According to the UK Government, Domestic Violence accounted for 15% of all violent incidents in 2011/12. Nearly one third of women and nearly one fifth of men say they have experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16. Women and girls suffering from domestic abuse in minority communities often face additional barriers that prevent them from accessing services including; lack of ability in English, lack of knowledge of their rights in the UK and cultural constraints around seeking help outside the family, as well as legal problems around citizenship.
Under the new definitions circulated by the UK Government in 2013, domestic violence is defined as:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is; a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
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