St Patrick's Day Drinking is Not an Excuse for Domestic Violence
St Patrick's Day, a national holiday in Ireland, is celebrated by many across the UK and indeed, the world. A full day of festivities can be great fun, but this can also have dangerous consequences.
Time For Change
Figures released by the Office of National Statistics
show that although figures for violent crime have fallen, the figures for domestic violence
are refusing to budge. They estimate that 1.4 million women and 700,000 men were victims of domestic abuse
in the last year.
The figures show that alcohol still plays a role in 53% of violent attacks
, and that this has been the same for 10 years.
Simpson Millar LLP are proud to say that we are a member of the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV)
. The CAADV brings together employers to help instigate change and address the issue of domestic violence. Emma Permaine, Our Director of Family Services
is a Trustee for the CAADV
Emma comments; "All day drinking festivals such as St Patrick's Day can lead to high emotions and things can rapidly spiral out of control. We must remember that although alcohol may act as a catalyst for domestic violence, there is never an excuse for this."
The Justice Select Committee has also highlighted obstacles in the legal system that are acting as barriers to victims. Results from a Parliamentary watchdog show that a third of domestic violence victims can't provide the evidence necessary to get legal aid
. The nature of domestic violence means it can be difficult to prove attacks and abuse, and requirements that evidence must be no older than 2 years acts as a further barrier
Support from a lawyer can help give victims the confidence to move forward, and leave their abusive partner. Victims of domestic violence without legal representation may find themselves facing their attacker in court. The thought of this can be terrifying, and may deter victims from accessing justice.
Increased Awareness Of Violence In All Forms of Relationship
It is important to remember that domestic violence can come in many forms. Male partners in heterosexual relationships
and males and females in same sex relationships are also at risk
The ManKind Initiative
is a charity that provides specific support for male sufferers, in 2014 they released figures suggesting as many as 38% of domestic violence sufferers are male
. Broken Rainbow
are a charity providing support for victims of LGBT domestic abuse. They understand that there is a link between domestic abuse and abusive behaviour but importantly highlight that alcohol is not the cause of the behaviour, and that abuse may not disappear when they are sober.
Emma highlights; "Domestic violence can be seen by many as happening only against women in heterosexual relationships. Domestic violence can come in many forms and anyone who experiences this must feel that they are able to speak out about it."