Clinical update

Domestic violence

Domestic abuse can take the form of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour as well as physical violence

Essential facts

Domestic violence and abuse includes any incident or repeated incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between family members or intimate partners or former partners.

It can involve psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse, as well as ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage. According to the Office for National Statistics, at least 1.4 million women and 700,000 men aged between 16 and 59 experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in 2013/14 – equivalent to 8.5% of women and 4.5% of men.

In February, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence published quality standards on domestic violence and abuse. It says that multi-agency partnership provides the most effective approach, with practitioners given training and continuing support. Without training, healthcare practitioners may fail to recognise how the abuse contributes to a person’s condition and will be unable to provide effective and safe support,

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