We’ve been working for over 10 years to end domestic abuse by dealing with the cause – perpetrators. But other than our services, what more can we be doing?
Last week, to share our approach to tackling domestic abuse, Michelle Hill (CEO) spoke at Deloitte’s Gender Balance Network conference about our whole-family approach to domestic abuse. We were delighted to be able to share our work more widely and answer some important questions about domestic abuse.
Can you think of a time in your life when you, your partner, family, friends or colleagues would have benefited from accessing relationship support?
This is something we often discuss in our organisation – the many times that we will host or attend an event and after explaining about our charity, people open up about their own experiences. It can be powerful, saddening, moving and ultimately tells us that there is a reason we do what we do – everyone needs relationship support at some point or another and we need to work to normalise and de-stigmatise relationship support.
At this event, 96% of attendees said they would have benefitted, or know somebody who would.
Michelle then discussed domestic abuse in more detail, noting at TLC we use the definition of:
“An incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.”
Unfortunately, each year around 2.1 million people suffer from some form of domestic abuse – 1.4 million of those people are women, and 700,000 men. Children are also primary victims of domestic abuse, with one in seven children under the age of 18 having lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood.
We believe that although the cases differ, they all have one thing in common – there is always a perpetrator. However, unfortunately only 1% of perpetrators in the UK receive any specialist intervention. How do we expect the cycle to stop?
Michelle then explained that at TLC, we believe that to end domestic abuse we should work with the cause of the problem, which is the behaviour of the perpetrator. Whilst we’ve been working with perpetrators of domestic abuse and those affected by their behaviour for over 10 years, in the last few years our work has grown rapidly. We now work with LGBTQ women, have extended our programmes for gay and bisexual men and have also launched programmes of support for children and young people who are abusive to their parents, carers or partners.
To close her talk, Michelle opened the floor to questions regarding domestic abuse, which prompted interesting discussions among the attendees on topics from what to do if you suspected you were a perpetrator, to how to support somebody affected by domestic abuse.
If you, or somebody you know may be experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence helpline or visit their website for more information.
If you are concerned about your behaviour in your relationships and would like to take the first step to seeking support and changing things for you and those around you, you can visit the Respect website or call them directly.
We’d like to thank Deloitte for providing us with the opportunity to speak about our work and thank them for their kind donation to our organisation.
If you wanted to learn more about our domestic abuse services, click here.
If you were looking for resources and advice on domestic abuse, click here.