Domestic abuse in the news

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. 

This recent report advises those with a legal duty to report new cases of suspected FGM.

Section 5B of the FGM Act, 2003 introduces a mandatory reporting duty which requires regulated health and social care professionals and teachers in England and Wales to report ‘known’ cases of FGM in under 18s which they identify in the course of their professional work to the police. The duty came into force on 31 October 2015. The duty applies to all regulated professionals (as defined in section 5B(2)(a), (11) and (12) of the 2003 Act) working within health or social care, and teachers.

Our friends at the US Center for Developing Child at Harvard University, have been busy with a new series of podcasts called the Brain Architects. We would recommend anyone working with children to dive in and listen to this discussion about this essential piece of knowledge around how to identify and work with children suffering from toxic stress. (Center of the Developing Child)

What is toxic stress?

  • What effects can it have on a child’s body and development, and how can those effects be prevented?
  • What does it mean to build resilience?

This episode of The Brain Architects explores what “toxic stress” means, and what we can do about it.

Technology is an ever increasing part of our lives as each year sees great new ideas. The downside is that this also means more tools for those that wish to control, harass, abuse and stalk others. (Tmes online)

Social media harassment and the use of technology such as hidden cameras and GPS tracking is recorded in up to three quarters of domestic abuse cases, police and charities have said.

Abusers are increasingly using new technologies such as fitness trackers and “smart” home devices attached to heating, lights and video doorbells to stalk, isolate and control present and former partners.

Data from the charity Refuge showed that “tech abuse” formed part of 72 per cent of cases it handled last year, compared with just over half in 2018.

We want to turn the tide on domestic abuse. It is not acceptable, and it is not inevitable. The right interventions at the right time can stop abuse from occurring, recurring, or escalating. We want to ensure that quality, coordinated responses from the statutory and voluntary sectors are consistently available across England and Wales to address perpetrators’ behaviour effectively.

Tony Hannington, 56, has spoken out after his ex Tracy was jailed for two years for a campaign of violence where she would frequently attack him (Daily Mirror)

A lorry driver battered and abused by his wife for years has told how he thought every night could be his last. Tony Hannington spoke for the first time since his ex Tracy was jailed for two years in October for her campaign of violence and abuse against him.

This unique report advises police officers and Border Force staff on how to engage and support someone at risk of female genital mutilation within a multi agency safeguarding operation.

The authors are Metropolitan Police, West Midlands Police, the National Police Chiefs' Council and Border Force.

The report considers their approach and language and gives background information on the issues.