Domestic abuse in the news

Dear Partners,

Last year SAFE! received funding from the Police Property Act to conduct a consultation looking into experiences and understanding of peer-on-peer abuse in the Thames Valley, which we are now publishing today. 

This joint statement from a number of agencies explains the guidance developed not just for family and friends worried about someone from the LGBT+ community possibly living with domestic abuse in lockdown but also for professionals too. (Galop Website)

Over the last month professionals and activists, agencies, policymakers, and government have faced an extraordinary set of circumstances in light of the COVOID-19 pandemic, including in relation to domestic violence and abuse.  While work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure the delivery of services, the public face of much of the response has focused on reaching out to victims and survivors who find themselves isolated with an abusive partner to try and make sure t

This interesting article discusses why there has been an increase in domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown, and how services can better support both victims and perpetrators. (The Bristol Cable)

Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner. Since the lockdown, instances of domestic violence are on the increase nationally and Bristol is no exception. Local services are reporting an increase in demand and there are likely to be many more in need of help, but unable to reach out. Domestic violence services in Bristol, already overstretched and underfunded, are now having to fight to maintain life saving services. 

Researchers from Northumbria University and the Children’s Emotional Language and Thinking (CEL&T) organisation began working with Northumbria Police in 2018 to research what is often called Adolescence to Parent Violence or Aggression (APVA) or Childhood Challenging Violent or Aggressive Behaviour (CCVAB).

The study aimed to explore better ways to understand child to parent violence and highlight the need to formally recognise this within law enforcement and social services.

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.