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Support

What are my legal rights?

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act (2004) concentrates upon legal protection and assistance to victims of crime, particularly domestic violence.

Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 created a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.

Controlling or coercive behaviour towards another can include or be committed in conjunction with a range of other offences including offences under: the Malicious Communications Act 1998; the Sexual Offences Act 2003; and the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 includes offences for stalking and Harassment.

Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 it is illegal to practice FGM in the UK, to take girls who are British nationals or permanent residents of the UK abroad for FGM whether or not it is lawful in that country and illegal to aid, abet, counsel or procure the carrying out of FGM abroad. In July 2014 it became a criminal offence to force someone to marry against their will. The new legislation also makes forcing a UK national into marriage outside the UK an offence under domestic law for the first time. The offence is triable in courts in England and Wales. The maximum imprisonment is seven years.

What is the Police response?

The Police take cases of domestic abuse seriously and receive training on how to deal sensitively and proactively with both victims and perpetrators.

Officers attending a domestic abuse incident will complete a risk assessment form and will offer advice on places and ways to seek support.

In 2014 the Government introduced Domestic Violence Protection Notices (DVPN) and Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPO). A DVPN is issued by the police to protect victims from further violence or threats.

If the perpetrator does not adhere to the DVPN, a DVPO can be granted by a magistrate that can ban the perpetrator with immediate effect from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim time to consider their options and get the support they need.


National support services

National Domestic Abuse Helpline:

Woman’s Aid

Karma Nirvana (Honour Crimes and Forced Marriages)

Men’s Advice Line

Galop LGBT+ Anti-Violence Charity Site

Rape Crisis England and Wales

The Hideout (website for children and young people)

Home Office Domestic Abuse pages

Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme (Clare’s Law)

Childline

Hourglass, support for older victims of abuse

Local support services

Outreach

Cambridge Women’s Aid provide community outreach to victims in Cambridge City, East Cambridgeshire and South Cambridgeshire.

  • Self referral can be made via 01223 361214

Refuge provide community outreach to victims in Fenland, Huntingdonshire and Peterborough.

  • Self referral can be made via 07787 255821

Support Videos Available to survivors of domestic abuse in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The films are available in English, Urdu, Punjabi, Polish, Russian, Lithuanian and British Sign Language

There are four women’s refuges in Cambridgeshire for victims of high risk domestic abuse, provided by Cambridge Women’s Aid, Refuge and Peterborough Women’s Aid. Victims from Cambridgeshire would not normally be housed in the same area.

  • Referral to a women’s refuge is via the IDVA service via the DASH risk assessment checklist.
  • Referral can be made by professionals only.

For child protection/safeguarding enquiries

  • Call 0345 045 5203 (Cambridgeshire children) or
  • Call 01733 864180 (Peterborough children)

For adult safeguarding enquiries

  • Call 0345 045 5202 (Cambridgeshire Adults) or
  • Call 01733 747474 (Peterborough Adults)

Cambridge and Peterborough Rape Crisis Partnership

The Elms Sexual Assault Referral Centre

Clare’s Law

The Home Office domestic violence disclosure scheme, is named after Clare Wood who was murdered in 2009 by her ex-boyfriend, who had a history of violence against women.

Under the scheme, members of the public can make enquiries about their partner’s past, or as a third party who is concerned about someone they know who might be at risk of harm.

If you are applying as a third party, you must have some form of relationship with the potential victim such as sister, mother, friend, work colleague or neighbour. You must be able to supply details of the person who is potentially at risk of harm. You can make an application for disclosure by speaking to a police officer, calling 101, or visiting a police station.

After being approached by an individual, both the applicant’s and potential victim’s details must be recorded. No disclosure is to be given over the phone or in person at this stage. An appointment will then be made with a uniformed officer who will confirm the potential victim’s identity. This should take place within 10 days.

https://www.cambs.police.uk/information-and-services/Domestic-abuse/Clares-law


Case Studies

Select each of the names to read the full case study:

Empty tab. Edit page to add content here.
Adrianna is 26, she originally comes from Poland but came to the UK 2 years ago. When she first arrived she was working as an Au pair for a family where she looked after their children and lived in the house with the family. After being here for a year, her employer lost her job and couldn't afford to keep Adrianna on.

