Police warn that cost-of-living crisis is no excuse for domestic violence
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Northamptonshire Police anticipate that offenders may try to use the cost-of-living crisis as an excuse to commit domestic abuse offences.
Perpetrators of domestic abuse often try to excuse or minimise their violent or abusive behaviour by blaming external factors, such as being under the influence of drink or drugs. Or they use financial or work stressors, or the frustration of their football team losing a match to mitigate their actions. In some cases, they try to shift the blame to the victim - saying they were provoked by them and driven to it, or it was in retaliation for being disrespected or not listened to.
The Force is warning perpetrators that excuses won’t be tolerated, reminding them that the only person to blame for domestic abuse is the abuser.
Detective Inspector Ashleigh Houlden from the Force’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit said: “We hear all sorts of excuses from perpetrators to justify or minimise their abusive behaviour – blame shifting is really common.
“There is absolutely no excuse for domestic abuse – it’s the individual’s choice to use violent, abusive, or coercive behaviour. Blaming your partner or blaming external factors is no justification, whatever the circumstances or heightened emotions.
“Many thousands of people in the county will be adversely affected by rising prices, but the vast majority won’t choose to resort to violence, or use the financial situation to validate an increase in coercive control over their partner, including to justify restricting their access to money.
“Being an abuser is a choice. Using the cost-of-living crisis as a motive, or the results of a football tournament as an excuse to enact domestic violence is unacceptable and deplorable.
“No-one should have the fear of abuse or violence hanging over them, which is why we are warning perpetrators to change their behaviour, or we will come after you. We have officers ready to arrest you and bring you into custody.
“Think before you act – be aware of how you’re behaving. Think about the consequences of your actions - you could be stopped by court order from seeing from your family this Christmas, you might lose your job, or end up with a criminal conviction. Being an abuser is a choice – choose to stop.”
Domestic abuse happens throughout every level of society, regardless of health, wealth, or status. Abuse can be physical or psychological and affects women, men, and children.
DI Houlden said: “It has no place in our society and shouldn’t be tolerated. It is important that anyone suffering from domestic abuse knows that the police are working hard to keep people safe, and if they come forward to report abuse, they will be believed. We will do all we can to help you.”
The Force encourages anyone suffering from domestic abuse to call the police on the non-emergency 101 number, or in an emergency, always call 999.
They acknowledge that some people may not yet be ready to talk to the police. Advice and help for victims is available from a number of statutory and voluntary agencies who can ensure anyone who suffers domestic abuse gets the support they need, without the need to report to the police.