Cases of “Cinderella” abuse involving attacks by women and girls on family members in the United Kingdom have risen twice as fast as those by men, as reported by The Guardian.
The figures from the Metropolitan police, who are investigating a rise in the number of domestic abuse offences committed by female family members, show that domestic abuse offences committed by sisters have doubled;
- From 641 in 2010
- To 1,325 in 2018
The numbers have quadrupled for stepsisters and half-sisters;
- From 33
- To 142
Female perpetrators now account for 28% of cases; up from 19% a decade ago.
The figures were uncovered by the London assembly as part of an investigation into abuse that found a 300% increase in half-sisters, grandmothers and stepsisters as offenders.
Despite the rise in the number of domestic abuse offences committed by female family members, ex-boyfriends, boyfriends and husbands are the predominant perpetrators of domestic abuse. However, this should be no reason to overlook violence by either genders.
Priti Patel, Member of Parliament, UK, recently launched a campaign under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone to support victims of abuse after a rise in cases during the coronavirus lockdown. The UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, Refuge, reported a 700% increase in calls to its helpline in a single day.
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Uk’s home secretary said,
Coronavirus has opened Britain’s enormous heart and shown our love and compassion for one another as we come together to help those most in need. I am now asking this nation to use that amazing compassion and community spirit to embrace those trapped in the horrific cycle of abuse.
According to research by Dr Jonathan Caspi, a clinical social worker, sibling abuse is most common in dysfunctional, neglectful or abusive homes where parents fail to correct abusive behaviour. Caspi’s research also found that 60% of children who witnessed abusive behaviour between their parents later acted it out on their siblings.
Abuse from a sibling is also less likely to be reported because of the fear of retaliation from the perpetrator, or because they may be unable to recognise the difference between abuse and “acceptable” sibling aggression.
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Dame Vera Baird, the victims’ commissioner, said:
Only a few years ago, the police and the public probably wouldn’t have considered assaults such as siblings on siblings as domestic abuse. However, we can see a lot of this type of inter-family abuse does occur. I would encourage anyone who is experiencing this type of abuse to seek help and report it.
According to dailymail.co.uk, abuse by daughters, stepdaughters and daughters-in-laws have also increased over the years.
As reported by The Sun in 2016, Tory MP Philip Davies, who uncovered the stats, said:
When people think of domestic violence, they automatically think of men abusing women. But the vast increase in the number of women convicted of domestic violence over the past decade must not be overlooked.
We must not forget the male victims.
But organisations that offer help to male victims are sparse. There are fewer than 100 beds in 20 refuges or safe houses for male victims in the UK, compared with 7,500 for women.
One male victim of domestic abuse said that when he was attacked by his girlfriend it was assumed that he was the abuser. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he said:
Fairly early on in our relationship I realised my girlfriend had anger management problems and could get violent. She told me that she had been physically abused by her father.
I suggested that she went and got help but she refused to do so. She would often punch or slap me if we had simple disagreements and then would apologise and get very upset.
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Adding further the male victim of domestic abuse said,
It all came to a head one night in a bar when we had both had too much to drink. We got into an argument as we were leaving and she punched me in the face several times and broke my nose.
She began kicking me and I was telling her to clam down and was trying to hold her away from me. She was screaming and out of control. Two guys came out of the pub and began attacking me.
I was on the floor telling them that I was the victim but they didn’t stop kicking until she told them that she had hit me. After that I told her to get help but she refused so I went to the police.
The police were unwilling to help and I eventually dropped charges and ended our relationship.
Why should governments or courts judge an abuse in the relationship basis gender. Both male and female perpetrators of domestic violence should be dealt with equally harshly by the law of the land and more should be done to help victims of domestic violence whether they are men or women.
According to the figures reported in the paper four years ago, more than 52,000 women had been prosecuted for assaulting their partners since 2006 in the UK.
Sadly, while globally domestic abuse has been recognised against Men, in India, none of the governments even want to believe this reality. There is no commission or ministry for abuse faced by men in a domestic relationship, and the one-sided biased society only pronounces Men as guilty — since India lives on with the generic tag of being patriarchal.
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