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Is your friend suffering?

A women's website yesterday revealed that more than half of people polled know a female friend that has experienced domestic abuse.

The poll by www.ivillage.co.uk (new window) has revealed that fifty three per cent of people surveyed know a victim of domestic violence.

And fifty four per cent said they would be very likely to intervene to help the victim.

More than half of those who indicated they would not intervene said that it was because they felt it could cause more problems for the victim.

Shocking results

'The fact that over half of the people in this poll say that they know a victim of domestic violence is shocking,' said Lynne Featherstone, Home Office equalities minister.

‘I am encouraged by the numbers of people who said they would intervene to help the victim, domestic violence is not a private matter - it's a problem for the whole community and often this hidden crime sees victims too afraid to seek support.

'That is why Home Office funding for frontline support services will be protected for four years. Our message is that help is out there for victims and their families.'

One million victims

A total of 1,123 people took part in the poll, which was run to coincide with a Home Office domestic violence call to action in December 2010.

Figures from the 09-10 British Crime Survey reveal that last year there were more than one million female victims of domestic violence in England and Wales. That’s nearly two women every minute.

Overall in the UK, more than one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Victims of domestic violence or those who know someone at risk should contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline (new window) on 0808 2000 247.

Call 999 if in immediate danger.

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