Domestic violence is a huge social and personal problem. In the UK alone, on average, two women a week are killed by their current or previous partners. Alongside this, according to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, over 2.3 million people suffered domestic abuse between March 2019 and March 2020.
Specialist domestic abuse services are often understaffed and underfunded. They also vary dramatically from town to town. This has led to some victims not getting the help they need, sometimes with dreadful consequences.
Reviews conducted after domestic violence related murders repeatedly show that key failings include the lack of understanding about domestic abuse and lack of signposting. Sadly, where you live can have a major influence on the level of help that is available to you.
Nicole Jacobs is the first Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales and was appointed in 2019. Her office uses statutory powers introduced by The Domestic Abuse Bill which received royal assent on 29 April 2021, and she has pledged to end the postcode lottery for domestic abuse victims.
As her first step, she has launched a survey which is aimed at anyone who has used or who thought about using domestic abuse services in the last three years.
The survey runs until the 31 January 2022 and can be accessed here.
For advice on the legal options open to you if you are experiencing or have suffered domestic abuse, please call one of our specialist family lawyers who will be happy to help in the strictest of confidence.