Very little information is available on the Gypsy and Travelling
communities but those statistics that are available show that
between 61% and 81% of Gypsy Traveller women have
experienced direct domestic abuse.
The roles of men and women in Gypsy and Travelling communities
are very different. Men are responsible for the financial support
of the family whilst the woman’s role is to look after the family
and the home which can limit the opportunities for them to
socialise outside their friends.
At the very centre of the Gypsy and Traveller community culture
is the importance of the home and family. Their culture can
influence both men and women and explain why women in the community
often appear to be subservient to their husbands seeking their
husband’s permission to do things many other women would do as a
matter of course.
Research suggests that men in Gypsy and Traveller communities
become defensive when challenged over domestic abuse and if
pressured by the police that their behaviour can become even more
aggressive towards their wives.
Cultural expectation can make it difficult for
domestic violence to be challenged. This can include expectations
that marriage is for life and that women who leave marriage are
often ostracised. A Gypsy Traveller woman leaving because of
domestic abuse not only loses her home and partner, but also her
community, her culture and way of life.
Domestic abuse is a crime.
There is no honour in committing the crime.
There is no shame in reporting the crime.
Report domestic abuse
Report domestic abuse to Cheshire Police on 999
if an emergency or 101 if you do not require
immediate police attendance.
Advice and support
Advice is available from the National Domestic Violence
Helpline - a 24-hour free phone advisory service on
0808 2000 247.