There has been a sharp rise in allegations of domestic violence, it was revealed over the weekend.
The Sunday Mirror reported that claims – which can often play a part in divorce proceedings – had increased by almost a fifth over the course of the past four years.
This was equivalent to an extra 2,750 applications for abuse orders in the period from 2012 to 2016.
The increase came to light after a Freedom of Information (FoI) request was sent to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).
There has been a particularly dramatic increase in applications in areas including London, Birmingham and Romford.
Ann Lafferty, national officer for the GMB trade union, which uncovered the figures, said that domestic violence caused considerable damage.
“It destroys families, it hurts children, it poisons society and it places workers at risk,” she said. “It knows no social boundaries and is often an issue of secrecy based on fear.
“It is terrible to find out see domestic violence rising so sharply – especially alongside reductions in resources provided to victims by local government and national barriers to accessing legal aid.”
A breakdown of the figures showed that the number of applications made to the court to secure a non-molestation order stood at 16,288 in 2012. By last year the figure had risen to 19,087.
Earlier this year, the Prime Minister had made a commitment to review domestic violence legislation, pledging to personally oversee reform.
She said that the problem was “life-shattering” for victims and that it was unacceptable that the support available still varied greatly from region to region.