An article examined recent data on murders by intimate partners in ten European countries, including the United Kingdom, to map policy developments and the role of key policy-making actors. It said that, although there were differences between the countries, common trends were evident in policy developments, noting the importance of women's activism and public action.
Source: Consuelo Corradi and Heidi Stockl, 'Intimate partner homicide in 10 European countries: statistical data and policy development in a cross-national perspective', European Journal of Criminology, Volume 11 Number 5
An article examined service responses to domestic abuse among older people from across a range of sectors in the United Kingdom. It said that the research had highlighted that there was a lack of conceptual clarity between domestic abuse and elder abuse, that family dynamics and abusive relationships were complex, and that service provision for this group was insufficient.
Source: Julie McGarry, Christine Simpson, and Kathryn Hinsliff-Smith, 'An exploration of service responses to domestic abuse among older people: findings from one region of the UK', Journal of Adult Protection, Volume 16 Number 4
A think-tank report said that many social housing estates in Britain had experienced decades of neglect and had entrenched and generational social problems (including 'endemic' domestic violence). Drawing on case studies of good practice, the report said that such estates would benefit from locally-based intervention involving local people, based on good local intelligence, and supported by inter-agency collaborative working. It said that existing resources should be better deployed, that encouraging the reporting of crime was crucial, and that women needed to be supported through the provision of, and support for, male perpetrator programmes, sex and relationships education, and interventions to empower women in deprived areas through education, employment, and parenting support. The report made a range of recommendations, including: for an 'Estates Recovery Board', to complement the Troubled Families team, pooling funding from relevant government departments; and for the police and crime commissioners to establish multi-agency 'Estate Recovery Teams' to devise estate recovery plans.
Source: Gavin Knight, The Estate We're In: Lessons from the front line, Policy Exchange
The government began consultation on whether the existing law on domestic abuse in England and Wales needed to be strengthened to offer better protection to victims and, specifically, whether a specific offence should be created to capture patterns of coercive and controlling behaviour in intimate relationships. The consultation asked four questions: whether the existing law adequately provided sufficient protection to victims of domestic abuse; in which ways the law could be strengthened; how to implement suggested changes in practice; and whether the existing law sufficiently captured the government's non-statutory definition of domestic abuse. The consultation would close on 15 October 2014.
Source: Strengthening the Law on Domestic Abuse A Consultation, Home Office
A report examined how women and children who experienced domestic violence rebuilt their lives after physically removing themselves from the control and coercion exerted by the perpetrator. It examined post-separation abuse, experience of services and the legal system, changes in housing situation, and how informal networks facilitated or inhibited their safety and freedom. The report said that over 90 per cent of women experienced post-separation abuse, and that the limited effectiveness of criminal and civil law enforcement required them proactively to manage their own safety. It made a range of recommendations, including: for access to a range of support for a minimum of two years after separation, recognizing that the process of rebuilding lives took time; for better understanding by staff within statutory agencies, particularly regarding issues related to coercive control; for nationally funded refuge provision, with move-on pathways and better provisions for access to social housing tenancies; for universal credit to be paid to women where children were involved, for central government to provide hardship funding for families fleeing domestic violence, and for a period of grace regarding the reduction of housing benefit when the perpetrator left the family home; and for more awareness raising among the general public, to facilitate better community support as women and children made their transitions.
Source: Liz Kelly, Nicola Sharp, and Renate Klein, Finding the Costs of Freedom: How women and children rebuild their lives after domestic violence, Solace Women's Aid/ Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit
A new book examined the use of restorative justice in domestic violence cases, drawing on findings from the first stage of a European Union-funded project that aimed to generate and pilot new knowledge on practices in this field, and to identify criteria for offering restorative approaches to such cases.
Source: Grace Loseby, Andriana Ntziadima, and Theo Gavrielides, Restorative Justice and Domestic Violence: A critical review, Independent Academic Research Studies
An article examined findings from the REaDAPt (Relationship Education and Domestic Abuse Prevention Tuition) project, which sought to enhance the provision of relationship education and domestic abuse prevention in European schools and other educational facilities. The article discussed what the project revealed about changing attitudes, about implementing and evaluating such programmes, and about being responsive to young people's perspectives in the delivery of interventions, as well as the research needed to develop such programmes further.
