Wigan women put in hospital by their partner, shock figures show

The data shows how many women are having to go to hospital in the borough due to injuries caused by their spouse or partner.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 7:00 am

Previously unpublished figures obtained by National World show there were between five and 35 admissions at NHS Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for female patients who had suffered sexual, physical or mental abuse at the hands of a partner between April 2015 and March 2020.

It is not possible to tell how many women who have suffered domestic abuse were admitted to WWL in each year, as NHS Digital suppresses figures between one and seven cases to protect patients’ identities.

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Wigan women are ending up in hospital due to domestic abuse. Photo: Shutterstock

The NationalWorld investigation revealed more than 2,000 female patients went into hospital due to injuries inflicted by a partner in the five-year time period.

The figures refer to admissions where an external cause of injury is recorded using the diagnosis code “other maltreatment,” which includes sexual or physical abuse, torture or mental cruelty. It does not include rape or sexual assault by bodily force.

The admissions figures include children, so the proportion of adult women hospitalised by a partner will be higher still.

Across the North West there were 915 admissions in the five-year period, of which 515 were due to a partner.

Previous analysis of NHS Digital data shows the number of female abuse patients outnumbers male patients more than two to one, with maltreatment the second most common external cause of women and girls being admitted compared to sixth most common for men and boys.

Nationally more than 2,000 female hospital patients had suffered injuries from partners over a five-year period.

Sarah Davidge, research and evaluation manager for charity Women’s Aid, said: “We know how prevalent domestic abuse is in our society, so, sadly, we are not surprised to hear of the numbers of survivors who have been hospitalised due to abuse by a partner or spouse.

“Domestic abuse is largely a hidden crime and very few survivors report domestic abuse to the police. For many women, a visit to the hospital or the GP can be the only time they are alone and safe to disclose their experiences without risk from the abuser.

“All health professionals need to have specialist training on domestic abuse and other forms of violence against women and girls, to ensure they respond safely and effectively.”

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