How can Domestic Violence be Prevented?

This post is a part of our guide series to support anyone who may be experiencing domestic violence or has questions on what they should do:

What is Domestic Violence?
Who Commits Domestic Violence and Why?
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Domestic Violence?
How to Handle & Deal with Domestic Violence
How to Escape (or Help Someone Else Escape) Domestic Violence
How to Heal and Recover from Domestic Violence
What Impacts Does Domestic Violence Have on Victims and Their Family/Friends?
How to report Domestic Violence (and Who to Report it to)
How is Domestic Violence Proven in Court?
Punishment and Sentencing for Violent Domestic Abuse
How can Domestic Violence be Prevented?
What Effects Does Domestic Violence Have on Wider Society?
Domestic Violence Data & Statistics
Domestic Violence Helplines, Support & Further Reading

Domestic abuse comes in many shapes & forms and can target individuals of any age, however some victims are more vulnerable because they are unable to protect themselves.  Therefore it is vital to have protocols in place for the protection of these adults, everyone deserves to live a life free from abuse.

This guide provides useful information about ways in which we can all play an important part in preventing domestic violence.

How can domestic violence be immediately stopped when it’s occurring?

It will be very difficult or impossible to think clearly when you are in a situation where the abuse is being carried out. If the abuser detects any sign of you seeking help, it could make the situation worse.

Look out for the closest exit, if you cannot escape safely try a room in the house with a lock on the door. A few moments of this space could be enough to make a call to the police on 999. If you cannot talk dial 555 from your mobile and you will be given instructions on how to respond in other ways.

How can vulnerable people be kept safe from domestic abuse?

The following is a list of some of the ways that can help keep vulnerable people safe from domestic abuse;

  1. Promotion of choice and rights – helps vulnerable people to have a better understanding of what their rights are, it supports them to be more confident and assertive
  2. Awareness of Education around abuse – Education and awareness around this topic should be encouraged by talking about it, whether it be at home, schools or in the community. When people are well informed about something they are equipped with the tools to deal with situations, this is particularly useful in reporting suspected abuse
  3. Community Support – Communities should work together to help people understand how they can play their part in preventing abuse. Information on what to do if you suspect abuse should be made available within the community and support services should be more accessible for victims
  4. Having the law onside – victims need to know there is a strong legal framework in place for the protection of victims and punishment for the abusers
  5. Normalisation and encouragement to report abusers – by encouraging people to report the abuse, the more likely they are to reach out for help.
  6. Removal of stigma around victims/survivors – Local communities need to work together to end this stigma by understanding victims cannot be blamed for the abuse, it was never their fault. Creating awareness on the likely the repercussions victims have to deal with when they are unable to talk to someone will encourage people to be more supportive. This support will help victims come forward and get the help they need

What about keeping those who believe they are unsusceptible to becoming a victim safe?

One of the most beneficial ways of preventing domestic abuse is to learn about it.

Education and abuse awareness helps you to identify the different forms of abuse and to able to recognise it when it happens.

By empowering children, parents, teachers and the wider community with awareness of domestic abuse, they are armed with the tools and knowledge to better protect individuals. Schools teach children about healthy relationships and abuse awareness as part of the curriculum, however they may wish to engage parents and adults.

By working together to heighten the awareness, everyone involved will be better equipped to know how to protect people from harmful situations.

What can we do as a society to prevent the likelihood of people becoming abusers?

Understanding and experiencing healthy relationships is key in promoting the well-being of families and children.

We need to start by examining our own behaviour and checking whether this fits in with what we are trying to promote. By nurturing our families and through our actions show that we are able to settle conflicts without resorting to profanity or violence.

Encourage respect for each other, this includes allowing personal space and time away to deal with emotions. Creating an environment which deters abuse will help children understand healthy and respectful relationships enabling them to continue with this approach into adulthood.

It is also important for children to be taught about their rights of being equal to any other human being for an early age. This is key to understanding and recognising that everyone deserves to be treat with the same dignity and respect.

Victims and witnesses of past abuse are at a high risk of growing up to continuing the cycle of violence putting the strain back into society. Counselling or therapy may be useful in helping these individuals to cope with the trauma of their experience, reducing the likelihood of them becoming abusers themselves.

How can we prevent past or present domestic abusers from offending again?

There are various ways in which this may be able to happen, please see below;

  • Punishment – If a perpetrator is found guilty for an assault in a domestic violence case, the consequences can be severe and could lead to a prison sentence. This will of course depend on the facts of the case which will vary for individual cases
  • Court Orders – As well as imposing a sentence, a judge or magistrates court can make an order that prevents the perpetrator from further abuse and harassment of the victim called a Restraining Order. It is usually applied for by the prosecution for the protection of the victim and any breach of this order is a separate criminal offence
  • Rehab/therapy – Counselling focuses on the power/control philosophy and accepting responsibility, whereas anger management focuses on learning to channel the anger in a healthy manner.  It is probably better for an abuser to engage in both counselling and anger management treatments for better and effective results.

Please note this list is not exhaustive and there may be other ways that could help, depending on the circumstances of the case.

We understand how difficult it is to see someone you know or love experiencing abuse, sometimes trying to help a victim is not easy. It’s important to remember that you are not alone and the first step that you should take is to talk to someone. No one should have to deal with abuse alone.

Here at the Criminal Injuries Helpline, we help victims of violent crime and abuse recover compensation. You may want to help the victim gain some justice, get in touch with us today to see if the victim would qualify.

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