She managed to find part-time work in a local shop and shares a flat above the shop with some other women who come from Russia. Her boss and the landlord of the flat is called Max and they started a relationship shortly after Adrianna moved in. Max said he can help Adrianna get a better job and then they can move into their own place together. Adrianna doesn't see Max much - he is out a lot and, when he is in the shop, he takes lots of calls on his mobile where he talks in Russian. Adrianna feels isolated and she misses her family and also misses the family she worked for.

Max said he had found her another Au-Pair job with a family but, when Adrianna went along with Max for a visit, there were no children in the house - only men. Max said if Adrianna had sex with one of the men he would give her a good job looking after children. Adrianna refused but Max said she must do it - if she didn't he would make her leave her job and the flat.

Read more


Adult Safeguarding

The Care Act of 2014

This Care Act was the first legislation for adult safeguarding in the UK. Domestic Abuse is a category of abuse under this Act.

The Act uses the term ‘Adult at risk of neglect or abuse’ to describe people also known as vulnerable adults.

The Act defines an Adult at Risk as someone who:

  • has needs for care and support (whether or not the authority is meeting any of those needs),
  • is experiencing, or is at risk of, abuse or neglect, and
  • as a result of those needs is unable to protect himself or herself against the abuse or neglect or the risk of it.

People falling under this category could be:

  • frail due to ill health, physical disability or cognitive impairment;
  • someone with a learning disability;
  • a person with mental health needs including dementia or a personality disorder;
  • someone with a physical disability and/or a sensory impairment;
  • someone with a long-term illness/condition;
  • a person that misuses substances or alcohol;
  • a carer such as a family member /friend who may be at risk because of their caring role;
  • someone who is unable to demonstrate the capacity to make a relevant decision and is in need of care and support.

Women with a disability are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse as those without a disability. Disability can include any physical and learning disabilities as well as mental health issues, sensory impairment, age and illness.

Select each of the headings below to find out more about these types of abuse:

Personal care may be withheld if the abuser is a carer.

For example, refusing to provide assistance to use the toilet as a way of controlling the victim.

The abuser may use their status as carer to spend their partner’s money inappropriately and/or without their consent.

The abuser may tell their partner that no one else will love them or that if they leave they will have to go into a care home.

The abuser may use children as a hold over the victim, telling them that their children will be taken away if they report the abuse because the will not be able to look after them on their own.

The abuser may sexually assault or rape their partner who may not physically be able to stop them or understand what is happening to them.

Carers can also be victims of domestic abuse. This could be a long-standing situation or as a result of behaviour changes in their partner due to illness of disability. Carers may also be a vulnerable adult or adult as risk of abuse or neglect in their own right. This is a complex area but professional support is available.

Older People

Victims aged 61+ are much more likely to experience abuse from an adult family member than those 60 and under.

Older victims are more likely to remain living with the perpetrator after getting support.

Older victims are significantly more likely to have a disability – for a third, this is physical (34%).

 

A common barrier to accessing domestic abuse support for older people is health and mobility issues in instances where the perpetrator of the abuse is also the carer.

Disabilities

Women with disabilities are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse as women without disabilities.

Disabled people typically experience abuse for longer before seeking support.

Only 9% of disabled domestic abuse victims are accessing Adult Safeguarding support.

 

Almost a third of disabled victims live with the perpetrator – who in many cases may also be their informal carer.


Children & Young People


Observing Children

Children and young people can experience domestic abuse at several stages in their life. ‘the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 recognises children as victims of abuse in their own right.’

Domestic abuse can be worse during pregnancy and physical violence can affect the unborn child in many different ways including miscarriage, still birth and premature birth. Violence and psychological stress inflicted on the mother can also lead to physical and mental illness.

