The National Rural Crime Network has revealed a shocking picture of domestic abuse in rural Britain with hidden victims – isolated, unsupported and unprotected – who are being failed by the system, services and those around them.
The results of an 18-month intensive research project, the study has analysed available evidence, spoken in depth to victims of abuse, assessed local support services and looked at the approach of the police.
Its findings are stark, disturbing and lead to an urgent call for action from government, the police, society and us all.
Some of the key findings are:
- Abuse lasts, on average, 25 per cent longer in the most rural areas
- The policing response is largely inadequate
- The more rural the setting, the higher the risk of harm
- Rurality and isolation are deliberately used as weapons by abusers
- Close-knit rural communities facilitate abuse
- Traditional, patriarchal communities control and subjugate women
- Support services are scarce – less available, less visible and less effective