• New definition for Domestic Violence

    September 18, 2012

    Domestic Violence Advice

    It has been proposed that there will be a `New Definition` for Domestic Violence and that it will be broadened to define domestic violence as ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality’.

    It is believed to be regardless of gender, which for me is a positive step in the right direction, as things in the last two years have been progressing with the highlight largely on women and children.

    Yes at this present time it is predominantly more women who come forward and indicate that they are the victims, where statistics frequently state 1 in 4 women are victims, men are however victims of domestic violence too, with the statistics increasing to 1 in 6 males coming forward as victims.

    It is crazy that some agencies and individuals are still trying to argue that men are not victims, that the figures are skewered by perpetrators saying they are victims also, or that domestic violence isn’t as serious when the victim is a male…Ludicrous!

    As a previous police officer for 16 years, where I specifically spent 9 years as a specialist domestic violence officer I have seen many victims of domestic violence both women and men, yes there will be similarities and yes there will be differences in the nature of each case regardless of gender.

    The most important message to get out there is that domestic violence is an appalling situation to be in for anyone regardless of gender and also regardless of sexuality; as statistics also frequently state that domestic violence occurs in 1 in 4 same sex relationships.

    Domestic violence has no boundaries and can happen to anyone one of us at any time in our lives, and unfortunately for a large number of  us we have already perhaps come into contact with the issue either directly or indirectly.

    Domestic violence needs to be legislated for as well as identified as being something that is not tolerated on any level for whoever it involves.

    For years unfortunately in relation to domestic violence the goal posts are constantly involved in change, and when someone comes up with a new idea or a new reason for why domestic violence happens the powers to be change the focus and we all go off in a different direction, and often previous good work or best practice gets forgotten about, and we are constantly reinventing the wheel.

    The issue and nature of domestic violence hasn’t changed throughout history, power and control is asserted over another in the forms of threats, arguments, humiliation, manipulation, intimidation, physical or sexual violence, emotional or psychological abuse, who makes the decisions, who controls the finances, what roles we each adopt through choice or not within our relationships, within our families and within society as a whole, it includes the traditions, the messages, the values and beliefs that are passed down to us through the generations…but here’s the difference, in a time where the methods of communication and of obtaining information are widely available to most of us we have more information and awareness of what domestic violence is, we have more information and awareness of what our options are, and there are more agencies and organisation’s out there to help…so we are in a more informed, and educated position than at any point previously in history, (granted not all of us as some countries over the world are not in this position i.e. exposed to information, awareness or education) whether we are able to change the cycle on an individual basis is a different matter…but domestic violence itself hasn’t changed.

    What has helped over the years has been a number of influential people in society, and a number of celebrities coming forward and either becoming an ambassador for the issue or opening up to the fact that they have either been exposed to it through childhood, within a relationship themselves or the issue has touched them indirectly, in whatever way these people have been advocates for highlighting the subject of domestic violence and have raised the awareness.

    We are also seeing more males coming forward to highlight that they have been victims and this will undoubtedly help in encouraging other males’ victims to perhaps come forward and get the help and support that they deserve.

    My question to a minority of women who either work in the field of domestic violence or have been exposed to domestic violence if you know how appalling domestic violence is in both its nature and complexity why would you try to minimise another person’s experience of it regardless of whether they are a women or a man?

    For a link regarding the proposed new definition click on the below:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2204778/Domestic-violence-include-mental-torment-laws-applied-aged-18.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    For a link regarding an article highlighting previous 007 Roger Moore’s experience of domestic violence and the need for more men to come forward click on the below:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/take-a-bow-sir-roger-moore-more-men-need-to-share-their-experience-of-domestic-violence-8134960.html

    About Tina Royles

    Connet with me: Google+ Tina Royles is the UKs leading expert in domestic violence offering Domestic Violence Counselling, Relationship Counselling and Anger as well as Stress Management Counselling. She is one of the UK’s most qualified and experienced domestic violence experts providing consultancy and advice to those who have suffered domestic violence, are currently in violent relationships or to friends and family of those affected. Tina provides the materials and tools to manage relationship difficulties and domestic violence through awareness and education and is regularly called upon by the national and local press to provide expert comments on high profile cases. Tina Royles

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