Domestic violence and abuse is just as big a problem in the countryside as it is in towns and cities according to Sally Morrissey, manager of Gloucestershire domestic abuse support service.

Those living in the countryside and suffering from domestic violence and abuse can find it difficult to gain access to services, especially if residing in a small village. Travelling to where support is available can be even more difficult, particularly where public transport is limited.

Typically small villages are very tight-knit communities and this can present challenges for victims. There is a lack of privacy as everybody tends to know everybody’s business. On top of this, if a person is well liked in the community then it becomes more difficult for accusations of domestic violence and abuse to be made against them.

It can also be difficult for domestic violence and abuse sufferers to move away from their abuser, even with the help of support services. Those who are being abused have often lived in their community throughout their lives and being forced to move away can cause further distress.

Despite this range of difficulties, Sally Morrissey has found that domestic abuse cases are reported just as often in the countryside as they are in the city. “1.5% of the population of Gloucester city refer to us. In little villages in the Cotswolds, such as Stow on the Wold or Borton on the Water, the same proportion of the population are referred into our service, 1.5%”.

Similarly to the inner city, Morrissey also works with male victims of domestic violence abuse although they are the minority. “About 5% of the client group are male victims of domestic abuse. It’s probably under reported but we are starting to make inroads into understanding the issues for male victims of domestic abuse”.

Did you know we have recently updated our online course which gives learners awareness of what domestic violence and abuse is and how to identify it. To find out more, click here.



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