1,786 incidents of domestic violence and abuse were recorded on the Island in 2019/20, an increase of 193 cases on the previous year.
However, the CSP — which is made of 6 public bodies, including the Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire Constabulary — said it was difficult to measure domestic violence cases due to the complex nature of the issues and the awareness that many cases of such abuse are not reported.
It also said there are no definitive figures for the scale of the problem on the Island because, on average, a victim will sustain around 50 instances of abuse, which can be physical, psychological, sexual, financial or emotional, before they report it to the police.
Despite the increasing number of incidents reported, only 13.8% resulted in a charge, caution or community resolution, with 39% of victims not supporting the proceedings.
Hampshire Constabulary said:
“Domestic incidents can be very complex, and there are often occasions where victims will not support a prosecution. We can overcome this by pursuing a victimless prosecution if the evidence is strong enough for us to do so.
“But regardless of the outcome, supporting the victim is always a priority and we will always signpost victims to support agencies, such as YouFirst, to provide them with the additional help they need.”
In the summer months (between July and September) incidents peaked, with 28.5% of cases recorded in that timeframe, with August seeing the most — 181.
More victims of domestic abuse were in younger age groups, with the top 3 age ranges being 25 to 29, 30 to 34 and 20 to 24-year-olds. Suspects were slightly older with 14% aged between 30 to 34, 13% 25 to 29, and 11.5% for 35 to 39.
Nearly 40% of incidents with suspects aged between 30 and 34 had abused before.
More than 40% were between partners and spouses, including former partners, and 26.1% between family members.
Together, the CSP has been working to raise awareness, train professionals and build confidence in communities to empower people and increase the opportunity to report incidents and to follow through with convictions.
Hampshire Constabulary said domestic abuse was a priority for it, and it seeks to drive up confidence in victims and improve its services.
A spokesperson said:
“The first contact we have with victims and perpetrators can shape the level of engagement of both parties.
“We have delivered domestic abuse training to all frontline officers and staff, and have domestic abuse champions who have specialist training and expertise.”
A domestic abuse forum has set up an action plan to prevent abuse, deliver effective services for victims and perpetrators and understand local needs and priorities for future planning.
While the CSP assessment does not cover the impact COVID-19 has had on crime, nationally domestic abuse is continuing to rise as people are forced to stay at home.
The government says even though the country is in a national lockdown, victims are allowed to leave their home if it is no longer safe.