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Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse and violence affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men at some point in their life and 2 women each week are murdered by their partner or ex-partner. Domestic violence carries the highest rate of repeat victimisation. With statistics like this, it is quite possible that many of us in Ashfield have been or will be affected by an abusive relationship.

Any person, male or female, can experience domestic abuse regardless of ethnic/ religion, race, sexuality, class, or disability.

It is important to remember that domestic abuse and violence can happen between young people and parents/carers and within same sex relationships.

The Home Office defines domestic violence as:

'Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour,  violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:

  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Harassment
  • Online or digital abuse
  • Coercive Control

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Remember - it doesn't have to be violent to be considered abusive behaviour!

*Domestic Violence includes other forms of abuse such as female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage (FM), so called ‘honour’ based violence (HBV), that are perpetrated primarily by family members, often with multiple perpetrators*

Emotional & Psychological

Name calling, forced to stay away from friends and family, feeling isolated, forced to stay at home, not allowed access to mobile phone, or having mobile phone constantly screened, no access to internet, not allowed to work, being monitored all of the time

 Financial

Access to bank accounts being withheld. Money being controlled in terms of how much you can have and when; prevented from working and earning own money; abuser running up debt in survivor's name; prevented from being part of decision making relating to purchasing items or other financial decisions.

 Physical

Punched, kicked, slapped, burnt, hair pulled, pinched, restrained, strangulation, kicked, stabbed, objects being used to cause pain. e.g. sauce pan, telephone, remote control, knives, forks, spoons, plates, etc.

 Sexual

Forced to engage in sexual acts, this may be with a partner, ex-partner, third party, forced to have these events filmed or have photographs taken.  Forced into pregnancy, constantly kept pregnant/ not allowing to use contraception, being giving sexually transmitted infections.


Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO)

You can apply for a forced marriage protection order if one of the following applies:

  • you or someone else is being threatened with a forced marriage
  • you’re in a forced marriage

The order will be designed to protect you according to your individual circumstances, eg to stop someone taking you out of the UK to get married in another country, or making arrangements to take you out of the UK.

An order can be made against anyone living in the UK or outside of the UK, who are involved in the forced marriage in any way. This can be your father, mother, siblings or extended family members such as uncles or aunts. The person’s involvement does not need to be physically abusing or threatening you, but could be the person who is making arrangements for the wedding or booking flights. This again can be someone of a religious status such as a priest or imam, or again anyone from the wider family or community.


Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS)

The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare’s Law, was introduced in 2014. Clare Wood was killed in 2009 by an ex partner, which she unknowingly was not aware of his violent history to previous partners. This scheme now enables the police to disclose to an individual information about previous violent offending by a new or existing partner where this may help protect them from further violent offending.

There are two types of process for disclosing information. The first is triggered by a request by a member of the public (“right to ask”). The second is triggered by the police where they make a proactive decision to disclose the information in order to protect a potential victim (“right to know”). Both processes have been implemented within existing legal powers.

The police will meet with other safeguarding agencies, such as prison service, probation service, social services, to discuss the application and decide whether a disclosure is necessary, lawful and proportionate to protect the potential victim from further crime. The police will then take action to sharing this information with that individual.


Domestic Homicide Review (DHR)

A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a locally conducted multi-agency review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by:

  • a person to whom he or she was related, or with whom he or she was or had been in an intimate personal relationship; or,
  • a member of the same household as himself or herself.

DHRs were introduced by section 9 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (DVCA 2004) and came into force on 13 April 2011. Their purpose is not to reinvestigate the death or apportion blame, but to:

  • establish what lessons are to be learned from the domestic homicide, concerning the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually or together to safeguard victims
  • identify clearly what those lessons are, both within and between agencies, how they will be acted on, what timescales, and what is the expected recommendations for change, if any
  • apply the learning/recommendations to service responses including changes to policies and procedures as appropriate
  • prevent domestic violence homicide and improve service responses for all domestic violence victims and their children

The DHR will usually draw upon information obtained from:

  • Obtaining information from participating agencies, either by way of an Individual Management Review (IMR), or by other means such as a chronology of events.
  • interviewing family members
  • interviewing significant people who may have known the victim

For more information Visit: http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/d_to_g/domestic_homicide_review/