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Domestic violence – who’s at risk?

Many are affected several times and women in particular are more likely to be the victim of multiple incidents of abuse.  31% of women and 18% of men have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16 years. On average two women a week are killed by a male partner or former partner; this is about one third of all female murder victims.Violence has serious consequences for physical and mental health. The physical injuries may be the most obvious, but women who have been abused are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, eating problems and sexual dysfunction.  Pregnancy is a particularly vulnerable and high risk period – 30% of domestic violence starts during pregnancy and it is a prime cause of miscarriage or still-birth. At least 750,000 children witness domestic violence each year and they are then at increased risk of behavioural problems, emotional trauma and mental health difficulties.Protection from domestic violence by a partner, former partner or family members can be provided by an injunction order.  This bans the use or threat of violence and forbids the abuser from contacting the victim – directly or through text messages, social media etc. The order can mean that the abuser has to move out of the family home and not come within a certain distance of it. Breaking an injunction order is a crime, and the perpetrator will be arrested.Legal Aid is available to apply to court for injunction orders. Kay Marriott is recognised by Resolution as a specialist in domestic abuse.  She and the rest of Atherton Godfrey’s team of family lawyers will always act quickly to make sure victims get the protection they need and deserve.

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