New guidance published by a health watchdog aims to help identify, prevent and reduce domestic violence and abuse.
The guidance by NICE outlines how health services, social care and the organisations should receive training in order to recognise signs of domestic abuse.
The health watchdog has said there needs to be a wider understanding in health and social care, as well as in society as a whole.
Each year at least 1.2 million women and 784,000 men experience domestic violence and abuse in England and Wales.
However, these figures are likely to underestimate the problem, because all types of domestic violence and abuse are under-reported in health and social research, to the police and other services.
Professor Mike Kelly, Director of the Centre for Public Health at NICE believes that domestic violence abuse is far more common than people think.
“Everyone in society needs to understand both the extension of the problem and the damage it causes”, Said Mike.
“It can affect anyone – particularly women and children, but also men, regardless of age, geographical location, income, and relationship type, family set-up or ethnic origin. It causes significant short and long term health problems, not only for the victim, but for those around them and can lead to criminal and civil sanctions.
“The new guidance recommends’ that health and social care professionals should received training so that they can recognise the signs of domestic violence and abuse, and ensure that those affected are aware of the help and support available to them.”