Children can experience domestic abuse at home between parents and guardians.

Children often develop anxiety, depression, aggression and even post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of living with abuse.

The psychological impact of living with domestic abuse is no smaller than the impact of being physically abused.

Older children can also experience domestic abuse in the form of teenage relationship abuse.

It is recognised that violence and abuse does not just occur within adult/co-habiting relationships.

If you suspect children are at risk of harm from domestic violence, you must follow your local Safeguarding Children procedures.

In Cambridgeshire, we use the Barnardo’s Domestic Violence Risk Indicator Matrix (DVRIM) to identify risk to children living with domestic abuse.

The form and the latest safeguarding procedures can be found on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Safeguarding Children Partnership Board website: http://www.safeguardingcambspeterborough.org.uk

Teenagers and Abusive Relationships

Several independent studies have shown that 40% of teenagers are in abusive dating relationships.

The latest Health-Related Behaviour Questionnaire results report ‘Young People Into 2018’ shows that around one third of pupils in year 8 and year 10 have experienced behaviours such as jealousy, threats and even hitting from current or ex boyfriends of girlfriends.

Teenage romantic relationships can often be short-lived but they are experienced as intensely as adult relationships. Unfortunately, parents and professionals do not always take these relationships seriously enough.

Teenagers in abusive relationships can experience the same as adults. Below are some further indicators:

  • Their boyfriend of girlfriend gets upset or angry if they spend time with friends.
  • He or she may feel pressured into doing what their partner says, including having sex.
  • Their boyfriend or girlfriend might insist on checking their phone or asking who they have spoken to.
  • Calling their partner names or saying nasty things about her/him to, or in front of, other people.
  • Threatening to spread rumours about him or her.

The Government have set up a website called Disrespect Nobody where you can find information and seek help. You can also use their message boards to have your say.


Risk Assessments

CAADA-DASH

The most widely used risk assessment is the CAADA-DASH. The acronym stands for Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse – Domestic Abuse, Stalking and Honour based violence and it is based on research about the indicators of high-risk domestic abuse. The Dash risk checklist is available in several languages, as is guidance on how to use the tool http://www.safelives.org.uk/.

You can download the Cambridgeshire form from the Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership website at www.cambsdasv.org.uk.

The checklist can be used for all intimate partner relationships, including LGBT relationships, as well as for ’honour’-based violence and family violence. It is primarily intended for professionals – both specialist domestic violence workers such as IDVAs and other professionals working for mainstream services. There is a specific police version of the risk checklist, known as the ACPO version, which is used by most police forces in England and Wales.

The simple series of questions makes it easy to work out the risk a victim is facing. Where possible, the checklist should be completed with the victim. As well as using the scoring mechanism, professional judgement of risk must be used.

In Cambridgeshire, the threshold for referring a case to the IDVA Service is a score of 17 or more, or professional judgement of high risk. High risk means that the victim is at significant risk of murder and/or serious injury and needs urgent help. These victims should be referred to the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) where all the relevant local agencies will come together to make a plan to make the victim safe.

Refuges and Outreach Services

DASH’s with a score of 14-16 should still be referred to the IDVA Service but will need client consent. A score of below 14 on the CAADA-DASH should be carefully considered to ensure the most appropriate support is offered to the victim.

There are three refuges in Cambridgeshire for women fleeing domestic abuse. It is not advisable for women to be housed in the area that they live or an area that they have close connections to as this makes it easier for the perpetrator to find them.

In Cambridgeshire, both Women’s Aid and Refuge offer outreach support in the community. More details can be found on the Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership website at www.cambsdasv.org.uk

Where a crime has been committed, the Cambridgeshire Victims and Witness Hub can offer support and help with accessing services. More information about the Victims’ Hub is available on the Cambridgeshire Constabulary website https://www.cambs.police.uk/victims/VictimsHub/

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC)

The aims of a MARAC are to:

  • Safeguard adult victims at high risk of future domestic violence.
  • Make links with other public protection arrangements, such as people presenting a risk to children or vulnerable adults.
  • Safeguard staff working with the family.

