Domestic abuse in the news

The Domestic Homicide Review into Alice’s murder has been released and is available on the Gateshead Community Safety Board website.

With increasing demands on shrinking services, there can be such serious consequences with domestic abuse cases if not handled correctly. Any public facing service should consider every case they manage and reflect on how things should have been done better, or there will be more stories which could have been "foretold". (Guardian Online)

Police officers risk losing their jobs and pensions if they fail to properly investigate domestic abuse including stalking, harassment and coercive control following a landmark misconduct ruling.

Sergeant Sidney Rogers, PC Adrian Brown and PC Christopher Moore – all from the Metropolitan police – were found guilty of gross misconduct earlier this month for their handling of events in the days before the killing of Linah Keza, 29, by her former partner. Each officer has received a final written warning and any further misconduct will result in dismissal.

(Guardian Online)

Up to £1m will be given to organisations that support men and boys who are victims of gender-based violence, the Home Office has announced as part of a series of measures.

This interesting article questions a conviction from 2016 which may have reflected the Challen case. (Mail Online)

A woman is raising her best friend's two young daughters while she serves 13 years for murdering their father following a blazing row.

Here is a message and campaign from our good friends at Safe Lives regarding the draft Bill going through parliament. (SafeLives Website)

On 21st January 2019, the government published its draft Domestic Abuse Bill

We welcome the proposals, but urge the government to go further in order to drive real and systemic change, to end domestic abuse for good.

I want to quote the head of UK Says No More at Hestia, Lyndsey Dearlove, “For too long children have been overlooked in the response to domestic abuse, seen merely as “witnesses” rather than children who have experienced deep trauma and crisis. This must change. We need measures put in place to support children early on and break the cycle of abuse. The Domestic Abuse Bill is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make this a reality and prevent catastrophic and lifelong damage which costs both individuals and the taxpayer dearly.” (Hestia Website)

New analysis from charity Pro Bono Economics, carried out for charity Hestia, highlights the staggering potential cost to UK taxpayers of children exposed to severe domestic violence who are not given support to overcome their trauma.

Around 500,000 children in the UK today have been exposed to severe domestic violence. More than 1 million children each year are exposed to domestic abuse and more than half of those who experience domestic abuse as a child will go on to be a victim in adulthood.

The Department for Education (DfE) has published the outcome from its consultation on the introduction of compulsory relationships education in primary schools, relationships and sex education in secondary schools and physical health and mental wellbeing for primary and secondary schools in England. It has also published draft regulations and statutory guidance for these subjects.

The NSPCC has published a report examining how well government policy and guidance meets the needs of young witnesses in England and Wales, and how much progress has been made in the last 10 years. Findings from research involving 272 criminal justice policy makers and practitioners include: the policy and practice framework for young witnesses in England and Wales has improved since 2009, but provision of support is inconsistent; there is a lack of leadership, ownership and accountability for policy and practice to support child witnesses in England and Wales.

This article was passed to us by Chloe, our chief Champ in West Berks; thanks Chloe. She knew it illustrates exactly why we felt the need to create a training scheme for trainee hairdressers and beauticians in our local colleges. This is also why other colleges are adopting the programme too which is called Spectrum. Younger people are the highest risk age group themselves and those training in these occupations will be open to disclosures from their friends, colleagues and clients . They need to know what to do when they experience such abuse, see a friend in a toxic relationship or even see marks or clumps of hair missing on a client. (BBC News website)

When Kerri McAuley feared for her life after being attacked by her abusive boyfriend, it was her hairdresser she confided in. She was killed in early 2017. Now a new campaign to help hairdressers and beauticians spot the signs of domestic abuse has been launched.

It was an appointment hairdresser Annie Reilly still remembers vividly. "She turned around and said to me, 'I know he's going to kill me'.... "They were words I never thought I'd hear any of my clients say."

This article highlights the London Mayor's £15m injection of funds as his response to recent cuts in DA services which are deemed to be "at breaking point" (The Guardian Online)

Domestic violence has risen dramatically in London in the past seven years, figures show, prompting concern about the hidden problem of “widespread sexual violence” in the capital.

It comes as the London mayor, Sadiq Khan, announces an extra £15m of funding for support services for domestic violence victims, saying cuts had left them at “breaking point”.