In 2006, more than 24 thousand incidents of domestic violence were reported to the police. Nearly 20 percent of victims receive support, according to a recently released report on crime and law enforcement (Criminaliteit en rechtshandhaving 2007 – Ontwikkelingen en samenhangen, WODC/CBS 2008).
More cases of domestic violence registered
In 2004, when they registered domestic violence separately for the first time, well over 56 thousand incidents were reported to the police. These incidents involved the use of physical violence towards the partner, physical and sexual child abuse and mistreatment and neglect of elderly people. In 2005, there were 57 thousand incidents and the number rose to over 63 thousand in 2006. Nearly 40 percent of all domestic violence incidents are reported to the police. Victims of domestic violence only qualify for victim support after the incident has been formally reported to the police. In 2006, 4.7 thousand victims of domestic violence received victim support.
Reported domestic violence incidents only represent the tip of the iceberg. It is estimated that only one in every ten incidents were reported to the police in 2006 and that the actual number of incidents exceeds half a million. This is nearly half of all violent offences committed in the Netherlands in 2006.
More than 6 thousand stalking incidents since 2001
Domestic violence also includes stalking, defined as the obsessive following or harassing of persons. In 2001, the first year after the introduction of a act against stalking, the Public Prosecutor (OM) and the Dutch courts dealt with 207 stalking incidents. In 2007, the number had risen to 1,272. Over the period 2001–2007, OM and courts together dealt with over 6 thousand stalking incidents.
Stalking incidents dealt with by the Public Prosecutor and courts
Harry Eggen (CBS) and Sandra Kalidien (ministerie van Justitie/WODC)