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08 MAR 2013

Sharp rise in domestic violence cases handled by Citizens Advice Bureaux

Domestic Violence - posed by actorNew figures from Citizens Advice show an 11 per cent increase in the number of clients telling bureau advisers they are suffering domestic violence.

Advisers reported the rise in the number of domestic violence cases in the last quarter of 2012, over 80% of which were from women. Sixteen per cent of people seeking advice about domestic abuse cases sought advice about domestic violence involving children.

From March 2013 a new definition of domestic violence will be implemented to include ‘coercive control'. The previous definition defined domestic violence as a single act or incident. The new definition recognises that patterns of behaviour and separate instances of control can add up to abuse - including instances of intimidation, isolation, depriving victims of their financial independence or material possessions and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Gillian Guy, Citizens Advice Chief Executive said: "As the scale of Government cuts start to bite, we are concerned that our trend highlights how levels of domestic violence could get even worse.  We call on the Prime Minister to honour his commitment, made on the last International Women's Day, to government doing everything it can to deal with the problems of violence against women in our society and ensure they have the support needed."

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