Domestic abuse in the news

The sub header on this article sums it all up. Domestic violence is a key cause of women experiencing homelessness and cuts mean services to protect them have been destroyed. Why did Sharron Maasz, a much-loved outreach worker, end up dying homeless herself? (Guardian Online)

I first came across Sharron Maasz in January this year when I watched her being interviewed on a number of videos on YouTube. I discovered them after hearing that a woman had died in accommodation designated for women experiencing homelessness in my home city of Oxford. Sharron was 44 years old.

She was popular and, according to those who knew her, warm, kind, compassionate and loving. Sharron was a mother and a grandmother. She died after a long period of experiencing homelessness in Oxford, the city where we were both born and raised, and which we both called home. Later, through devastated mutual friends, I learned that we attended the same school; our paths never crossed as she was older than me, and we ended up living very different lives.

'Just because you are on the streets doesn’t mean you are a piece of rubbish,' Sharron says to camera. 'It just breaks my heart'

Aylesbury Crown Court (ACC), located in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire within the Thames Valley Police force area, rolled out a pilot protocol ‘PROTOCOL FOR THE HANDLING OF DOMESTIC ABUSE CASES AT AYLESBURY CROWN COURT’ on the 20th November 2017 to improve the average length that DA cases spend in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) within that area. The agencies involved in the protocol include ACC themselves, Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service, Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Thames Valley Police (TVP) and the Witness Care Unit (WCU).

As part of the UN's sixteen days of activism against violence to women and girls- www.16dayscampaign.org/ many protests are occurring around the world. This article lists the protests and the initiatives behind them from around the globe. (BBC News)

People around the world have taken to the streets to demand an end to violence against women.Protests were organised in countries including Mexico, Italy, Turkey and Sudan.


The global demonstrations were held to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Monday. 


Some 87,000 women and girls were murdered around the world in 2017, according to the United Nations.

Each year the UK's statistics are published from the Office of National Statistics. The figures come from their Crime Survey of England & Wales as well as police statistics, MARAC and CPS figures too. The police recorded a total of 1,316,800 domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in the year ending March 2019. Of these, 746,219 were recorded as domestic abuse-related crimes, an increase of 24% from the previous year. This could be better recording or more trust in disclosing to police- either way, the police are finding more. (Office of National Statistics)

The latest set of statistics for the UK's domestic abuse figures have been published, here are the main headlines:

The latest figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show little change in the prevalence of domestic abuse in recent years.In the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men).

The police recorded 746,219 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2019, an increase of 24% from the previous year.

This increase may reflect improved recording by the police and increased reporting by victims.

The police made 32 arrests per 100 domestic abuse-related crimes in the year ending March 2019, equating to 214,965 arrests (in the 39 police forces that supplied data).

Referrals of suspects of domestic abuse-flagged cases from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for a charging decision fell 11%, from 110,653 in the year ending March 2018 to 98,470 in the year ending March 2019.

Statistician’s comment

Commenting on today’s domestic abuse figures, an ONS statistician said:

“There has been little change in the prevalence of domestic abuse estimated by the crime survey in the last year. Although the number of crimes recorded by the police has increased by nearly a quarter in the past year, this may reflect improvements in police recording and an increase in victims’ willingness to come forward.

“Of those crimes that were recorded by the police, fewer suspects were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service than the previous year. For those that appeared before the court, more than three-quarters resulted in a conviction for the perpetrator of the abuse.”

Devon & Cornwall Police were praised for ‘world class’ investigations and ‘pioneering’ policing projects with their Operation Encompass. Operation Encompass procedures are now being engaged by 37 forces across the UK and the programme has developed as a charity with similar schemes being run in the Netherlands, USA and Australia. (Devon & Cornwall Police)

Devon & Cornwall Police were praised for ‘world class’ investigations and ‘pioneering’ policing projects with their Operation Encompass. Operation Encompass procedures are now being engaged by 37 forces across the UK and the programme has developed as a charity with similar schemes being run in the Netherlands, USA and Australia.

This article stems from a BBC Three documentary Why Dad Killed Mum: My Family’s Secret which is available now on iPlayer. Tasnim Lowe is a child survivor of domestic abuse who investigates her mother and grandmother's deaths and highlights the ignorance at the time of Child Sexual Exploitation amongst agencies and indeed her community.  (BBC News)

This article stems from a BBC Three documentary Why Dad Killed Mum: My Family’s Secret which is available now on iPlayer. Tasnim Lowe is a child survivor of domestic abuse who investigates her mother and grandmother's deaths and highlights the ignorance at the time of Child Sexual Exploitation amongst agencies and indeed her community. 

On 11th November 2019, JUSTICE launched its latest working party report, Challenging School Exclusions. The report calls for significant change to the current system, including better training for schools on excluding pupils, a new Independent Reviewer of individual exclusion decisions and the possibility of appealing to a judge-led tribunal.

This General Election marks a watershed moment in British Politics. There are big decisions that need to be made, decisions that will impact our society now and long into the future. In this crucial election campaign, it is our fear that the voices of our children and young people will be drowned out. We cannot afford to make such a costly mistake.

Puberty may offer a window of opportunity to recalibrate how children who experienced early life adversity respond to stress, according to a new study by University of Minnesota researchers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

With current austerity cuts meaning fewer refuge spaces for those fleeing domestic abuse, this incident reinforces the demand for better investment in refuges. People need to feel safe in order to make decisions. (Mirror Online)

The house where a couple were both found dead with 'severe injuries' is a women's refuge, according to neighbours.

Police found a man and a woman who had both died from serious injuries after they were called to a property in Moseley, Birmingham, at 5.30pm yesterday.

The pair, who were both 28 years old, had suffered serious injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say they were known to each other but did not live at the same address.

Today neighbours have said the block of flats where the man and woman were found is run by Trident Reach, a charity offering a domestic abuse support service in Birmingham.

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