April 13, 2015 8:30 am
The impact of domestic abuse on victims cannot be underestimated. There is not only the psychological and physical scars which may be borne by victims, there is also the impact to the economy as a whole.
Within this blog we’ll look at the impact to both victims and the economy.
What is the impact on victims?
It is important to remember that victims of domestic abuse are not weak. They endure some of the most horrific crimes and suffering and manage to find the strength to remain with their partners and care for their children. Refuge liken this suffering to something akin to victims to torture. I wholly agree.
As we looked at in the last blog, abused partners are isolated from their families and friends. They are placed under the control of the abuser through continuous emotional and psychological abuse. As a result of the abuse and isolation a abused partner becomes more and more reliant upon the abuser. The abuse becomes so entrenched it can be hard to see what they reality really is.
Abused partners often start to believe the false accusations made they abuser. Their confidence is eroded. They may begin to believe they deserve the abuse and are responsible for their partner’s actions. Often, an abused partner will deny what is happening to them and hope their partner will change into the loving person they believe them to be.
Sadly, this infrequently happens.
As a result of the abuse suffered, abused partners develop many kinds of coping strategies just to get through each day and to protect themselves and their children. They become resourceful and develop a strength to get them through each day. An abused partner never knows when an attack may happen.
Those suffering abuse can develop post-traumatic stress. This has a range of symptoms such as:
- trouble sleeping
- feeling isolated
- panic attacks
It takes great courage for an abused partner to leave an abusive relationship. That courage is recognised and there are a number of services which will help those suffering from abuse to leave and support them during and after making that decision.
The best known services are Women’s Aid and Refuge. Each police force has a domestic abuse support team and will work with victims.
If you need help the National Domestic Abuse freephone helpline is 0808 2000 247
Domestic abuse also impacts children who are living with it.
Children can experience domestic abuse in a number of ways. They may:
- witness the abuse
- hear the abuse
- see a parents injuries
- see a parents distress
- be injured trying to stop the abuse
Witnessing or hearing any type of abuse can be extremely distressing and frightening for a child. This distress and fear can cause great harm to a child. The impact upon children is real and can lead to Local Authority Children’s Social Care (see report here) becoming involved with a family.
NSPCC statistics show that 1 in 5 teenagers have been physically abused by their partner.
These figures need to change
Whilst the impact on abused partners and children cannot be underestimated there is also a cost to the economy.
A study in 2009 showed domestic abuse cost the economy £16 billion per annum.
This figure can be broken down as follows:
- £1.2 billion per annum to the Criminal Justice System
- £1.7 billion per annum in costs to healthcare
- £0.28 billion per annum to Social Care
- £0.19 billion per annum to the Housing Sector
- £0.38 billion per annum to the legal services sector
- £1,097,330 is the cost of each domestic homocide investigation
In June 2014 a further study was conducted into the impact of domestic abuse. This study showed that:
- Domestic abuse cost UK businesses £1.9 billion per annum
- In any one year more than 20% of women would take time off due to domestic abuse
- 2% of women will lose their jobs as a result of domestic abuse
- 75% of women abused are targeted at work
Domestic abuse is the responsibility of everyone.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Katherine T Young Ltd & Kate Young disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.