SUSAN OLIVER is very concerned about levels of domestic violence going on in Croydon, and wants to know why it is not being treated as a major health issue
I have looked at the Domestic Violence and Abuse Report produced by Croydon Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board. This is the defining paragraph:
Using British Crime Survey data, it is possible to estimate the expected prevalence of domestic violence and abuse in Croydon. It is likely that around 13,700 women and 8,800 men experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse during 2011/12. It is likely that during the same period around 12,160 women experienced four or more incidents of domestic abuse (with a mean average of 20 incidents) and just fewer than 1,000 men experienced four or more incidents (with a mean average of 7 incidents).
In total, more than 22,000 people. That’s the size of a small town. Try to picture a gathering of 22,000 people being beaten up. You wouldn’t call the police if you saw such a sight; you’d call Westminster and ask for the Army. That’s the extent of the problem.
There are around 360,000 people in Croydon; let’s say that breaks down to 180,000 men and 180,000 women. So 13,700 abused women amounts to 1 in every 13 women in Croydon have suffered domestic abuse; and 1 in 20 men in Croydon are abused.
That’s frightening, folks. The sheer amount of physical violence is enough to make you weep. Then we have to think about the emotional pain and long-term suffering these numbers represent.
Those frequency numbers are also distressing. The mean average of 20 incidents means many women are being abused much more often than 20 times a year.
I was surprised at the number of men being abused; this is not the kind of equality we want.
The report details that the majority of victims are women aged 21 to 30, followed by women aged 31 to 40. One can only imagine the grisly scenes behind the statistics: the sexual violence, the miscarriages, the 999 calls, the trips to the hospital, the children who witness the abuse.
How much make-up is being purchased to cover up bruises?
This has been a problem brewing for many years and I don’t see a proper response to it. If 22,000 people had TB, we’d see posters around telling us how to take precautions: how to wash our hands, wear a mask. Why aren’t we seeing the same for this problem? This is a public health threat and it should be treated as such.
I have started putting signs up around Addiscombe and I invite people to download the accompanying poster and post it around their neighbourhoods. The posters will give people information and work against the secrecy surrounding the issue.
Domestic Violence – Are you affected?
Violence in the home has reached epidemic levels in the borough.
If you are a victim or a perpetrator, please reach out for help.
Call the Croydon Family Justice Centre 020 8688 0100
24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline: 0808 2000 247
Call Respect on 0808 802 4040
THERE IS NO NEED TO SUFFER ALONE
To see the complete report (which is still in draft form), see number 11 on the agenda, clicking here.
Be warned: it is very depressing.
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: The Great Beauty, Apr 10
- Norwood Society Talk: Crystal Palace, Apr 17
- David Lean Cinema: Inside Llewyn Davis, Apr 17
- Opening of Marlpit Lane bowling and putting greens, Apr 17
- Arts and Crafts Market, Exchange Square, Apr 19
- David Lean Cinema: Short Term, Apr 24
- Norwood Society Talk: West Norwood – a place of change, May 15
- Croydon RFC charity memorial day, May 17
- Norwood Society Talk: The Concrete Church, June 19
- Crystal Palace Overground Festival, June 26-29
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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It is not just physical abuse but also mental abuse that must be of profound concern.