Living in a village can be wonderful, often generations of families have stayed in the same place, cousins, aunties and uncles live only a few doors away.  The village doctor might have known you since you were a small child and maybe the village priest knows you or your family.  Everyone knows each other or knows their parents or grandparents.  Whilst this can seem cosy and friendly but if you’re are being abused it can be very lonely. 

The people a victim would normally turn to are out of reach, not because of distance but because they usually know the abuser and might mention something to them.  You know the kind of thing, a quiet word in the pub “Hey Joe, Carol says you’ve been pushing her around, you haven’t thought have you?” 

This is why victims in rural areas don’t seek help, they literally feel like they have no one to turn to.  It’s not necessarily because people turn a blind eye.  Because of the interconnectedness of rural villages, if a victim asks for help they could unwittingly be alerting their abuser by starting up a grapevine. 

Domestic abuse services are generally based in more urban areas with little outreach to surrounding villages.  This is often due to lack of financial capacity, and possibly because lack of reporting lulls services into a false sense of security. 

So without knowing it, the ‘rural’ community is facilitating the abuse.  There is even evidence that abusers will directly ‘recruit’ the community to their cause, which then further isolates the victim.  

This is the reason we have the ‘White spaces’ where it looks like there is low or no crime and this is why we need to look closer into our rural areas to help those who have no one to turn to. 

Thanks for reading, 


Kindly funded by Derbyshire's Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner