The impact of domestic violence in rural parts of England has drawn the attention of the National Rural Crime Network (NRCN), an organization dedicated to addressing crime in the rural communities of England and Wales. The NRCN has noted that victims of domestic violence in rural areas are in considerably more danger than those who live in cities and more developed regions of England. The isolation that comes with living in rural areas is the primary reason for this difference.
Inability to Reach Out
On average, domestic abuse victims in rural areas will stay with their abusers for up to three years before desperately seeking help, while it takes about 2.6 years for abuse victims in urban areas. This might not seem like much of a difference in time, but this can be the critical time-space that can mean life or death for many.
The victims of these areas are far less likely to report their abusers to the police because it’s simply not as easy to get them to come to your door in rural areas. The abusers will often count on this isolation, using it as a weapon to keep their victims in what amounts to captivity.
Rural Culture Plays a Part
The kind of culture associated with living in rural areas of England can keep victims from speaking out even further. Along with living in a sparsely populated area, there is more of a stigma linked to domestic abuse. People in these parts of the country are known for minding their own business, especially when it comes to ‘domestic’ issues. This provincial way of life further alienates victims from the outside world, and this is made worse by the lack of public or well-operated public transit systems in rural areas.
Rural policing has been less than adequate for addressing the growing rate of domestic abuse. The NRCN is focusing on establishing the fair funding of rural police departments in hopes of increasing their manpower. Leaders of the NRCN are seeking to understand the funding needs of rural police departments based on current crime statistics to ensure their needs are met within the new government funding formula. This is what decides what kind of budget will be made available to rural police departments in the future.