Domestic abuse in the news

We use the internet for pretty much everything these days, including connecting with friends, working, banking, entertainment, shopping, dating, and more. With our communication moving more and more online, unpleasant behaviors such as cyberbullying and online harassment are also becoming more common. This combined with online scams can lead to users feeling unsafe. In this article, we’ll explain the most common types of online harassment as well as how to keep yourself safe online.

This article is based on NHS data from April 2019 to March 2020 where 6,590 women and girls in the UK had procedures to treat FGM or identified as having experienced it previously. Only 205 of them were born in the UK and 145 were performed illegally in the UK. Though the legislation has existed for many decades, there has only ever been one sucessful prosecution in this country. (Mail Online)

More than 200 cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) performed on women and girls born in the UK were identified by NHS staff during one year, figures show.

Some 6,590 women and girls had a procedure to treat their FGM or were identified as having experienced FGM previously when they were treated between April 2019 and March 2020.

Of these, 205 were women or girls who had been born in the UK, according to an annual report from NHS Digital.

This article talks about police but clearly highlights the need for all agencies to understand more to ensure they recognise domestic abuse in all its forms. (Eastern Eye)

A CHARITY which deals with honour kill­ings in south Asian communities has warned that more women will die unless the authorities become proactive in notic­ing the signs of domestic abuse.

The warning from Middlesbrough-based Halo Project comes after a ‘domestic homi­cide review’ of the murder of pharmacist Jessica Patel concluded that she should have been asked whether her husband was violent towards her.

COVID19 has identified some amazing tools and initiatives for practitioners to reach out to victims living in lockdown. (ITV News)

Cambridgeshire police is hosting a Q & A session on social media today (24th July) about Domestic Abuse with safe-guarding experts focussing on spotting the signs of coercive control. 

The panel will include a representative from police, Cambridgeshire County Council's Adult Social Care, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership.

People will have the opportunity to post their questions on the Facebook wall and receive live time answers and advice from the panel.

This is an interesting article about what France is doing to reduce domestic abuse. It also discusses a 10 year sentence in cases where perpetrators’ actions have led victims are led to complete or attempt suicide. This is a part of what our friends at AAFDA are campaigning for. It is an offence in the UK to assist someone in a suicide, but not yet for encouraging or forcing someone to do so. The French are also removing what UK courts call "parental responsibility" in cases of domestic violence. (BBC News)

France's parliament has voted to implement a bill intended to protect victims of domestic violence.

The legislation allows doctors to break patient confidentiality if they believe a life is "in immediate danger".

The bill was approved last week by the National Assembly and was adopted unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday. France has one of the highest rates of murders linked to domestic violence in Western Europe. Last year, 149 women were killed as a result, reports say.

Anyone working in the domestic abuse sector will tell you that the workload, incidents, demands and reports etc are all on the increase in lockdown. It does seem very likely that we will continue to see the fallout for some time to come. This article looks at the national helpline and their rise in calls. (The Telegraph)

More than 40,000 calls have been made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline since the start of the coronavirus lockdown, and demand is rising as restrictions ease, according to the charity that runs it.

Refuge's telephone helpline, which ordinarily logs around 270 calls and contacts from women, friends and family members needing support every day, saw an increase of 77% during June.

This lengthy but very interesting article was highlighted by one of our Champs (thanks Cal). It outlines the US view of the UK Government's response to DA during lockdown. It reinforces what many of us know about lack of resources, delays in court processes and reductions in services for complex needs. As one of our Associate Trainers said, "There is no Plan B for DA victims". The article identifies the 26 women who have been killed in the UK during lockdown up to July 2nd. The statistics come from the Femicide Census. This figure does not include subsequent incidents nor male or transgender deaths. (New York Times)

LONDON — The British government, after failing to heed early warnings that domestic abuse would soar during the coronavirus lockdown, is still struggling to adequately respond more than four months later. For victims trapped with their abusers, the consequences have been catastrophic.

Our good friends at SEA (Surviving Economic Abuse) explain their representations to the debates on the DA Bill which is now passing through the House of Lords. They want better recognition that those leaving a relationship may still be subject to ongoing abuse. (Surviving Economic Abuse website)

As the Domestic Abuse Bill finally reaches committee stage, the government must extend legislation to protect victims of post-separation abuse.

One in four women report that their former partner continues to economically abuse and control them after the relationship has ended, yet the current legislation offers them no recourse.

This is why Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) is calling for an amendment to extend the existing legislation on coercive control to post-separation abuse.  This has to be the moment we ensure these women don’t get left behind.

On the 6th Day of Memory (14th July) for the Victims of Honour Killings, charities say more education is needed to tackle so-called ‘honour’-based violence (Evening Standard)

So-called "honour-based" violence punishes those deemed to have brought shame on their family or community by not conforming to traditional expectations.

This "dishonour" may include having a boyfriend or girlfriend, rejecting a forced marriage, interfaith relationships, seeking a divorce and behaving or dressing in a way that is considered inappropriate.

Abuse can be physical, but it can also be emotional and coercive. At its most extreme, honour-based abuse includes forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), and in some cases, even murder.

This article from Shetland discusses the recent appeal on a DA conviction. The High Court in Edinburgh reduced a sentence for decades of domestic abuse from 40 months to a community payback of 200 hours. (Shetland News)

A MAN from Bressay had his prison sentence quashed at the High Court in Edinburgh earlier this month after appealing a 40-month jail term he received at Lerwick Sheriff Court in January for a raft of domestic abuse charges spanning a period of two decades.

John William Clark instead had a community payback order imposed with two years of supervision and was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, which has to be completed within 12 months.