What is domestic violence?
In Aylesbury Women's Aid's view domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour.
This can include forced marriage and so-called 'honour crimes'. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently 'violent'.
Domestic abuse is very common and in the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and perpetrated by men. It can be carried out by a partner, ex-partner, family member or carer. It is experienced by women from all backgrounds, regardless of their age, class, ethnic origin, disability, sexuality, nationality, religion or cultural beliefs.
Some key statistics relating to domestic abuse:
- 8,923 incidents of domestic abuse were reported in Buckinghamshire between (2015/16) i
- 101 women and 104 children and young people stayed in refuges in Buckinghamshire (2015/16) ii
- 187 women and 203 children and young people could not be accommodated in refuges in Buckinghamshire due to lack of suitable space (2015/16) iii
- An estimated 1.2 million women experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2017 (ONS, 2017) iv
- On average 2 women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales (ONS, 2018) v
Recognising Domestic Violence
Coercive Control recognises that domestic abuse can occur without physical abuse, and is an act or pattern of acts of assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation or abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim. If you change the way that you behave because you are frightened of how your partner will react, you are being abused.
Physical violence can include punching, slapping, hitting, kicking, shoving, strangling, physical restraint, destroying possessions, using weapons.
Sexual violence can include force, pressure or harassment into having sex/sexual acts when it is not wanted, forcing sex with other people, degrading treatment relating to your sexuality.
Psychological violence can include shouting, mocking, gas-lighting (saying abuse or events have not happened), isolation from family and friends, threats to harm or kill, harassment or stalking.
Financial violence can include limiting access to money for essentials such as food or clothing, limiting access to bank accounts, controlling where money can be spent, running up debts.
If you have experienced domestic violence, it is important to remember that you are not alone and that there is help and support available for you. You can call us on our helpline on 01296 437 777.
i Buckinghamshire Women's Aid Data 2015/16
ii BuckinghamshireWomen's Aid Data 2015/16
iii BuckinghamshireWomen's Aid Data 2015/16
iv Office for National Statistics (ONS). (2017) Domestic abuse in England and Wales: year ending March 2017. Available online
The cost of domestic violence in England, measured in financial terms, has been estimated by the Trust for London and the Henry Smith Charity to be £5.5 billion. This includes:
• £1.6bn for physical and mental health costs
• £1.2bn in criminal justice costs
• £268m in social services costs
• £185.7m in housing and refuge costs
• £366.7m in civil legal costs
• £1.8bn in lost economic output
The human and emotional cost of domestic violence impacts has been estimated to be £26m per day.
Aylesbury Women's Aid provides specialist support and intervention, reducing the financial, emotional, and potentially fatal cost of not listening to women experiencing domestic abuse and responding to their needs.