Two thirds of women have been hit by their partner - and over half of them forgave them, a major survey has revealed. The survey of over 2500 readers of Chat magazine, which threw up some terrifying statistics, was commissioned as part of Chat's nationwide 'One Strike and Your Out' campaign, helping women overcome violent and abusive relationships.

Amongst the frightening statistics it emerged that an amazing 84 per cent of women know someone who's been beaten up by their partner. More worrying is that over a third thought they were to blame for the attack, and four out of ten victims did not report it. A quarter of those who said they would report it, said they wouldn't bother pushing ahead with a prosecution.

However, the survey showed that the one thing women do not tolerate is violence towards their kids. An overwhelming 97 per cent said they would report a man who hit their children.

The survey shows that domestic violence is a hidden menace in our society and that official statistics seriously underestimate the real figures.

Chat's 'One Strike and You're Out' campaign was devised to positively show women that they can escape violent or mentally cruel men. The campaign offers comprehensive information and support to women suffering in abusive relationships plus realistic tactics for breaking the cycle of violence for good.

Chat readers have also helped raise over £3,000 so far for the Women's Aid Federation through entering Chat competitions on the Lucky Phone Lines, where for every call, 10p goes to the 'One Strike and Your Out' campaign. This money will go towards recruiting and training Helpline Volunteer Workers, printing Women's Aid National Contact Directories to help women and children find safe places to stay, information leaflets and welcome packs aimed at children staying in refuges.

Chat's Editor Paul Merrill said: "These results are very shocking. We knew from the people who write to Chat that domestic violence was widespread, but even we didn't expect it to be as commonplace as this. Too many women either blame themselves or think there is no way they can escape. We're here to show them practical ways they can get out and to talk to women who've already escaped."

"No woman should EVER have to put up with mental or physical abuse and no man EVER has the right to hit a woman. The response we've had speaks for itself - we've had more letters and calls about this campaign than for anything Chat has done in its 17 year history."

Myra Johnston of the Women's Aid Federation said: "Chat's survey results are horrifying. Many women believe that their partner's behaviour is their own fault. It isn't."

For further information on Chat please contact Louisa Stoddard Tel: 020 7261 7530 or email: