Anyone can experience domestic abuse regardless of race, ethnic or religious group, socio-economic status, disability or lifestyle. However, women most commonly experience it and most perpetrators are men. Other family members other than the partner or husband can also carry out abuse e.g. extended family members such as in laws.
Types of Abuse- These include:
Physical Violence- Using physical force and striking with or without an object e.g. beating, pushing, shaking, strangling, burning, pulling hair etc.
Psychological Abuse- Can be verbal and non-verbal such as shouting, swearing, blaming, threatening, blaming, ignoring, isolating etc.
Coercive Control- Pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control.
Financial Abuse- Control of economic resources taking wages, benefits, savings or putting person into debt with loans or preventing from having bank account etc
Sexual Abuse - Forcing unwanted sexual activity which may also be unsafe and degrading.
Harassment& Stalking - Unwanted behaviour which causes alarm and distress such as threatening and malicious texts, phone calls. Stalking is a form of harassment involving monitoring, spying and forced contact including through social media causing distress and curtailing freedom due to fear (see section on harassment and stalking for more information).
Revenge Porn- When sexually explicit images of film shared publicly without consent and in 2021 new law passed making threatening exposure is also an offence. See section on this issue.
Spiritual Abuse- causing harm when trying to get rid of alleged evil force and also using religious texts to control person or to try and rationalise negative and harmful behaviour.
Tech Abuse- When technology is used to coerce, control, monitor, stalk or harass another person. This could include monitoring and recording using audio and visual devices, using GPS tracking devices, smart appliances, virtual assistants, hacking emails / apps, sending texts. posting information social media that causes embarrassment or distress
Statistics on Domestic Violence
1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime
On average a woman will experience 35 incidents of domestic abuse before reporting to the police.
The police in the UK receive one call from the public every minute for assistance for domestic violence
Domestic violence accounts for about 16% of recorded violent crime
Why Don't Women Seek Help? Violence against women continues to remain under reported. Women find it difficult to come forward and report abuse and the reasons can vary such as: as fear of consequences; blaming themselves; not realising they are victims; not being aware of the help available; being isolated from family and friends and not being able to reach help; worried about finances; and hoping the partner may change.
Cultural Barriers Asian / Muslim women face additional cultural barriers that prevent them from seeking help such as fear of dishonouring family, shame, stigma, taboo and being rejected by the community. Also women in these communities are expected to suffer in silence. So when they ask for help from family, friends and religious leaders, they are usually advised to be patient and / or pray for their situation to change. They are also usually blamed for any problem within the family including the violence and abuse they are subjected to. This fear of blame can also prevent women from coming forward and getting the help they need. Domestic violence is therefore under reported in Asian / Muslim communities. For some women it is too late to ask for help and are being murdered by their husbands or other family members as seen in a number of cases featured in the media. There is also anecdotal evidence that some women are being taken abroad to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh on the pretense of a family holiday so they can be murdered there to cover up the crime.
Spouses from Abroad Spouses from abroad who are in a relationship with a British citizen or a person settled in the UK and that relationship breaks down as a result of domestic violence, the victim may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and access financial assistance by accessing public funds. To be given permission, victims must prove they are suffering from domestic abuse.
Legal Protection- You must always call 999 when in immediate danger
Criminal Law- There is no specific offence of 'domestic violence' under criminal law. However, many forms of domestic violence are crimes; for example, offences such as assault, false imprisonment, harassment, rape, criminal damage, and attempted murder may be applied.
Civil Law- Victims can get protection from abuse under civil law through a court order (called an injunction or protection order). These orders can help prevent further abuse to the survivor and her children, remove the abuser from the home and keep him away.
Legal Aid Victims of domestic violence and are divorcing or separating from an abusive partner can get legal aid to help. This can help with the divorce or things such as child contact or how to share money or property. To get legal aid victims must be able to give the solicitor some evidence that they have been a victim of domestic violence by their partner or husband. Eligibility to legal aid also depends on the victim's financial circumstances.
Contact an organisation about this issue
MWN Helpline is not responsible for the accuracy of the information provided and listing any organisation does not imply its endorsement.
You can also Find help using our system below
Find national and local organisations
Phone: 0845 960 6011
Accommodation for Asian Women without children who are suffering violence or oppression in Bradford.
An independent counsellor carries out the home visits. Waiting time for counselling ‐ 2 weeks upwards (depending on the client and counsellors other commitments). This service offers counselling to children/young people 15 years upwards.
Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid
Phone: 0808 800 0028 (free from landlines and most mobile phones)
Provide help with accommodation for women and children in a secure refuge. Help to access the right services e.g. benefits, solicitors, housing advice. Support to attend appointments or case conferences.
Provides culturally sensitive domestic abuse service. Also provides safe, temporary accommodation to Asian women and their children and is the only agency of its kind in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Kirklees Asian and Black Women's Welfare
Phone: 0800 0527222
Specialist services for women and their children from all BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. KABWWA provides a 24 hour confidential service to black and Asian women, with or without children, as well as white women with dual heritage children.KABWWA offers temporary, emergency accommodation (refuge) as well as information and support.
Provides a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence regardless of their financial circumstances, race, gender or sexual orientation. The service allows anyone to apply for an injunction within 24 hours of first contact (in most circumstances).
provides both practical and emotional support services to women and children who are affected by domestic violence and homelessness. Provide accommodation and community based services to women and children.