Alesha Dixon Leads March Against Domestic Violence

Alesha Dixon led survivors and victim's families to present findings of a new survey to Parliament

Alesha Dixon led a march to Parliament yesterday to raise awareness of domestic violence and to present findings of an Avon survey.

Joined by survivors of domestic violence and victim’s families, Dixon marched across Westminster Bridge to demand action.

Charities including Avon, Refuge and Women’s Aid want domestic violence to receive the same level of attention as other major issues such as drink driving after finding the survey of 2,000 women aged 16-55 showed many women had a ‘shockingly low’ awareness of, and were unaware of what counted as, domestic violence.

More than half of women surveyed disagreed or did not know if excessive jealousy counted as domestic violence. One in five 16-18 year olds were unsure if slapping or hitting was a sign of domestic violence.

Just over half either disagreed or did not know whether a partner making all financial decisions was domestic violence.

Yet over half of the women questioned believed they knew or suspected that someone in their life had experienced domestic violence.

Commenting on the research, Dixon said: ‘One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lives, making it the single biggest issue that will affect young women and their peers in their life.
 
‘Yet the results of this research show that awareness of domestic violence is still shockingly low and that’s why it’s so important that we raise awareness about a subject that is too often ignored.’

Sandra Horley, chief executive of Refuge, said: ‘This issue is still shrouded in myth and misunderstanding. The Government needs to invest in powerful awareness-raising campaigns to change the attitudes that allow violence and fear to darken so many homes up and down the country.

‘It is essential that unhealthy attitudes and beliefs about violence against women in all professional and public spheres are challenged and addressed too.

Currently two women a week are killed by current or former partners in England and Wales.

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