On average, domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetimes. On average, domestic abuse is responsible for the deaths of two women every week and 30 men every year.
Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse. It can occur between two adults who are or who have been in a relationship, family members including children and grandparents, regardless of their gender or sexuality.
The injuries can be mental abuse, sexual abuse, physical assaults as well as ill treatment or neglect.
Derbyshire Police are specifically targeting domestic abuse crimes and they claim that there are around 4,000 incidents recorded each year in Derbyshire however the police believe that this is probably only a fraction of this amount of incidents.
Statistics show that a victim will be attacked 33 times on average before they report the incidents to the police. This means that the vast majority of crimes are going unreported.
Derbyshire Constabulary’s campaign shows a coffin with flowers on the top in a Chapel of Rest. The slogan is ‘Hit 52 times, Sent flowers only once’. The purpose of the campaign is to encourage victims to come forward and report crimes when they happen. In Derbyshire, the police are hoping to adopt a multi-agency approach to support the victims including having specialist teams of officers standing by during important target periods of time, organisations to provide support for victims and their families and also to ensure that reports of domestic violence are streamlined and processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Apart from informing the police and fully co-operating with them you must seek medical assistance from your GP or from hospital. Victims of violence should always bring claims for compensation for their injuries under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. This Scheme is funded by Government money to make a payments to victims of violent crimes. In addition, you can bring a claim against the perpetrator in the Civil Courts, as long as they have the ability to pay and finally, if the offender is sentenced at Court then a compensation order can be made to you as well.
You can claim for the injuries you have sustained, for any Loss of Earnings you have had as a result of your injuries and, for any treatment or special aids and appliances or care you may need.
It is important you apply for compensation within 2 years of the incident occurring. If the violence has happened to a child then you can apply on their behalf or, they can wait until they are 18 years old and apply for it themselves.
You will also need advice if a family member has been killed as a result of domestic violence. As well as applying for compensation for the deceased and any dependants you may need assistance with probate, Family Law and Employment Law.
The police or the charities which support you may advise you about the option of claiming compensation.