Domestic abuse is never acceptable

International Women’s Day is held on March 8th each year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also seen as a call to action to accelerate gender equality across the globe.

The day serves to remind the world of the many injustices still suffered by women and girls, be it abduction by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Yazidi women enslaved by ISIS in Iraq, or Syrian refugees sold as sex workers by people traffickers. However, we should not think that abuse of women only happens in other, less developed countries.

In November last year the UK’s Office for National Statistics released a report on Domestic Abuse in England and Wales, which estimated that 1.2 million women had suffered some form of domestic abuse in the year to March 2017. Females accounted for 70% of domestic homicide  victims  in this period, and over 83,000 high-risk cases were referred to multi-agency risk assessments, equating to 36 cases per 10,000 adult women.

On average 6 women are killed in the UK every week- 78 per year- by their partner of former partner.

It is not just women who are at risk from domestic abuse. The most recent report from the NSPCC  identified  58,000 children who required protection from abuse in 2016. Another survey by the Office for National Statistics revealed that among adults aged 16 to 59, 9% had experienced psychological abuse as a child. Additionally, 7% had been victims of physical abuse, 7% victims of sexual abuse, and 8% had witnessed domestic abuse or violence in the home. It is also widely accepted that many instances of abuse are never reported, and that the true figures are likely to be considerably higher.

The Children and Family Law departments at Bretherton Law have a long history of helping victims of domestic abuse. We are proud to be accredited by the Law Society in Family and Children Law, as well as our membership of Resolution, the organisation representing family lawyers and other professionals in the field. Our professional and experienced solicitors commit to regular outreach visits to local support organisations such as Refuge and Harpenden Children’s Centre , offering legal advice and supporting abuse victims through the court process. We can also connect you with other organisations to help. We can also connect you with other organisations to help. Legal Aid may be available subject to means and merits eligibility.

If you are, or have been, a victim of domestic abuse contact Kelly Hicks or Josh Moinet for confidential and professional family law advice

Support groups and services to help victims of abuse exist across Hertfordshire, as well as nationally. Locallly, St Albans and Hertsmere Women’s Refuge offers advice and support as does Welwyn Hatfield Women’s Refuge.  

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