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Women’s Aid challenges ONS statistics on domestic violence

The national domestic violence charity Women’s Aid has challenged statistics released by the ONS which suggest men and women are equally affected by domestic violence.

The charity argues that the published statistics do not report the severity, extent or pattern of ongoing violence which is significantly greater for women. Women’s Aid is also highlighting that misleading statistics around men and domestic violence are leading to poor decision making in the commissioning of specialist domestic violence services for male and female victims.

Women’s Aid is urging the ONS to publish the full data on domestic violence in intimate relationships and to focus more on the fact that women are several times more likely to experience a pattern of coercive control - repeated instances of psychological, physical and/or sexual violence, more likely to experience more than one kind of violence, and much more likely to experience sexual violence in relationships than men.

The charity is highlighting that confusion over the apparently similar number of men and women affected is leading some local authorities to demand equivalent services for male and female survivors.

Women’s Aid argues that this is inappropriate when there are many more women than men experiencing greater harm from repeated violence from which they need to escape, and because men and women have different experiences of domestic violence, and so need different kinds of services to meet their needs.

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