Yvette Cooper on domestic violence: 'Two women are killed each week. If this happened at football games there would be a national outcry'

Instead of prosecution, victims are increasingly being offered an apology or compensation

Shadow Home secretary Yvette Cooper has spoken out about domestic violence, telling BBC radio 4: "Two women are killed by their partner or ex each week. If this happened at football games there would be a national outcry."

The Labour MP is due to make a major speech on domestic abuse later on Monday, calling on police to treat domestic violence as a serious crime, rather than using community resolutions, which can involve apologies or compensation in place of prosecution through the court system.

Cooper quoted the stark statistic on Radio 4 after the National Centre for Domestic Violence raised awareness about domestic violence during the World Cup. Instances of abuse increased by 25 per cent after England Games at the 2010 tournament.

Domestic violence is rife in the UK. Police deal with more than 1.1 million or 7 per cent of women and 720,000 or 4 per cent of men as victims of some kind of domestic abuse in the past year according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales. Around 750,000 children grow up having witnessed domestic violence. On average about seven women and two men are killed by their partners every month in England and Wales, according to ONS statistics.

Domestic Violence Statistics

  • On average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. (Women's Aid)
  • One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.  (Women's Aid)
  • 143 women died from male violence in 2013 according to charity worker Karen Ingala Smith who launched the campaign "Counting Dead Women" to list all the women alleged to have died because of male violence.
  • One in three victims of domestic abuse in Britain is male. (British Crime Survey. There are limitations to this data, some of which are pointed out here)
  • More married men (2.3 per cent) suffered from partner abuse last year than married women (1.8 per cent)  (British Crime Survey)
  • Police deal with more than 1.1million or 7 per cent of women and 720,000 or 4 per cent of men as victims of some kind of domestic abuse in the past year (British Crime Survey)
  • Around 750,000 children grow up having witnessed domestic violence.
  • Domestic violence went up by 25% after England Games at the 2010 World Cup (National Centre for Domestic Violence)
  • Women experience an average of 35 incidents of domestic violence before reporting an incident to the police 

Despite these sobering figures, Community Resolutions are increasingly being used as a way of settling domestic abuse cases out of court. Officially, Community Resolution is there to deal with minor offences, such as "trivial thefts, public disorder, vandalism, and inconsequential assaults". Ms Cooper believes that their use in domestic violence cases shows the Government "just doesn’t take violence against women seriously".

In 15 police forces, the use of Community Resolutions to deal with domestic violence has more than doubled in four years. There were 6,861 cases in 2012 and 2013, an average of more than nine a day, compared with 1,337, fewer than four a day, in 2009. However Garry Shewan, the Assistant Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, told Radio 4 that community resolutions are used in a very small percentage of cases.

Labour are concerned over this, pointing to evidence that shows people rarely call the police the first time violent abuse happens, and so when a complaint is made, extracting an apology from the perpetrator leaves the victims at risk.

Cooper will promise that one of the first acts of an incoming Labour government will be to pass legislation banning Community Resolution to avoid having to take abusive men through the courts. "Domestic violence is an incredibly serious crime,” she is expected to say. “For the police to take a violent abuser home to apologise risks making it worse."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "No government has done more to tackle domestic abuse. It is not acceptable for the police to use out-of-court settlements in this way and the Government is reviewing how they are used."

 

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine