Women’s Aid responds to new statistics on female perpetrators of domestic abuse
Wednesday 21st September 2016
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“These statistics confirm what has long been known: there is a small but significant number of women who commit domestic abuse. There is an overall increase in the amount of domestic abuse being reported to police and being prosecuted; figures from Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) VAWG report show that this year prosecutions overall were at the highest level ever, with 92.4% of defendants being men and 7.6% women. This year, the CPS report also showed that violent crimes against women in England and Wales had reached a record-high.
“We know that the domestic abuse women experience as victims is far more dangerous and severe than that experienced by male victims. In particular, they are much more likely to be killed – 97% of female domestic homicide victims in the 2014 – 2015 CPS VAWG report were killed by a man. By comparison, about a third of the far smaller number of male domestic homicide victims were killed by a woman.
“What is most important is that all survivors, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, should be able to access the support that they need. There are more specialist domestic abuse services for men than ever before, which is very positive – but conversely, specialist domestic abuse services for women have been decimated due to to funding cuts. Our Annual Survey 2015 found that, on just one day, 92 women and 75 children were turned away from refuge. For nearly half of these women, it was because there was not enough space for them. So, the demand remains extremely high, and the supply of services is simply unable to meet this.
“It is also vital to acknowledge that domestic abuse against women has its roots in the deeply ingrained inequality between men and women, and is part of a spectrum of violence against women which is at crisis level in our society. Unless we recognise the gendered dynamics of violence against women, we do not have a hope of preventing it, because prevention relies on challenging the social attitudes which allow domestic abuse – and other forms of violence against women – to thrive.”