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‘Devastating impact’ as number of Southampton abuse victims doubles

The impact of domestic abuse on victims is “devastating” but it’s “unfortunately very common”, as figures show the number of cases has doubled in the past ten years.

There were around 3,000 cases of abuse reported in Southampton last year, compared to around 1,400 cases ten years ago.

Children were involved in almost 60% of “high risk” cases, with evidence suggesting that those who experience domestic violence are more likely to develop behavioural issues.

Zoe Jackson, from charity Aurora New Dawn, said: “Domestic abuse is unfortunately very common. The impact of domestic abuse on victims and their children is devastating, not just physically but also psychologically and emotionally.

“It is crucial that all victims have access to specialist support, but also that we routinely hold those perpetrating abuse to account, tackling their behaviour to prevent further victimisation.”

Southampton City Council is carrying out an inquiry into how to prevent abusive behaviour, so that there are less future victims.

Mark Pirnie, leading the inquiry, said: “We have a problem. The levels of domestic abuse are high in Southampton and as a city we need to do whatever we can to address that.

“There are links between domestic abuse and deprivation, and Southampton has relatively high levels of deprivation.”

Mr Pirnie said that in some ways it is positive there are lots of cases being reported because people feel able to approach their local services.

In the UK two women every week are murdered by current or former partners, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

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