Domestic abuse in the news

This article relates to a Supreme Court ruling about children at risk and the local authority's responsibilities in safeguarding them. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, said: “Looking after and protecting vulnerable children is one of the most important challenges that councils tackle every day, making sure they have the care, support and stability they deserve...We will consider today’s ruling carefully to assess any implications for local authorities.” (The Independent)

This article relates to a Supreme Court ruling about children at risk and the local authority's responsibilities in safeguarding them. The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils in England and Wales, said: “Looking after and protecting vulnerable children is one of the most important challenges that councils tackle every day, making sure they have the care, support and stability they deserve...We will consider today’s ruling carefully to assess any implications for local authorities.”

This article quotes Nimco Ali OBE saying, ‘FGM was a ridiculous thing that happened to me, but I also had access to education, I also had access to freedom that allows me today to sit here and say that I am a survivor of FGM; but also to say I am honoured to receive this on behalf of all of the African women whose shoulders I sit on to be here today.” (Independent Online)

This article quotes Nimco Ali OBE saying, ‘FGM was a ridiculous thing that happened to me, but I also had access to education, I also had access to freedom that allows me today to sit here and say that I am a survivor of FGM; but also to say I am honoured to receive this on behalf of all of the African women whose shoulders I sit on to be here today.”

Campaigners against female genital mutilation (FGM) have been recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours for their work towards tackling the practice.    

Nimco Ali and Dr Leyla Hussein, who were both victims of the practice as children, received OBEs for services to preventing FGM and gender inequality.

Often performed on young girls, the procedure, which intentionally alters female genitalia for non-medical reasons, has been illegal in Britain since 1985 but the law was strengthened in 2003 to prevent girls travelling to undergo FGM abroad.

This article stems from the publication of a study on the British Journal of Psychiatry entitled, Female survivors of intimate partner violence and risk of depression, anxiety and serious mental illness. It highlights the extent of domestic abuse on female victims minds and where they may disclose. Dr Beena Rajkumar, co-chair of the women’s mental health special interest group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “As a frontline psychiatrist working with women with severe mental illness, I am all too aware of the devastating impact domestic abuse has on mental health, and I work with survivors every day" “This study highlights the two-way relationship between abuse and mental illness, including serious mental illness, and carries a very important warning that we are missing opportunities to detect abuse that is happening all over the country today. (The Guardian Online)

Women who have been abused by a partner are three times more likely to suffer depression, anxiety or severe conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder than other women, according to research.

Two million adults are victims of domestic abuse each year, with women twice as likely to be victims. But its effects on our society can be more pernicious still – abuse in the home can have an impact on children’s long-term health and behaviour. 

No one should have to suffer the pain of this abhorrent crime. It is why this Government has made tackling domestic abuse and supporting victims a priority; it is a challenge we are determined to meet on a number of fronts. Our Domestic Abuse Bill, published in January this year, is the most comprehensive package ever to tackle domestic abuse. But this is one part of a wider effort across government.

Neil Coyle is Labour MP for Bermondsey and Southwark and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness. (Politics Home Website)

Neil Coyle is Labour MP for Bermondsey and Southwark and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness. Here is an excerpt from an article about his report:

The APPG for Ending Homelessness, which I Chair, is leading a campaign backed by all the main organisations working to tackle domestic abuse and homelessness. We are calling on the Government to amend the Domestic Abuse Bill to extend automatic prioritisation for long-term, safe housing to everyone who is homeless due to domestic abuse.

Last week, we published new research showing that every year almost 2,000 households fleeing domestic abuse in England are not provided with a safe home by councils. This is because, under the current system, not everyone fleeing domestic abuse in England is considered vulnerable enough to qualify for help.

As a result, many survivors are being refused assistance with finding a safe, permanent home where they can begin to rebuild their lives and escape the dangers of the abuse they have experienced.

One of our Champion trainers also works for our good friends at Hampton Trust and she tells us they are recruiting for their programmes running across the country- thanks Jo. They currently have vacancies for facilitators and workers in Hampshire, West Midlands and Susses too. (Hampton Trust Website)

One of our Champion trainers also work for our good friends at Hampton Trust and she tells us they are recruiting for their programmes running across the country- thanks Jo.

They currently have vacancies for facilitators and workers in Hampshire, West Midlands and Susses too.
 

EAT is driving the commitment between Public Health Wales and Policing and Criminal Justice in Wales to collaborate under a public health approach. The programme is transforming policing by enabling early intervention and prevention, keeping vulnerable people out of the criminal justice system, breaking the generational cycle of crime and improving lives. (Royal Society for Public Health)

Friday 24 May marked the launch of the Wales Police and Partners programme Early Action Together (EAT) Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) learning network, which has been produced in partnership between Early Action Together (EAT) and the Royal Society for Public Health. The ACEs learning network seeks to provide police and wider partners with information and resources relating to ACEs and trauma in the context of policing and criminal justice. 

EAT is driving the commitment between Public Health Wales and Policing and Criminal Justice in Wales to collaborate under a public health approach. The programme is transforming policing by enabling early intervention and prevention, keeping vulnerable people out of the criminal justice system, breaking the generational cycle of crime and improving lives.

Female Genital Mutilation January-March 2019 The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Enhanced Dataset (SCCI 2026) is a repository for individual level data collected by healthcare providers in England, including acute hospital providers, mental health providers and GP practices.

Key facts

The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Enhanced Dataset (SCCI 2026) supports the Department of Health's FGM Prevention Programme by presenting a national picture of the prevalence of FGM in England.

• There were 1,990 individual1 women and girls who had an attendance where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken in the period January 2019 to March 2019. These accounted for 2,935 attendances2 reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken..

• There were 1,015 newly recorded3 women and girls in the period January 2019 to March 2019. Newly recorded means this is the first time they have appeared in this dataset. It does not indicate how recently the FGM was undertaken, nor does it mean that this is the woman or girl’s first attendance for FGM.

This new initiative from UK Government has seen the creation of a Character panel to explore best ways for young people to build character and resilience. "The call for evidence will help shape the recommendations the group makes later this year on character education, to reflect the voices and experiences of teachers, young people, educational professionals and the organisations that offer the kind of activities the Education Secretary has identified in his 5 foundations for building character." (Deparment of Education)

This new initiative from UK Government has seen the creation of a Character Panel to explore best ways for young people to build character and resilience.

"The call for evidence will help shape the recommendations the group makes later this year on character education, to reflect the voices and experiences of teachers, young people, educational professionals and the organisations that offer the kind of activities the Education Secretary has identified in his 5 foundations for building character."

 

Currently, people fleeing domestic abuse must prove they are significantly more ‘vulnerable’ than any other person would be if made homeless in order to secure the main homelessness duty of settled housing. We heard that proving vulnerability can be traumatic and near impossible for some survivors and there is evidence of local authorities using the vulnerability test as a gatekeeping tool.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Ending Homelessness argues that everyone who experiences domestic abuse is, by definition, vulnerable and should be placed in the automatic priority need category.

Our campaign ‘A Safe Home’ is calling for this change to be delivered through the draft Domestic Abuse Bill. The Bill presents a fantastic opportunity to break the link between homelessness and domestic abuse by ensuring that everyone who is left facing homelessness due to domestic abuse.

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