Domestic abuse in the news

The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) has published a report examining the evidence relating to the prevalence, impact and treatment of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), the extent to which ACEs should provide the basis for frontline practice and service design, and the known level of effectiveness and value of ACE-related approaches. The report finds that the popularity of the ACE narrative should not ignore the limitations in the evidence base or create the illusion there are quick fixes to prevent adversity or help people overcome it. 

The government will provide £16.6m for projects across England to support victims of domestic abuse and their children, it has been announced. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Domestic abuse destroys lives and leaves victims living in fear in their own homes – the place where they should feel most safe and secure...No victim of domestic abuse should have to struggle to get the right support, or wait months for help that they need. This new funding of £16.6m will help local areas better protect victims and their children and provide essential life-saving services, delivering the urgent support that they need to rebuild their lives." (Children & Young People Now)

The money, provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, will go towards a total of 75 projects run by local authorities with the aim of helping up to 43,000 survivors of domestic abuse.

The largest individual sum, £974,540, will go to Hart District Council, in South East England, which led on a bid on behalf of 11 district councils in Hampshire, as well as Hampshire County Council and Dorset Council.

Lancashire County Council will receive £878,208, Westminster City Council will get £796,000, and Waltham Forest has been awarded £749,312.

The Drive Project launched in April 2016 and has been piloted in three areas across England and Wales (Essex, South Wales and West Sussex) from 2016-2019. It has been developed and run as part of a partnership between Respect, SafeLives, and Social Finance in collaboration with the PCCs, local authorities, and service providers with additional funding from the Home Office, and delivered by DVIP (division of Richmond Fellowship), Hampton Trust, Safer Merthyr Tydfil, and the Change Project. The evaluation work was funded by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales.

This interesting article questions how the UK responds to so called "Honour" based abuse. The actor Sunekra Sarker says, “The problem is we feel very comfortable talking about British traditions, but when it comes to cultures that believe in forced marriage or justify honour-based abuse, we sort of shy away from it, because we don’t really know and it’s not our culture, so we don’t want to be seen to say it’s wrong because we’re so worried about being condemned for it". (Bigg Issue North)

Liverpool actor Sunetra Sarker has called on storytellers working in TV and radio not to shy away from tackling “honour-based” abuse and FGM in their work, saying discussion and representation “validates” the experience of victims and can give them strength to speak out.

This article reports on a recent conviction in Birmingham where the defendant received a 7 year sentence. It also shows the coercive nature and pressure of so called "honour" based abuse. (BBC News)

A man has been jailed for seven years for attempting to force his niece into an arranged marriage with another man at gunpoint during a trip in Pakistan.

The victim travelled there in 2016 and the man kept her prisoner by taking her passport, Birmingham Crown Court heard. This followed a period of abuse back in Birmingham where the victim had been frequently "savagely beaten" by him.

This article looks at steps to eradicate FGM in Africa; we know that this is not just an African issue but it is a huge start. The United Nations has a target to end the practice globally by 2030. (Guardian Online)

I underwent female genital mutilation at the age of seven, while on holiday in Djibouti. When I returned to school in the UK my teacher told me that this happened to “girls like me”.

Thankfully, this type of reaction is no longer common, and this country is much better equipped to protect girls at risk. FGM is now seen as a global issue, which we know has affected more than 200 million women and girls around the world.

This editorial from the Guardian website hits out at the lack of outcry about the scale of domestic abuse homicides in the UK. It does confirm that most victims are female and perpetrators are mostly male. We know that 2 women a week (nearly 3) are killed in the UK each week by a partner or ex. If we did also include the deaths of men and children in such situations as well as suicides linked to the issues, research tells us that we can consider a minimum of 10 deaths each week which can be attributed to domestic abuse- that is shocking whatever the gender or age. (The Guardian)

In Australia, a national outcry over domestic violence has been sparked by the murder of Hannah Clarke, 31, and her three young children, burned to death by her husband and their father, former rugby league player Rowan Baxter, 41, who then stabbed himself to death.

In the UK, the Office for National Statistics has reported that the number of women killed by a current or former partner has surged by nearly a third, hitting a 14-year high. Eighty women were killed in familial violence in the year to March 2019, a rise of 27% on the previous year.

This House of Commons Library briefing paper considers the safeguards available to courts when issues of domestic abuse arise in connection with family proceedings. A link to the full report in pdf format can be found at the bottom of this page.

This article sums up the importance of listening to victims, they are experts by experience in the abuse they suffer, though many do not recognise that. (Kent Online)

Victims of domestic abuse who turn to their local councils for help are being told to go back to the homes they share with their abusers.

Councils in Kent have allegedly been telling them they have no responsibility to house anyone who has made themselves "intentionally homeless" — leaving some still fighting for a permanent home after two years.

This article highlights just how much living with domestic abuse can impact a victim's physical health. Once again we hear the message that agencies need to band together better, such as having a network of DA Champions? (The Independent)

Women who have been subjected to domestic abuse are 44 per cent more likely than the wider population to die from any cause, a new study has found. 

Researchers at the University of Warwick and Birmingham discovered domestic abuse survivors are at increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The study stresses the prevalence of domestic abuse, noting an estimated one in three women have experienced it globally and one in four women in Britain have suffered it.