1. ITV Report

Domestic violence victims in rural areas are being let down, report claims

1/3 of all violent crimes in Cumbria last year were domestic. Credit: PA

Victims of domestic abuse living in Cumbria are being urged to speak out and seek help.

It comes after the release of a report which claims victims living in rural areas are “lacking support that could mean the difference between life and death.”

Research by the National Rural Crime Network showed victims stay longer with abusive partners, on average three years, before seeking help compared to 2.6 years in urban areas.

of all violent crimes in Cumbria last year were domestic.

Rurality is a weapon that increases isolation, stigma and shame in small, often closed communities"

– National Rural Crime Network report

It claims that while the number of domestic violence offences recorded per 1,000 people in rural areas is lower, this is because victims are less likely to report the crime to police.

The report says it is more difficult to access support services in the countryside, which often has poor public transport, and that abusers are drawn to rural areas so that they can keep their victim isolated.

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If you are worried about domestic abuse, or have been affected by the issues in tonight's ITV Border Lookaround, you can get help and advice here: