Police link economic crisis and domestic violence
Domestic violence, animal cruelty and the economic crisis are linked, research by police has shown. The report drafted from statistics on domestic violence over the years 2010-2012, said that the recession causes increased stress in households, which leads to an increase in the threat of violence.
The report says that nine percent of the Dutch community (about one million people) have fallen victim to domestic violence over the past five years. Of these, 200,000 people endured serious structural domestic violence. Six of every ten cases regarded psychological domestic violence like violations of restraining orders, insults and verbal arguments.
Violence is also on the rise between couples because they cannot afford separation and are forced to live together, Jannine van den Berg of the National Police said.
Authorities registered some 95,000 cases of bodily, sexual and psychological domestic violence in 2012, but according to the report that figure does not represent the true extent of the problem because many victims do not file reports. The real figure is probably around one million cases for 2012; 20 percent of these cases was serious and structural.
The research showed furthermore that most of the victims are women and nine in ten cases are committed by men. Of all victims 15 percent was younger than 18; that age also applies to three quarters of all victims of sexual domestic violence. In addition, one in three witnesses has that age, 3,675 children.
Police say a growing problem are youth (12–14 years old) who abuse their parents; 10 percent of youth apparently commit this crime.
Also many elderly people are exploited financially, for instance by young people who offer assistance in using the ATM, but then take money from the elderly’s account for themselves. Police say that as people get older and live longer, this problem will continue to grow.
Authorities also noted that there is a link between animal cruelty and domestic violence; the report says that half of the police officers who handle animal cruelty cases report this correlation. They also report that often victims of domestic violence hold off on taking refuge in a shelter because they are worried about their pets that they would leave behind.