News 2021: 10 items (Domestic Abuse)

25/07/2021: ‘You’d walk out if your husband hit you – you can’t when it’s your child’

Most parents never have to worry about being attacked by a violent child, but if it happens, they face a dilemma. They can’t just walk out – and they may fear that seeking help will have repercussions for their child. Research suggests the problem is often hidden, and far more common than we imagine.

Read: BBC

21/07/2021: Plan to tackle violence against women and girls to launch

Home Secretary Priti Patel is set to announce the strategy today (21 July) which includes the creation of a police position dedicated to keeping women and girls safe, a new 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline commissioned by the Ministry of Justice and tougher measures to prevent sexual harrassment in schools and higher education settings.

07/07/2021: Epidemic of violence against women under way in England and Wales

Women and girls are being subjected to an epidemic of violence that requires a “radical and bold” shift in how authorities in England and Wales tackle crimes that disproportionately affect female victims, a police watchdog has warned.

Read: Guardian

07/07/2021: Crime Epidemic Against Women And Girls

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) have today published an interim report of an inspection into how effectively the police engage with women and girls. The report says the police have made vast improvements over the last decade in how they respond to these crimes – but while this progress should continue, fundamental system-wide change is needed, and the police cannot achieve this alone.

23/05/2021: Experiencing domestic abuse through virtual reality

A film maker has created a virtual reality (VR) film to raise awareness of the impact of domestic abuse on victims. Lucy Baxter, the film’s creator, said she wanted to provide an immersive experience to train those who come into contact with abuse victims. Ms Baxter, director of domestic abuse charity Mental Abuse Matters and a film practice lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast is using Mental Abuse Matters as her PhD subject.

Read: BBC

12/05/2021: What new domestic abuse legislation means for social workers

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021, which became law last month, marks a significant step forwards and should transform our response to domestic abuse, which affected 2.3m people in England and Wales in 2019-20. All social workers should be familiar with the new legislation, but certain aspects of the act are particularly relevant to social care practitioners. Here is an outline of what they are and what they mean.

04/05/2021: Threats to Share Intimate Images Now Made Illegal with New Law

Last week the Domestic Abuse Bill received Royal Assent in Parliament marking a huge step forward in protection for victims of domestic abuse and violence . One of the new provisions makes threats to share intimate images a crime with perpetrators facing prison if found guilty. There is also more definition around domestic abuse with non-fatal strangulation being made illegal and the so-called ‘rough sex’ defence outlawed. Until now, the sharing of intimate images without consent was illegal, the threat to share was not included yet carried serious impact for victims.

29/04/2021: Domestic Abuse Bill: Key measures for children and sector reaction

The Domestic Abuse Bill is set to become law, recognising children as victims of domestic abuse for the first time. The Bill, which will apply in England and Wales, today (29 April) received Royal Assent, meaning it will become law, after Lords backed down in a row over the monitoring of stalkers and abusers.

01/03/2021: Why this teen set up a prize-winning fake cosmetics shop

Disturbed by reports of rising domestic violence under coronavirus lockdown, a Polish high school student decided to launch a fake online shop to offer a lifeline to victims trapped in their homes. Her idea won a European Union prize that came with €10,000 (£8,700; $12,120). “Firstly, I heard about the increase in domestic violence cases during the pandemic. Then I heard about a French initiative, where people go to the pharmacy and ask for a special mask that lets the pharmacist know they are a victim of domestic violence,” Krystyna Paszko explained.

Read: BBC

01/03/2021: New measures added to Domestic Abuse legislation

Work with offenders on three important new amendments. Women’s campaigners have fought a long and hard campaign to ensure that the Domestic Abuse Bill has the powers it needs to protect victims of domestic abuse. The Bill was first promised by the Government almost four years ago, it started its progress through parliament only to fall because of the pressures of Brexit and the 2019 general election. The Bill was reintroduced to parliament last March and will start its report stage next week. However, it does appear that the co-ordinated campaign has been successful in many ways.

01/03/2021: Domestic Abuse Bill Soon to Outlaw Threats to Share Intimate Images

The Domestic Abuse Bill has taken some big steps forward in protecting victims of intimate image abuse. Threats to share intimate images will soon be criminalised, with perpetrators facing up to two years in jail if they threaten to post private content. This has been added along with the concept that victims will no longer need to live in the same address as the perpetrator for the law to apply.

17/02/2021: ‘He’s beaten her black and blue for years’: a month in the life of a women’s refuge manager

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on women in abusive relationships, trapping them in their homes with violent, manipulative or controlling men. The UN described the global increase in domestic abuse as a “shadow pandemic”, and in the first seven weeks of lockdown there was a domestic abuse call to UK police every 30 seconds. The Centre for Women’s Justice noted the number of domestic-abuse-related deaths trebled in the UK in 2020, compared with 2019.

Read: Guardian