Domestic abuse in the news

It is important that we recognise the work to eradicate FGM from Africa. Countries are outlawing this ancient practice and promoting the health benefits that eradication will bring. This article looks at a case in Tanzania and how a father received such a strong sentence for mutilating his daughters in this way. He was also required to pay what is equivalant to nearly £1000; this equates to nearly 3 months earnings on an average salary. (Th Citizen Website)

Dar es Salaam — The Kisutu Resident Magistrate Court has sentenced Cosmas Chacha to 15 years in prison for subjecting his three daughters to female genital mutilation

The 45-year-old Chacha, who is a resident of Kivule in Dar es Salaam was faced with three counts of forcing the three underage girls to undergo the cut therefore causing them pain. The court has also ordered the accused to pay a total of Sh3 million for the three offences.

This news from Government discusses the appointment of Nimco Ali OBE. She has been a leading voice in the UK and globally on violence against women and girls. As CEO of The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership To End FGM, she brings a wealth of both first-hand and professional experience in how to best protect and promote the rights of women and girls. (HM Government Website)

Home Secretary Priti Patel has announced that she has appointed Nimco Ali OBE, CEO of The Five Foundation, The Global Partnership To End FGM, as an Independent government Adviser on Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls.

She will advise the Home Secretary and other ministers on the government’s new Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, which will be published in 2021.

The New South Wales Government in Australia are currently looking at legislation to address coercive control. They intend to criminalise the behaviours and are currently taking evidence from survivors and practitioners as to how best to address the problem. 

This discussion paper is designed to create debate as to how they, as an Australian State, plan to proceed in any reform. Some interesting reading for anyone. It is also interesting that their death rates are much less than we have in the UK.

This article discusses coercive control and the damage it causes as well as the struggle to live with it and leave it. (iNews Website)

Claudia Tanner spoke to Emily*, who is currently staying in a hostel for domestic abuse victims after leaving her husband of 20 years. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and she is speaking out about the psychological abuse she endured.

Coercive control is a criminal offence in the UK, and refers to when someone is made to feel controlled, dependent, isolated or scared. It can be a more subtle type of abusive behaviour.

Across the world, girls as young as 12 are being forced or tricked into marrying men who exploit them for sex and domestic work, in what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called an “under-reported, global form of human trafficking”. This article links to an issue paper from the UN entitiled "Interlinkages between Trafficking in Persons and Marriage" and investigates the links and the article contains a really short but informative podcast on the issues found. (UN News)

The agency has published a report which documents the interlinkages between trafficking in persons and marriage, and provides steps for governments and other authorities to strike back. 

This article looks at a really amazing initiative and collaboration between DA services and Cambridge University. It should be noted other universities offered this unique resource too. (BBC News)

A university college used empty rooms to give refuge to women escaping domestic abuse amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cambridge Women's Aid said St Catharine's College at Cambridge University had provided a "true sanctuary to women and their children".

In all, 23 women and children stayed in accommodation there.

Sir Mark Welland, master of St Catharine's College, said he was "immensely proud".

This new, valuable and free resource is intended for anyone working within a DA service which is not a statutory body. So, if you are in a DA service, charity or working as an an independent, take a look. It comes from FLOWS, Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors (from CAB), working in conjunction with Rights of Women who provide free legal advice to victims. They also intend to expand into criminal justice advice soon. (FLOWS Forum)

FLOWS Forum is an online community for legal professionals and frontline domestic abuse service professionals to connect and share expertise on law and policy relating to family law.

Well this is actually about Reducing the Risk and one of our amazing IDVAs who is working closely with the Oxford Courts. (Oxford Mail)

AN 'ALARMING' number of people have applied to a new service in Oxfordshire to help survivors of domestic abuse during 'frightening' court proceedings.

A 17-year-old teenager is the youngest victim of domestic abuse who sought the support of an independent domestic violence advisor (IDVA). She is one of 23 survivors who have been referred to the pilot service introduced by the charity Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse last month.

A new bill could close a loophole allowing under-18s to marry in England and Wales, as charities warn Covid has exacerbated hidden child marriage. This article looks at the campaign by the sister of Banaz Mahmod to raise the age of marriage to 18 in the UK. (The Guardian)

When Payzee Mahmod was married at 16 to a man nearly twice her age she didn’t understand the words spoken during the Islamic ceremony – and nobody thought to translate them for her.

The teenager, who loved fashion and pop music, was preparing to start college. “I had just finished school and the idea of not wearing a uniform was exciting to me,” she remembers. “Instead I found myself trussed up in a wedding dress, with elaborate jewellery, feeling like a sale item at an auction.”

This blog is from the Sex Education Forum who deliver training in schools. It discusses the reasons why young people need to understand domestic abuse and the impact it has on many people. (The Sex Education Forum)

Domestic abuse is a topic that garnered much attention during the initial national lockdown, as people began to realise that staying at home to stay safe wouldn’t necessarily mean staying safe for domestic abuse victims living with their perpetrators. But should we be talking about this tricky topic with young people at school?