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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 16:50 GMT 17:50 UK
One-in-three suffer home violence
Domestic violence. Picture posed by models
Help groups say people can find a way out of abusive relationships
New research claims that one in three women in Guernsey are victims of domestic violence.

The statistics come from a survey conducted by Options, the island's Domestic Violence Forum.

Some 844 questionnaires were completed in May. The results showed that 36.8% of respondents stated they had suffered some form of violence at home.

The results will be used to help formulate an island-wide strategy to deal with the problem.

We've proved there is a need for help
Pauline Allen
Some 23 statutory and eight voluntary agencies took part in the survey, which was conducted in one month.

Of those who suffered violence, 14.3% said they had suffered for more than 10 years, 53% said they had suffered stress because of it and 20.6% said they were pregnant at the time.

Geoff Chapman, Guernsey Police's Domestic Violence officer, said he had to deal with hundreds of cases a year which varied in intensity.

He said: "I've been doing this job for two years and I handled about 400 reports per year, ranging from arguments to full-scale assault."

"It's not always physical violence that concerns people, it's the psychological effects too.

"People do think we don't have a problem here, but we do - and this shows we do.

"We do treat it seriously and we will try where possible to bring perpetrators to court."

Improving resources

Domestic Violence Forum chairwoman Pauline Allen said: "A lot of it tends to happen behind closed doors and that creates a 'doesn't happen here attitude', but this has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt it does happen.

"We've proved there is a need for help, and we want to have enough people out there who understand and can recognise domestic abuse.

"We want to say to victims that they don't have to put up with this and they can be free to walk out of an abusive relationship."

Diana Brehaut, Research and Development Officer at the Health and Social Services Department said the results were not a big surprise for her.

But she said the survey would prove extremely useful to help get improvements made to funding and resources dealing with the problem.




SEE ALSO:
Violence leaflets in Portuguese
15 Jun 04  |  Guernsey
Hundreds of violence complaints
29 Mar 04  |  Guernsey
Campaign looks at domestic violence
18 Nov 03  |  Guernsey
Aguilera backs abuse campaign
29 Oct 03  |  Scotland


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