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Recent research has found that victims of domestic abuse in rural areas are half as likely as those in urban areas to seek help and report their abuse.

Domestic abuse in close-knit rural communities can last 25% longer than in urban areas. Victims can suffer from isolation, traditional patriarchal views and often do not receive the support they require. Researchers found that they are being failed by authorities whilst perpetrators are being protected by the “country side culture”.

The Report said that “physical isolation is arguably the best weapon an abuser has and has a profound impact on making the victim feel quite literally captive”. It found that rural settings are still predominantly dominated by men who tend to hold the position of power whilst women are expected to take the traditional role under threats of abuse. This patriarchal attitude can make women more vulnerable, subject to control and prevented from seeking the support and help they urgently need.

National Rural Crime Network chairwoman Julia Mulligan described domestic abuse as "the hidden underbelly of rural communities". She said “we have uncovered a deeply hidden and disturbing side to rural life. Far from the peaceful idyll most people have in their mind when conjuring up the countryside, this report bares the souls and scars of domestic abuse victims, who all too often are lost to support, policing and criminal justice services”.

Researchers also made inquiries in relation to policing, decreasing resources and cuts to public services. It found that the availability of public services in rural areas is on the decline and the policing response is inadequate which limits the support and escape route for victims. Furthermore, they found that there are fewer and less effective support services in rural areas even if victims do attempt to seek help.

At Ramsdens, we have a team of Solicitors who are specialised in working with victims of domestic abuse. If you, or anyone you know, is a victim or at risk of domestic abuse, then please encourage them to seek support and assistance. At Ramsdens we understand that seeking help can be daunting and we aim to support victims of domestic abuse and their children to get the protection they need. We also consider whether there are other organisations or professionals within the local area who may also be able to assist.

If you would like further advice and support in relation to domestic abuse and family matters, please contact our free Family team helpline on 08000 147720 or email family@ramsdens.co.uk to arrange a free appointment in any of our fourteen offices across Yorkshire.