Domestic abuse in the news

This Scottish report examines the effectiveness of Integrated Domestic Abuse Courts (IDACs) that use a ‘One Family, One Judge’ model, in Scotland. This is something being debated and considered for the rest of the UK. (Scottish Government)

This paper presents the findings from a small scale research project on Integrated Domestic Abuse Courts (IDACs). Research for the project began as part of an SGSSS internship project within Justice Analytical Services (JAS) over 12 weeks between April and July 2018, and has been continued in 2019 by JAS researchers.

The project was established in the context of the work of:

  • The Justice Expert Group, established under the Equally Safe strategy, and in particular under that Group's objective of informing the justice response to violence against women;
  • The Scottish Government Consultation on the Review of Part 1 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Creation of a Family Justice Modernisation Strategy which included consideration of various aspects of family law as it impacts on children and young people.
With 10,000 new prison places and recruitment of an additional 20,000 police officers over the next 3 years; this review of sentencing is another part of the drive to cut crime and improve the criminal justice system. (Ministry of Justice)

The Ministry of Justice will conduct an urgent review ordered by the Prime Minister, to ensure the public are properly protected from the most dangerous criminals. The work, which begins immediately, will focus on whether violent and sexual offenders are serving sentences that truly reflect the severity of their crimes.

It will consider whether changes in legislation are needed to lock criminals up for longer – by not letting them out automatically part-way through a sentence. It will also look at how to break the cycle of repeat offending.

Policing can be a very demanding and stressful role and we fully appreciate the efforts many officers put into helping reduce the risk of DA- especially those that are DA Champions. As an organisation, Thames Valley Police have, as with many others, been inspected recently on how it records crimes and judged to have recorded 87.9% of crimes reported. Whilst the inspectorate saw improvements in some areas, recording of a number of DA crimes seems to have been overlooked. One recent study in another police area, identified a lack of recognisition in identifying "non physical abuse" such as coercive control and this might be something that needs to be looked closely at for the future. Any learning will help officers and staff identify offences against the person, such as Coercive Control when they often seem to be investigated as a lesser offence such as Common Assault. (HM Justice Inspectorates)

Of the 1,419 reports of crime we audited, we assessed 379 as related to domestic abuse. Of these, the force had recorded 289. Of the 90 offences not recorded, 80 were violence offences, including:

  • common assault;
  • stalking;
  • harassment;
  • malicious communications; and
  • coercive and controlling behaviour.

Many of these were reported directly to the force. But the force didn’t record them as crimes, and we found no clear evidence or explanation as to why. We also found occasions where some call handlers didn’t record on the incident log full details of the conversation they had with the person reporting a crime. This means the attending officer doesn’t always have the full information on which to base a crime recording decision.

The Domestic Abuse Bill provides a crucial opportunity to ensure those who experience abuse get the support they need, when they need it. While there is a lot to welcome in the Bill, it is currently missing an opportunity to ensure that are public services are doing more to support survivors of domestic abuse.

At the beginning of their relationships, 96% of survivors said their partner was charming and affectionate, 93% said they expressed love for them very quickly and 92% wanted to spend a lot of time together. Abusive behaviour is interspersed with warmth and kindness, slowly desensitising the victim to the behaviour.   

This Scottish prosecution concerns four local men who live in Govanhill, Glasgow. They are accused of 'conspiring to commit the crime of trafficking people for exploitation and trafficking in prostitution of a Slovakian woman. Three of the group are also charged with compelling women to work as prostitutes and managing a brothel. (Glasgow's Evening Times)

A WOMAN said she was brought to the UK while pregnant to be forced in to marriage with a Pakistani man. She told the High Court in Glasgow that she was 19 when, in 2015, one of the accused, Vojtech Gombar, 61, came to her house in Slovakia.


Gombar is one of four accused, alongside Anil Wagle, 37, Jana Sandorova, 28, and Ratislav Adam, 31, who deny trafficking women for prostitution and slavery. Prosecutors allege that women were brought over from Slovakia and held in “slavery or servitude” between 2011 to 2017.


Advocate Depute Kath Harper asked what Gombar said when he came to her house in Slovakia. Though an interpreter via videolink from Slovakia, she said: “He said if I would like to live with a Pakistani man and I asked if he would want me with a baby.”


The woman said she had never heard of Glasgow or Scotland and believed she was in England.

There has been a lot of discussion about changes in how police bail conditions are used and their recent relaxation, it appears pressure is being brought to bear in debates relating to the DA Bill as it progresses through parliament. (The Independent)

The government must change the law to ensure domestic and sexual abuse victims are not put at risk after reporting attacks, an MP and campaigners have said.

A letter seen exclusively by The Independent warned that changes made by the Conservatives had caused a steep drop in the use of police bail – and thousands of alleged sex attackers and violent criminals were released without any restrictions.

Labour MP Sarah Champion, who wrote the letter, said the changes had endangered survivors and could discourage them from reporting crimes to the police.

“The result has been that vulnerable survivors of domestic abuse, child sexual abuse and/or sexual violence are now unnecessarily exposed to reprisals from suspects, who are frequently known to them, if the suspect is released from custody while the police investigation is ongoing,” the letter said. 

A terrible case with a final court outcome, though that can never change the experience this brave woman went through. (Oxford Mail)

A MAN who stabbed his ex-partner 15 times in a 'terrible and frenzied' attack has been jailed for life.

Jordan Anderson repeatedly muttered 'no' from behind the dock and at one point said 'I was not there at all' as he was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court this morning.

As the 30-year old of no fixed abode was led out of the dock to begin his life term he called out 'it is what it is.'

Dr Jane Monckton-Smith is one of the patrons of Reducing the Risk and was also on Radio 4's Today programme this morning. Her research into patterns of behaviour within fatal relationships has been so informative to practitioners. This article discusses her theories and findings. I have added one of Jane's infographics in a link from the article below for those who want to know more. Some of our readers may have listened to Jane at our conference earlier this year but she highlights some important learning: 1. Clusters of risk markers are more important than the number of markers; 2. Motivation is more helpful than actions and 3. Patterns are more helpful than incidents. (BBC News)

Dr Jane Monckton-Smith is one of the patrons of Reducing the Risk and was also on Radio 4's Today programme this morning. Her research into patterns of behaviour within fatal relationships has been so informative to practitioners. 

This article discusses her theories and findings. I have added one of Jane's infographics in a link from the article for those who want to know more. 

Some of our readers may have listened to Jane at our conference earlier this year but she highlights some important learning: 1. Clusters of risk markers are more important than the number of markers; 2. Motivation is more helpful than actions and 3. Patterns are more helpful than incidents.

This innovative suggestion is being loudly voiced in Scotland. It is often a feature in any "victim blaming" scenario that the victim is the one who needs to uproot themselves and often with children too. The perpetrator regularly has very little expected of them even though the problem is their behaviour. This suggestion simply makes them responsible and also makes them face the consequences of their actions. (Inside Housing)

In new guidelines, Scottish Women’s Aid said that social landlords must take a “victim-centered” approach to domestic violence and advised landlords to help transfer tenancies to victims, rather than referring them to homelessness services.

The guidelines, entitled 'Domestic abuse: a good practice guide for social landlords', also suggest that social landlords should include a section in tenancy agreements stating that domestic abuse will be treated as a breach of tenancy that could lead to eviction.

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