More victims seeking help for domestic violence, increase in male victims

Victim Support.
Victim Support.

Nearly 10,000 cases of intimate partner violence have been reported this year and the number of serious injuries and deaths have increased.

Kati Arumäe, a senior official of intimate partner violence at the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), said approximately 10,000 cases have been reported this year. The number of cases resulting in serious injuries and deaths has increased. The majority of cases were registered in North, East and South Estonia.

Arumäe said that in the first half of 2020, of the six cases resulting in death, five were male victims.

"When we looked at the first half of the year, it was noticeable that there are more men among the dead. Whether it's an adult son or a couple. If we looked at the first half of the year, there are six dead and only one of them is a woman," she said.

Head of the victim support department, Jakko Salla, said the number of people contacting them has increased after the coronavirus crisis. He said reasons for this could be the normal life returning and fears experience during the crisis.

Both Salla and Arumäe said about a third of all cases are reported to the victim support. service Salla said more people could be helped if they turned to the service.

"According to the studies, we can see that only a third of people who have been exposed to domestic violence during the last year have informed the police. On the other hand, a lot of them go to work and to doctor's appointments. People are not ready to talk about these issues themselves so we would reach a lot more cases if people dared to ask."

From May 2020, the offenders can call a violence helpline. The support line's coordinator Tõnis Palgi explained: "The idea is to give people the opportunity for initial counseling. If a person feels anxious about their own behavior or the behavior of someone close to them. Whether they have hurt someone or have seen that someone is displaying abusive behavior, it is possible to call the helpline and discuss and reflect with the caller what this help outlet might be."


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Editor: Roberta Vaino, Helen Wright

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