Representatives of the below statutory and voluntary organisations attend the meeting:

  • local police
  • health
  • housing practitioners
  • independent domestic violence advisers (IDVAs)
  • probation
  • children and adults safeguarding
  • substance misuse services
  • other specialists

In Cambridgeshire, a MARAC meeting is held 3 times per week. It is preferable to have the consent of the victim before making a referral to MARAC but it is not essential.

You can learn about how to make a referral to MARAC on the Cambridgeshire Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Partnership website at www.cambsdasv.org

Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA’s) provide an independent service offering crisis intervention and support to victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Crisis support is defined as being short-term following a reported incident of abuse.

The IDVA team are employed by Cambridgeshire County Council and based at a Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) at Godmanchester, Huntingdon.

The Cambs IDVA team work across the county. In addition, there are specialist IDVA’s for:

  • Young people 13-19 years.
  • Victims and survivors from Eastern European A8 countries.
  • Victims and survivors whose referrals come from Health Professionals.
  • The Health IDVA’s are based at Hospitals.

IDVA’s are able to:

  • Talk through clients’ options and give information to help them make decisions.
  • Advocate with other partner services on behalf of their clients.
  • Assist with personal safety planning for clients and their children in order to reduce risk;
  • Support clients through the civil and criminal justice system.
  • Support/options given regarding housing and alternative safe accommodation.
  • Provide emotional support.

Support is available via telephone or by appointment in a face-to-face meeting. Clients can only be referred with their consent and contact takes place at safe times and in safe locations. IDVAs are able to offer advice to professionals on risk and services. The Service does not accept referrals from DV victims, only via professionals. Professionals can refer by using the CAADA-DASH questionnaire.


Signs and Indicators

Some facts about domestic abuse:

  • Domestic abuse is very common. Those affected by abuse may live with it for years before they tell anyone or seek help.
  • It takes time for someone to acknowledge that they are experiencing domestic abuse.
  • The average time taken for someone to leave an abusive relationship is 7 years.
  • Domestic abuse is very dangerous. Every week two women are killed by a current or former partner.
  • There is a much higher risk of self harm and suicide amongst victims of domestic abuse.
  • Everyone has the right to live free from violence and fear.
  • The victim is not to blame for the situation; only the abuser is responsible for their actions.

What we know:

There were 357 domestic homicides recorded by the police in England and Wales in the three-year period between year ending March 2017 and year ending March 2019. Of crimes recorded by the police:

  • In the year ending March 2020, the victim was female in 74% of domestic abuse-related crimes
  • Between the year ending March 2017 and the year ending March 2019, 77% of victims of domestic homicide were female compared with 13% of victims of non-domestic homicide.

Types of Abuse

Domestic violence takes many different forms.
The Government’s Policy to end Violence Against Women and Girls in the UK covers all types of domestic abuse including Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, Female Genital Mutilation, stalking and sexual violence.
For more information please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategy-to-end-violence-against-women-and-girls-2016-to-2020

Select each of the words below to find out more about these types of abuse:

Physical abuse is the most recognisable form of abuse. It can range from a slap or shove to a black eye, cut lip, or broken bone.

In the most extreme cases it can result in death.

Physical abuse doesn’t always leave visible marks or scars.
Having your hair pulled or an egg thrown at you is domestic violence too.

Many women experience domestic violence without ever being physically abused.

Emotional abuse includes constant criticism, name calling, isolation from friends and family.

Emotional abuse can turn to physical violence over time.

This includes using force or threats to make you have sex or perform sexual acts with which you are uncomfortable.

It can also include taking and distributing of sexual photographs without your consent.

Financial abuse might include things like:

  • Your partner taking your money,
  • Stopping you from working,
  • Placing all the bills or debts in your name, or
  • Monitoring how you spend money and other financial resources e.g. the telephone

The Crown Prosecution Service definition says that this is “a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community”.

