Charity calls for faster response to domestic violence

Family|February 25th 2015

A domestic violence charity has called for victims be identified and given help much faster than they currently are.

In a newly published report, SafeLives claims that the majority of people who suffer from domestic violence do so for 2.7 years before they are provided with adequate help and support. For some, this can involve over 50 individual incidents of violence over this period.

During that time, many victims try to get help but it is often not effective, the report said. Around 78 per cent of “high-risk victims” and 62 per cent of “medium-risk victims” report the abuse to police. Additionally, 23 per cent of high-risk victims visited an accident and emergency department to treat injuries they suffered. According to the report, some victims visited such facilities 15 times.

The charity also claims that, on average, those who suffered domestic abuse sought professional help five times in the year before they finally found effective support.

Another issue the report identified was that some victims were “not identified as readily”. People from black and Asian communities, young people, male victims and LGBT people were all listed as “less visible” to the appropriate services.

In order to combat these issues, SafeLives recommended several changes in order to “create [a] system to find every family as quickly as possible, and get the response right, first time, for every family”.

The proposed measures included making the identification of domestic abuse a part of everyday practice for certain services and an increase in community based domestic violence facilities. The success of such services should be measured by how much they have been able to “cut the duration of domestic abuse”, the charity said.

To read the report, click here.

Photo by lynnepet via Flickr

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