Horrific tales of abuse as domestic violence increases by a fifth in Redbridge

The number of domestic violence offences has increase by almost a fifth including one case of a woman repeatedly beaten in front of her children over two decades.

Figures obtained by the London Probation Trust from police show that domestic violence offences in the 12 months leading up to September 2013 have increased in Redbridge by 18.8 per cent.

This is the second largest percentage increase in London.

Aaliya – not her real name – was locked in cupboards and was not allowed to leave the house alone by her husband who she was forced to marry.

Aaliya said: “It’s very complicated why women stay. I thought it would get better if we had more children. It just got worse and worse and worse instead of getting better.”

She was introduced to her husband when she was little over 10 years old.

Over the years he became more and more controlling and would threaten to track her down and disfigure her face if she left him.

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Sudarshan Bhuhi, founder of domestic abuse charity Aanchal based in Holstock Road, Ilford, said the increase was partially down to changes in the make-up of communities in Redbridge.

Mrs Bhuhi said: “It’s gone up because there’s a change in demographics. There’re new communities and there’s more of an economic divide than there used to be.”

She said the charity is seeing more people coming forward who are being forced into marriage by their families.

“More people are fighting for their rights as they get more westernized but lots of women in serious situations wait until it’s too late,” she added.

Supt Ellie O’Connor from Redbridge police, said: “We have undertaken some analysis to try and identify why this increase is occurring and whether it is impacting within particular communities or age groups. No pattern has been identified.”

She said that police have been working to ensure victims report incidents of domestic violence and have specialist teams to help victims.

She added: “We will take all necessary steps to support victims and address offending by perpetrators.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence call Aanchal on 020 3384 9412.

LOCAL AUTHORITY OFFENCES Sept 2012-Sept-2013 % CHANGE ON Sept 2011-Sept 2012

Tower Hamlets 2,140 +19.8%

Redbridge 1,672 +18.8%

Enfield 1,891 +18.7%

Barnet 1,444 +18.7%

Bexley 1,237 +14.3%