A recent publication from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed which groups of women are most at risk of experiencing partner abuse.
Key findings from the analysis, which relates to women in England and Wales, include:
- Young women were more likely to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months than older women.
- Women who had a long-term illness or disability were more than twice as likely to have experienced some form of partner abuse (12.4%) in the last 12 months than women who did not (5.1%).
- Bisexual women were nearly twice as likely to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months than heterosexual women (10.9% compared with 6.0%).
- Women who identified with Mixed/Multiple ethnicities were more likely to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months (10.1%) than any other ethnic group.
- Women living in households with an income of less than £10,000 were more than four times as likely (14.3%) to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months than women living in households with an income of £50,000 or more (3.3%).
- Women living in social housing (11.1%) were nearly three times as likely to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months than women who were owner occupiers (4.1%).
Ending Violence Against Women
“Today’s analysis gives insight into the characteristics of women and girls who are more likely to experience partner abuse,” said an ONS spokesperson. “It also tells us about the types of households they live in. This can help to inform policies and services aimed at ending violence against women and girls – one of the key targets in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
Women’s Aid Response
Domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid issued a statement in response to the publication.
“From our work with survivors, we know that women of all ages are living with domestic abuse – regardless of whether they have just embarked on their first relationship or have been married for decades,” commented Sian Hawkins, Head of Campaigns and Public Affairs. “We also know that younger women experience abuse at shockingly high rates but are less likely to access vital support services. We want to change this.”
“Today’s ONS statistics show that a higher proportion of younger women between the ages of 16-24 experienced domestic abuse in the last year than women aged 45-59,” she said. “Our culture often portrays controlling behaviour as a sign of being desired or loved when in fact coercive and controlling behaviour is at the heart of domestic abuse. This can make it more difficult for younger women, who may be entering into their first relationship, to identify abusive behaviours or question them, and as a result they may not speak out about the abuse or know that domestic abuse services can help them.”
“That’s why we are calling on the government to use the Domestic Abuse Bill to break down the barriers facing young women in disclosing abuse and accessing help to ensure that every survivor gets the support she needs, when she needs it,” she added.
For expert legal advice on domestic abuse and divorce, or other areas of family law, then contact our specialist family lawyers today.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.