Honour Based Violence is often committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family and/or community members. It is a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived cultural and religious beliefs and/or honour.

Physical violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and/or community by breaking their honour code.

Women are predominantly (but not exclusively) the victims of honour based violence which is used to assert male power in order to control female autonomy and sexuality.

Examples may include murder, un-explained death (suicide), fear of or actual forced marriage, controlling sexual activity, domestic abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse), child abuse, rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, threats to kill, assault, harassment, forced abortion.

This list is not exhaustive.

Such crimes cut across all cultures, nationalities, faith groups and communities.

They transcend national and international boundaries.

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved.

Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure. An arranged marriage is not the same as a forced marriage.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is any procedure that’s designed to alter or injure a girl’s (or woman’s) genital organs for non-medical reasons.

It’s sometimes known as ‘female circumcision’ or ‘female genital cutting’. It’s mostly carried out on young girls. There are no recognised physical or hygiene reasons for FGM to be carried out. FGM procedures can cause:

  • severe bleeding
  • infections
  • problems with giving birth later in life – including the death of the baby.

Male Victims

Men can experience domestic violence in both hetrosexual and same sex relationships.

Campaigners claim that men are often treated as ‘second-class victims’ and that many police forces and councils do not take them seriously.

Men experiencing domestic abuse may feel ashamed about what is happening or feel like they have done something to deserve it. They might be worried that people will think they are less of a man for ‘allowing’ themselves to be abused.

Refuge places and outreach support for men experiencing domestic abuse is available, although there is less provision than for women.

For the year ending March 2020, the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimated that 1.6 million women and 757,000 men aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year.

  • This is a prevalence rate of approximately 7 in 100 women and 4 in 100 men.
  • Over the past five years (April 2015 to March 20) on average 12 men per year had been killed by a partner or ex-partner (74 women per year).
  • Of domestic abuse crimes recorded by the police, 26% were committed against men. This equates to c155,000 offences per year.

Source – Crime Survey England and Wales

The signs of domestic abuse are the same for both male and female victims.

  • Male victims may feel ashamed and that they are ‘less of a man’ for ‘allowing’ the abuse to happen.
  • With some same-sex victims, threat of ‘outing’ is often used as a way to control by the abuser.

What might a person in an abusive relationship be feeling and experiencing?

Diversity Issues

It’s important to be aware of equality and diversity issues when working with victims of domestic abuse

Select each of the words below to find out more about these:

Some cultures make it difficult for women in an abusive relationship to seek help.

A failed marriage is often seen as the woman’s fault and she is blamed for letting down the family honour.

In some cultures a woman may not be able to divorce her husband due to religious reasons.

If someone is admitted to the UK with leave as spouse, unmarried partner or civil partner of a British citizen, or of a non-citizen who is settled in the UK, they may find it harder to leave an abusive partner because it will affect their right to remain in the UK.

In such cases, the victim will have no recourse (entitlement) to public funds (ie benefits).

The Home Office No Resource to Public Funds policy explains what to do in these circumstances.

In some cases women and children have received threats of deportation if they report abuse or had their passports confiscated by the family.

Some people face the challenge of English not being their first language.

When working with these individuals professionals should use approved interpreters who have a DBS check.

It is not appropriate to use family members or friends of the victim or members of the extended community to which they belong.

Written information should be available in alternative languages.

Where the abuser is also the primary carer this can make the victim more vulnerable.

A number of reports show that women with a disability are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse as women without a disability.

Some refuges may not have appropriate facilities to accommodate women with physical or learning disabilities.

LGBTQ+ people may be at more risk of domestic abuse according to research. Issues of stereotyping can cause shame, isolation and fear of having children removed if they speak up.

Some women refuges may not accept transgender men who have not fully transitioned.

People can also be excluded from some services due to issues with alcohol or drugs and these issues may make it hard for them to engage with support.

Being in an abusive relationship may mean that a family or victim move more regularly.

