Domestic abuse in the news

Barnardo’s recommends that in order to help prevent the cycle of abuse and better support children affected by domestic abuse, the Government should seek to strengthen the Domestic Abuse Bill so it directly addresses the impact of domestic abuse on children.

We believe the following three amendments should be made to the Bill.

As well as looking at the actual project, the fascinating research outlined in this article is packed with extremely informative links. Dr Amanda Holt is a criminologist and psychologist and has been researching and writing about the problem of adolescent family violence for the past 15 years. She has published extensively on the subject, including writing and editing the first two books in the UK on topic. (Violence Against Grandparents)

Adolescent family violence refers to violent, abusive and/or aggressive behaviour that is directed towards family members. There are a number of reasons why a young person may act in this way, and it is clear that we need to find out much more about the support needs of all family members who are experiencing this.

Our good friends at Respect have managed to gain extra funding to continue supporting male victims and those that are worried about them. (Respect Helpline)

Men's Advice Line increasing support hours (click logo to link)

CLICK TO LINKResponding to the demand during Covid-19 and having secured additional funding to increase capacity, from Tuesday 26 May male victims of domestic abuse and those supporting them can contact the Men's Advice Line:

Great to see yet another initiative to help those unable to seek help, this time utilising Facebook . (Spre FM)

For the first time ever, trained officers will be at the end of a keyboard to directly help anyone concerned about abuse in their household or someone else's. Wiltshire Police will be holding their domestic abuse surgery on their Facebook page today (Wednesday 20th May) between 1.00 and 3.00pm. 

Anyone with worries can post a question either publicly or through Messenger, if they'd prefer to keep it private.

This hard hitting article is written by Janey Starling from Level Up (see our previous article) and discusses the issues of living with controlling and coercive behaviour during a lockdown. She also quotes our patron, Jane Monckton-Smith as saying, “We have to recognise that a homicide is one of the most traumatic events that anyone can ever experience. It is incredibly traumatic for families, and adds an extra layer of grief to the life that’s been lost. Journalists must remember not to talk about it as an episode in a detective series: you’re reporting on someone’s life.” (Ethical Journalism Network)

“Stay home, stay safe” doesn’t work if your home has never been safe

For women trapped at home with violent partners, lockdown is proving to be incredibly dangerous.

In the first month of lockdown in the UK, the number of domestic abuse killings almost tripled. Calls to domestic abuse helplines have increased by 120% and demand on refuge space has skyrocketed.

This is such a great step forward, as we may have seen reporting recently on domestic homicides where the language is often slanted. This has included journalists quoting neighbours saying what a lovely family they were or what a lovely fellow the murderer was, describing the event as uncharacteristic. We appreciate that there will be local feelings of shock but it detracts from what is, in essence, a terrible crime with irrelevancies. News reports should just adhere to the facts. The media need to review their language and call domestic abuse by its name, not simply a tragic event. (The Independent)

A feminist organisation has won its campaign calling for the media to change the way it reports on fatal incidents of domestic violence.

The UK’s two leading press regulators, IPSO and IMPRESS, are set to adopt guidelines in a bid to combat irresponsible reporting that campaigners say exacerbates the trauma for families of domestic homicide victims.

It is important that police ensure those living with domestic abuse in lockdown can always turn to them. This campaign encourages people to call for help in support of the government's #YouAreNotAlone campaign.. (Thames Valley Police)

People across the UK have been given advice to stay at home in order to protect themselves and others during the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, for those who are at risk of domestic abuse, we know that this may have caused anxiety and fear. For some adults and children, the new regulations mean that they are with their abuser for longer.

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs) are courts that aim to provide a fairer and more humane means of running care proceedings for children at risk of significant harm due to parental drug and/ or alcohol misuse. Independent evaluations by Lancaster and Brunel Universities have found that parents who engage with FDAC are more likely to stop misusing substances and reunite with their children than those in standard proceedings.

Campaigners and organisations such as the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom have warmly welcomed Sudan's move to criminalise those carrying out FGM although many warn it will take some time to eradicate it entirely. However it’s a start. (Guardian Online)

Sudan looks set to outlaw female genital mutilation (FGM), in a significant move welcomed by campaigners.

Anyone found carrying out FGM will face up to three years in prison, according to a document seen by the Guardian.

The council of ministers approved the new law on 22 April, but it still needs to be passed by members of the sovereign council, which was created following the ousting of former dictator Omar al-Bashir.

Our good friends at Karma Nirvana who provide specialist support and guidance for so called "Honour" abuse and forced marriage cases have been highlighting their recent rise in calls. (Yorkshire Post)

Leeds-based Karma Nirvana says it has seen a 200 per cent surge in calls in less than three weeks in April, with many victims being told by families that they will be sent abroad to marry once travel restrictions are lifted.

Some victims may even be married over Skype or online, the charity says. Girls subjected to honour-based abuse and forced marriage also have fewer places to turn to under the current Government restrictions.