Ø Leaving an abusive relationship is a
process, not an event. Women seek support as they struggle to cope with the
shock and disbelief of what has happened, particularly in the beginning.
Ø Many women hope that the violence will
stop and the relationship continue.
Ø A range of cultural beliefs,
stereotyping and victim blaming means that women are reluctant to identify
themselves as living with domestic violence.
Ø While recent changes have increased the
effectiveness of the legal options available to women, the practice can be
difficult and women experience barriers and constraints to secure their
Ø Recent publicity would suggest that when
women and their families do go to court, the criminal justice system can be
used by the perpetrator to continue emotional abuse.
Ø The range of Women’s Aid support
services required to support women outside of refuge is at risk due to
restrictive funding opportunities.
Ø The Women’s Aid 24 hour helpline
(02890 331818) receives a significant number of calls from professional
women and from women with professional partners who feel even more reluctant
to come forward within their professional and personal social groupings.
Ø For rural women, accessibility to
services is a key issue.
Ø Information and accessibility to
services for all women and their children while improving, is still
dependent on securing funding for publicity and campaigning.