Domestic abuse in the news

This interesting article highlights that some NHS doctors can charge more than £150 for evidencing domestc abuse to help in Legal Aid applications. (NCDV website)

The government is looking to ban GPs from charging patients for domestic abuse letters, health and social care minister Lord O’Shaughnessy told the House of Lords.

As the doctors’ contract with the government does not currently cover that service, some GPs charge more than £150 for letters required by victims to provide evidence of domestic abuse when applying for legal aid, medical journal Pulse Today reported.

He for She is a UN Women’s campaign that aspires to engage men and boys as agents of change for gender equality. Giles York, QPM is the Chief Constable of Sussex police. He has committed to improving a better gender balance and also to strive to continue his force's work in addressing Violence Against Women & Girls (which does include male victims). (Sussex Police Website)

Sussex Police, together with Surrey Police, have signed up to this inspiring campaign to become the first thematic champions in the world.

Gender equality is no longer a fight for female rights or feminism: it affects everyone in some capacity. Be it through taking parental leave, mental health issues, professional advancement and glass ceilings, personal health, confidence issues – it all affects us in some way at some point. Men and boys are in a position to achieve change, and this movement calls upon them to mobilise.

The latest Femicide Census report, published in December 2018, reveals that 139 women killed by men in 2017, and 40% of cases featured ‘overkilling’. Three quarters (76%, 105) of women killed by men were killed by someone they knew; 30 women were killed by a stranger, of whom 21 were killed in a terrorist attack.

The NSPCC has published the Childline annual review for 2017/18, which explores what children and young people are telling Childline during counselling sessions.

Key findings include: in 2017/18 Childline provided over 278,000 counselling sessions to children and young people; the top three concerns young people were counselled about were

  • mental and emotional health,
  • family relationships and
  • suicidal thoughts and feelings.
Our old friends at SafeLives have been busy in a number of ways- see the links below to access data and reports they have been compiling. (SafeLives Website)

Our Insights system provides the largest national dataset on domestic abuse in the UK. We gather data from services working with victims, survivors and their children, to build a national picture of the experiences of survivors, and the support they receive. 

Read our latest national datasets:

As with any new case of Forced Marriage, there is a legal requirement for any professional working in Health, Education or Social Care to report the matter to police. The Home Office are now considering extending this to Forced Marriage too. This article looks at the argument from forced marriage campaigners that many victims do not want to prosecute their families and contains a BBC video interview with a survivor who describes her marriage at 15 to a much older man in Bangladesh. Shahien Taj of the Cardiff-based Henna Foundation told BBC Wales Live more prevention work was needed to educate perpetrators, who are often the victims' parents. (BBC News website)

The Home Office is consulting on proposals that would legally require those who work closely with young people, such as teachers and social workers, to report suspected cases of forced marriage.

Ms Taj believes forced marriage protection orders are the preferred route, allowing young people to apply to the courts for protection, while keeping the family out of the criminal system.



We created an article only last month about a lack of communication between civil courts and police with Non Molestation Orders. Now this new article looks at the very same issues around Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage Protection Orders. The article also says, "Some children have been removed from the country in breach of protection orders before safeguarding measures can be enforced". (The Independent Online)

Girls and young women under threat of female genital mutilation and forced marriage are being put at unnecessary risk due to loopholes in the legal system that delay civil protection orders being shared with police, The Independent has learned.

Reforms to a “chaotic system” were introduced in the form of a pilot scheme in July after it was found investigations were being delayed and a number of girls were even removed from the country in breach of an order before safeguarding measures could be enforced.

The government’s draft bill on domestic abuse may for the first time include violence by children to parents and carers. Here a parent documents the abuse she lived with from her autistic son and asks what needs to change to help families in crisis. (Guardian Online)

Under my desk is an antique iron. It has been there since the day my mother hid it from my teenage son. That day, attempts to get him up had repeatedly failed. He was hungry but refused to eat, he became increasingly volatile until eventually he threatened to hurl the iron at my head.

I’d had enough objects thrown at me in the past to not take any chances. I ran out of the house and for the first time called the police. While I waited for them, my son punched through a window, the resulting cut narrowly missing his artery.

The news that the UK is to recruit a commissioner specifically looking at domestic abuse is very welcome. This is all included in the Domestic Abuse Bill and once it has passed through parliament, the role will then become a statutory one. (UK Paliament Website)

A Designate Domestic Abuse Commissioner is to be appointed to help the government transform its response to domestic abuse.

Today (Tuesday 4 December) the Home Office has announced it is launching recruitment for the new Commissioner, who will be charged with standing up for victims and survivors, providing public leadership on domestic abuse concerns and driving the response to issues.

Our good friends at Havering Women's Aid who train our DA Champions are promoting the Met's new DA campaign.The message concentrates on the subtle, often hidden aspects of controlling aspects of DA. It urges those suffering an abusive relationship, to tell somebody; we thought we'd share this important message too. (Romford Recorder)

The Met Police have launched a video campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and encourage victims to seek help and support.

The campaign coincides with 16 days of focused activity around domestic abuse which commenced on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Sunday, 25 November). The two short videos feature scenarios which illustrate typical behaviours of both victims and abusers in relation to physical abuse and coercive control, the latter often being overlooked as a form of domestic abuse.