also experience domestic abuse in the UK. Additionally, the difference between the number of male and female victims is at its lowest compared with previous years. Taken from the Office for National Statistic figures it can be seen that domestic abuse is most common in the West Midlands, at a rate of 7.33 cases per 100 adults, and Wales, at 7.07, and lowest in London, at 4.57. The highest rates by police force area are in Suffolk and Cleveland, and the lowest in Surrey and London. Domestic Abuse is something that happens all around us, amongst many different types of individuals every day. In fact, it has become increasingly more common over the years. Taken from the Crime Survey for England and Wales in the year of March 2016, 1.2 million women and 651,000 men were victims of domestic abuse. An overwhelming 78% of these incidents involved violent attacks. Not only are women getting mentally and physically harmed, most shocking of all, on average two women a week are killed by a current or former partner involving abusive attacks. Domestic violence a real problem and something that is extremely hard to monitor. Often, domestic violence victims can find themselves denying and hiding the fact that they are experiencing domestic abuse to others due to fear of their abuser. They can also be made to feel that what they are experiencing is normal, often making them feel like they do not have a voice or a right to speak out. Advice for individuals experiencing Domestic Abuse Have a Safe Word/Phrase –In violent situations, you may not be able to say very much in person or by text message. Have an agreed safe word with a trusted family member or friend as a code for being in trouble and needing help. Make sure this person is with their phones regularly and on standby to call for help. Keep it short and simple. Gather important documents and memorise important numbers – If a dangerous situation was to occur whereby you feel unsafe you may need to get away quickly. Make sure you keep personal documents together in a safe place and hide a small amount of money that you can also take with you. Try to memorise important numbers in case you do not have access to your mobile. Always have an audience- Try to be in the presence of people as much as you can to limit alone time with your abuser. At best, being in other people’s company will keep the violence in check. At worst, if a violent situation did occur, you will have other people to intervene or act as witnesses. If things get bad you may need a more reliable, controlled system in place Domestic violence victims can often be very vulnerable and it is therefore important that they have a security mechanism in place to protect themselves from dangerous situations. Protecting these victims requires instant and regular use of resources which can be very expensive. However, a system whereby the police will respond immediately regardless of their location is essential. Instead of having to reach out for a phone, a much more obvious call for help, a personal safety alarm can be carried by these victims to seek help in a more discreet manner. Peoplesafe work very closely with the UK’s police force, their devices are used and trusted by over half the police force to protect the most vulnerable people in society. Using palm sized personal safety alarms such as Peoplesafe’s MicroGuard device, equipped with GPS and two way audio, victims can call for help at any time, wherever they are. After an alarm signal has been sent, Peoplesafe Controllers can monitor the calls at their Alarm Receiving Centre, listen in and send out emergency help if needed. The GPS tracking feature allows controllers to see the victim’s exact location and if they feel help is required they are able to contact the emergency services closest to the victim’s location. If you are interested in our personal safety alarms and would like to find out more click here.