This may cause social isolation, poverty or discrimination.

This may make it hard for them to be engaged with support services including health, social care and education.

There are clear links between mental illness and domestic abuse.

Women with mental health issues who are experiencing domestic abuse may feel they will not be believed if they speak out.

Women and children who experience abuse can go on to develop depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

LGBTQ+ victims of domestic abuse are twice as likely to attempt suicide.

Evidence suggests that LGBTQ+ victims and survivors are not accessing services at the same rate as others in the population.

LGBTQ+ people may also experience unique forms of coercive control targeted at their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Victims With Mental Health Issues are more likely to:

  • Seek support for the abuse from their GP.
  • Experience financial difficulties as well as problems with substance misuse.

Victims of abuse with mental health problems can also become homeless due to a number of reasons.

Source – Safe Lives Spotlights http://www.safelives.org.uk/knowledge-hub/spotlights


Domestic Homicide

There were a total of 357 domestic homicides recorded by the police in England and Wales in the three-year period between year ending March 2017 and year ending March 2019.

Source – Crime Survey England and Wales

Of crimes recorded by the police in the year ending March 2020, the victim was female in 74% of domestic abuse-related crimes.

Between the year ending March 2017 and the year ending March 2019,

  • 77% of victims of domestic homicide were female compared with
  • 13% of victims of non-domestic homicide


Femicide

The 10 year femicide report recorded 1,425 femicides over the ten-year period of 2009-2018, with the annual number of victims varying from 124 (2016) to 168 (2010).

Numbers for 2019 and 2020 have increased to around 170.

Source: Femicide-Census-10-year-report.pdf


Signs to look out for

We’ve explored some different types of abuse. But what are the indicators that abuse is taking place?

Select each of the words below to find out more about these indicators of abuse:

  • Sprains, dislocations, fractures or broken bones
  • Burns from cigarettes, appliances, or hot water
  • Abrasions on arms, legs, or torso that resemble rope or strap marks
  • Internal injuries evidenced by pain, difficulty with normal functioning of organs, and bleeding
  • Injuries healing through “secondary intention”, indicating they didn’t receive appropriate care
  • Signs of traumatic hair and tooth loss
  • Repeated injuries to the same parts of the body

The following types of bruises are rarely accidental:

  • Bilateral bruising to the arms; look like a series of finger marks, indicating person has been shaken, grabbed or restrained
  • Bilateral bruising of inner thighs, indicating possible sexual abuse
  • “Wrap around” bruises that encircle a person’s arms, legs, or torso, indicating person has been physically restrained
  • Multi-coloured bruises, indicating that they were sustained over time.

  • A sudden change in an individual’s financial situation; not having as much money as usual or being in debt
  • Individual not having enough food for them or their children
  • If you work in the individual’s home, you should be aware of any documents that seem unusual
  • Documents relating to the person’s finances go missing.

Behavioural indicators:

  • Injuries sustained which are unexplained, or explanations are implausible
  • Inconsistent or implausible explanations of how injuries were sustained
  • A history of similar injuries, or numerous or suspicious hospitalisations
  • Victims are brought to different medical facilities for treatment to prevent medical practitioners from observing a pattern of abuse
  • Delay between onset of injury and seeking medical care

Behavioural signs to watch out for include:

  • Changing behaviour in front of their partner
  • Seeming nervous when with their partner
  • Appearing less confident or frightened
  • Constant phone calls or texts from their partner
  • Cancelling plans at the last minute or making excuses not to meet friends or family
  • Apologising for their partners’ behaviour
  • Changing appearance, ie dressing more conservatively
  • Using social media less (it could be being monitored by their partner).


Common Myths


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

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2021/17/contents


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.

Find Out More: https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/PowerandControl.pdf


The Duluth Model

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 to be represented in the Duluth Power and Control Wheel,] were those that were most universally experienced by battered women.

Duluth Power and Control Model

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.

Now complete the short quiz below to record your learning before you can progress to the next module.