Introduction | DA

March 14, 2022By Jo Puckering

Review the short video, using the chapter markers to jump to each of common statements regarding domestic abuse:

Current Research Suggests that:

  • Domestic abuse makes up 33% of violence against the person offences.
  • It involves one person exercising power and control over the other.
  • Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate;
  • It can occur in every racial, socioeconomic, ethnic and religious group.

Cambridgeshire Data for 2020-21 highlights that:

  • The Cambridgeshire Independent Domestic Violence Advisory Service received over 2300 referrals, around 70% of these were for victims at high risk of homicide.
  • An average of 79% of victims engaged with the IDVA Service for support.
  • Over 14,000 domestic abuse incidents were reported to Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
  • Specialist Outreach services received over 2000 referrals.

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 Definitions

Select each of the headings to expand the definitions

Behaviour of a person “A” towards another person “B” is domestic abuse if

  • A and B are each aged 16 or over and are personally connected to each other
  • And the behaviour is abusive.

Behaviour is abusive if it consists of any of the following:

  • Physical or Sexual Abuse
  • Violent or Threatening Behaviour
  • Controlling or Coercive Behaviour
  • Economic Abuse
  • Psychological, Emotional or Other Abuse

It does not matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a course of conduct.

For the purposes of this Act – two people are “personally connected” if any of the following applies:

  • They are, or have been married to each other
  • They are, or have been civil partners of each other
  • They have agreed to marry one another (whether or not the agreement has been terminated)
  • They have entered into a civil partnership agreement (whether or not the agreement has been terminated)
  • They each have, or there has been a time when they each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child
  • They are relatives.

For the purposes of subsection (1)(f) a person has a parental relationship in relation to a child if:

  • the person is a parent of the child, or the person has parental responsibility for the child
  • “child” means a person under the age of 18 years
  • “civil partnership agreement” has the meaning given by section 73 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004
  • “parental responsibility” has the same meaning as in the Children Act 1989
  • “relative” has the meaning given by section 63(1) of the Family Law Act 1996

Controlling Behaviour is:

A range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive Behaviour is:

An act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. This definition includes so called ‘honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.

The Duluth Power and Control Wheel

In 1984, staff at the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) began developing curricula for groups for men who batter and victims of domestic violence. They wanted a way to describe battering for victims, offenders, practitioners in the criminal justice system and the general public. Over several months, they convened focus groups of women who had been battered.

“We listened to heart-wrenching stories of violence, terror and survival. After listening to these stories and asking questions, we documented the most common abusive behaviors or tactics that were used against these women. The tactics chosen for the wheel were those that were most universally experienced by battered women.”

Battering is one form of domestic or intimate partner violence. It is characterized by the pattern of actions that an individual uses to intentionally control or dominate his intimate partner.

That is why the words “power and control” are in the center of the wheel. A batterer systematically uses threats, intimidation, and coercion to instill fear in his partner. These behaviors are the spokes of the wheel. Physical and sexual violence holds it all together—this violence is the rim of the wheel.

Making the Power and Control Wheel gender neutral would hide the power imbalances in relationships between men and women that reflect power imbalances in society.

By naming the power differences, we can more clearly provide advocacy and support for victims, accountability and opportunities for change for offenders, and system and societal changes that end violence against women.

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