There are two dimensions to acts of violence in a society. The first dimension is the physical one that covers domestic violence and homicide. Domestic violence could also be categorised as domestic abuse and it includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse in relationships between couples and among family members.
The second dimension involves mental, emotional and psychological abuse. These are terms that are closely linked and can be used often, interchangeably. The aim of the offender in cases of emotional abuse is to diminish the confidence and self esteem of the victim. Tactics such as bullying and intimidation are used to exert control.
It is defined as an incident or a chain of incidents that involve coercive and threatening behaviour on one of the partners in a relationship. The violence covers physical, psychological, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. Women are mostly the victims in cases of domestic violence.
Facts – Two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or a former partner. One woman is killed every three days. One out of every four women experience cases of domestic violence against them in their lifetime (Source: Crime Survey of England and Wales 2014). Police in the United Kingdom receive an assistance call every minute towards domestic assistance but only 35% of such calls are taken action against (Source: Stanko 2010). It has been observed that on an average, a woman gets assaulted about thirty five times before she makes her first call to the police officials (Source: Jaffe 2012).
[This graph depicts how there has been a decline in the estimated number of domestic violence incidents since 1993].
Sexual Assault and Rape
An estimated eighty five thousand women and about twelve thousand men are raped in England and Wales every year. This breaks down to almost eleven rapes every hour. Almost half a million adults are sexually assaulted in England and Wales every year. One out of every five women between the ages of 16 and 59 has experienced some kind of sexual violence after attaining adulthood. A paltry 15% of those people who experience sexual violence opt to report the cases to police officials. It has also been reported that almost ninety per cent of those who are raped know their perpetrators before the offence occurs (Source: Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales released by the Ministry of Justice and Office for national Statistics, January 2013).
[This graph depicts police recorded sexual offences]
Hate crimes have gone up by 42% in England and Wales since the Brexit result. 289 incidents have been reported after 25th June 2016 (Source: www.independent.co.uk). Police have reported that the number of hate crimes committed and recorded for the last fortnight has gone up by 42% over the same period as of last year. A total of 3,076 incidents were recorded across the country last month and this is a drastic increase over the 915 cases as reported during June of 2015. Scotland Yard also reported that there were 599 incidents of hate crimes between 24th June and 2nd July 2016 and this works out to an average of three per hour.
This is one of the commonly experienced forms of abuse and violence. It is dangerous and can sometimes turn to rape or murder. This whole act is about obsession and fixation. It is a crime that has destroyed many a life. It is a pattern of persistent and unwanted behaviour that brings about fear in the person who is being stalked.
Facts – Almost seven hundred thousand women are stalked every year as per the British Crime Survey that was carried out a decade ago. This information does not include the official statistics on the percentage that are cyber stalked in the present age.
An interesting observation has been made in the United Kingdom in relation to cases of harassment. There has been a rise in these cases but prosecution matters have fallen in number. This means that numerous harassment cases are not being referred to the civil or criminal courts (Source: www.independent.co.uk). This rise has resulted in domestic abuse victims who have been let down systematically by the police and the prosecutors. Prosecutions for harassment cases have fallen by nine per cent over the last year despite the number of reported cases by the police rising by thirteen per cent during the same period. Majority of harassment cases have been linked to domestic abuse. Sexual harassment and bullying have become a matter of routine in schools in the United Kingdom. Almost one out of every three girls has experienced unwanted sexual molestation and harassment in schools. The same percentage of teenage girls has also experienced sexual harassment at the hands of their boyfriends.