Women convicted of domestic abuse in Barking and Dagenham rises

�The number of women convicted for violent attacks on their partners doubled in the past year, according to latest figures.

Barking and Dagenham has one of the capital’s highest rates of domestic violence (DV) incidents but conviction for DV offences committed by women have risen faster than those for men.

Between April 2009 and March 2010 there were seven prosecutions where female defendants pleaded or were found guilty of domestic violence offences.

The figure more than doubled to 15 in the following year.

In comparison, the number of men convicted between 2009 and 2010 was 161 compared to 183 the following year.

But a Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson said that this did not mean more women committed the crime.

She said: “This may be because more people are willing to report them, rather than there just being a higher incidence of these crimes.”

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Ippo Panteloudakis, manager of the Respect charity’s Helpline for male victims of DV, said: “It was an impressive increase in the number of convictions for female and male perpetrators.

“It seems that the police and the CPS are doing a better job and it implies that people have more confidence in the system.

“It goes some way towards dispelling the myth that male victims don’t report DV. Still, the overwhelming majority of perpetrators are male.”

Joy Parsons, domestic abuse case worker at Victim Support Barking and Dagenham, said that although the majority of referrals were female, the organisation received between 10 and 30 male referrals every month.

She said: “In April for example we received 22 out of a total of 128. A lot of the men, however, say they don’t need our support.

“Male victims can often feel embarrassed about reporting domestic violence – which is more often than not psychological abuse - but they should know that there’s nothing to be ashamed about and there are others in their situation.”

Nationally, the figure for female conviction has shot up from 1,500 in 2005 to 4,000 convictions in 2010.

More than 55,000 men were prosecuted in 2010, compared with over 28,700 five years earlier.

n The Helpline number for male victims of DV is (0808) 801 0327.

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