Sep 26, 2022 by Foresight
Why do we See a Surge in Domestic Abuse Cases Following the Summer?
Autumn is just around the corner and for most of us the summer months were filled with fun in the sun. Sadly that wasn’t the case for everyone as annual data reveals that from late spring until the end of summer, cases of domestic violence rise and people who are vulnerable throughout the year are even more likely to face abuse at home during this time.
There are several factors that can contribute to this rise in domestic abuse, but we have the expertise on our panel to ensure no matter the circumstances, we have the right expert witness for your case.
Why do cases rise during the summer?
A combination of factors can cause vulnerable people to get stuck in dangerous positions. Here are a few scenarios that have been linked to domestic violence.
Increased consumption of alcohol at social occasions and parties
Alcohol consumption can increase violent behaviour due to the fact that it “acts on brain centres that are involved in aggression and lowers inhibitions that may ordinarily keep aggressive impulses in check." During the summer, people generally drink more due to BBQs, parties, and other social events leading to an increase in violence when they get home.
Children off school
Children living in an abusive household are more likely to receive abuse if they are at home for extended periods of time. Not only are they near their abuser but they also can’t access adults outside of their home environment to talk to, such as teachers at school or club leaders.
Believe it or not, football has been linked to a rise in domestic abuse cases, often the World Cup during the summer months. In fact, a study by Lancaster University looked at data surrounding several football tournaments, it revealed that reports of domestic abuse “increased by 26% when the national team won or drew, and 38% when the team lost.” Studies suggest that alcohol and gambling are common denominators when it comes to this type of domestic abuse.
The summer heat
We’ve seen many heatwaves this summer, the heat can make everyone irritable but for those living with an abuser, irritability can quickly escalate to abuse.
Have we seen an overall increase in domestic abuse cases?
There has been an increase in reported cases of domestic abuse in recent years, particularly during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The year ending March 2021 saw a 6% rise compared to the previous year, and according to the Office for National Statistics “demand on domestic abuse helplines increased in the year ending March 2021 with a 22% increase in people supported by the National Domestic Abuse Helpline in England.”
During the pandemic, being locked down with an abusive family member led to a global surge in cases and record numbers of victims of domestic violence reached out for help. The Harvard Gazette stated that the United Nations called the situation a “shadow pandemic” in a 2021 report about domestic violence in 13 nations.
With cases of domestic abuse on the rise, it is more important than ever to have the support and assistance needed to ensure victims get the justice they deserve.
What type of experts can assist with a domestic abuse case?
Domestic abuse cases require the upmost sensitivity and the help of the most qualified experts to provide an accurate professional expert witness report.
Expert witnesses can be used for both prosecution and defence during a domestic abuse trial and it’s important that the experts used are professional, experienced, and unbiased.
Domestic violence cases often require medical experts to examine the physical health of the victim for example, bruises, broken bones, or internal damage. In cases involving children, paediatric doctors will be necessary to report on any injuries they have sustained.
In cases that involve substance abuse, a toxicologist expert could be used to determine if drugs or alcohol were in the system and how this will have affected the victim or the accused.
Domestic violence is often associated with mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and suicidal ideation. Psychiatrists and psychologists may also be used to determine and assess the mental state of the accused. Domestic abuse can also be psychologically harmful for the victim and therefore these types of experts could also be used to determine the mental state of the victim.
How Foresight can help?
Drawing on almost 15 years’ experience, Foresight knows how important it is to have the most suitable expert working on your case, which is why we hand-pick our expert witnesses, ensuring they meet your unique case requirements and budget.
We have a large panel of experts available nationwide, including medical experts, paediatric doctors, toxicologist experts, psychologist, psychiatrists, and many others that could be used within a domestic violence case. All our expert witnesses are well-versed in dealing with complex proceedings and understand safeguarding for these case types.
Our team works directly with you and the expert to deliver an expert witness report to your strict deadlines and not only that, but we also work at Legal Aid rates to ensure your case stays within budget.
If you would like to instruct an expert witness, please click here to fill out our enquiry form. If you are unsure of the expert type, you require please feel free to contact our team who can provide you with support.
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