Speaking up about domestic abuse can be difficult. Many victims face substantial barriers to seeking help, or even acknowledging to themselves that they are in an abusive relationship. Victims can face emotional barriers – like low self-esteem, self-blame, fear, guilt, love and commitment – as well as practical, financial or physical barriers to extracting themselves from an abusive relationship.
But all victims of domestic abuse ought to be able to access support to manage their relationship, keep themselves safe, exercise their rights to their property, children, access to justice and to rebuild their lives.
Some of this support can be provided by friends and family, but some relies on specialist services and state structures.
Despite welcome government commitments to the Violence Against Women and Girls agenda, increased scrutiny of the treatment of domestic abuse cases by police and the justice system, and a rise in its prominence as an issue, this new report, drawing on evidence from Citizens Advice frontline exposes the reality of many victims of abuse struggling for support. Click here to see the report