Source: David Gadd, Claire Fox, and Rebecca Hale, 'Preliminary steps towards a more preventative approach to eliminating violence against women in Europe', European Journal of Criminology, Volume 11 Number 4
The Welsh Government published a Bill designed to place duties on Welsh ministers, local authorities, and local health boards to publish strategies aimed at ending domestic abuse, gender-based violence, and sexual violence; give power to the Welsh ministers to issue guidance to relevant authorities on how they should exercise their functions in this regard; and to provide for the appointment of a ministerial adviser.
Source: Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill, Welsh Government, TSO
An article examined adolescent to parent violence cases reported to the police. It examined victim, offender and incident characteristics from 1892 cases, most of which involved violence against the person or criminal damage in the home. The study found that the majority of offenders were male, and over 75 per cent of victims were female.
Source: Rachel Condry and Caroline Miles, 'Adolescent to parent violence: framing and mapping a hidden problem', Criminology and Criminal Justice, Volume 14 Number 3
An article examined the role of the community in relation to intimate partner abuse. It said that more research was needed to examine how communities of all kinds challenged or supported such abuse, without treating them as either entirely benign or entirely dangerous.
Source: Jackie Haq and Ruth Lewis, 'The violence of community? Conceptualizations of "community" in responses to intimate partner abuse', Community Development Journal, Volume 49 Number 3
A report provided findings from a literature review of evidence on reducing reoffending in crimes of violence against women. It said that there was a range of good practice in criminal justice responses, but limited evidence about effective interventions to reduce reoffending by perpetrators.
Source: Oona Brooks, Michele Burman, Nancy Lombard, Gill McIvor, Leah Stevenson-Hastings, and Deborah Kyle, with Alix Thomazi, Violence Against Women: Effective interventions and practices with perpetrators – a literature review, Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research
An article examined the evidence for a 'widely repeated' claim that victims of domestic abuse suffered an average of 35 incidents prior to someone reporting the issue to the police. It said that the only evidence found for making this claim in England and Wales came from a 1979 study of police responses in a small Canadian city. However, the article said that the numbers of cases in the study meant that it was inadequate to support an international generalization to the United Kingdom.
Source: Heather Strang, Peter Neyroud, and Lawrence Sherman, 'Tracking the evidence for a "mythical number": do UK domestic abuse victims suffer an average of 35 assaults before someone calls the police?', Policing, Volume 8 Issue 2
A study examined violence against women, domestic abuse, and sexual violence in Wales, to inform the forthcoming Ending Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse (Wales) Bill, implementation of the legislation, and future policy and funding decisions. The report said that there was a lack of robust data, but estimates showed that these were significant problems in Wales. It mapped service provision across the country and made a wide range of recommendations.
Source: Vashti Berry, Nicky Stanley, Lorraine Radford, Melanie McCarry, and Cath Larkins, Building Effective Responses: An independent review of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence services in Wales, Research Paper 45/2014, Welsh Government
The prosecution service for England and Wales began consultation on proposals to consolidate and revise guidance on the prosecution of domestic violence cases. The consultation would close on 9 July 2014.
Source: The Prosecution of Domestic Violence Cases, Crown Prosecution Service
An article examined whether screening for intimate partner violence conducted within healthcare settings increased identification and referral to support agencies, improved women's well-being, decreased further violence, or caused harm, reporting the findings from a Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis. It found that screening did not appear to cause harm (in one study), but it was uncertain whether screening increased effective referral to supportive agencies, or reduced violence. It concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support screening in healthcare settings.
Source: Lorna O'Doherty, Angela Taft, Kelsey Hegarty, Jean Ramsay, Leslie Davidson, and Gene Feder, 'Screening women for intimate partner violence in healthcare settings: abridged Cochrane systematic review and meta-analysis', BMJ, Volume 348
An article presented an overview of male family 'annihilators' – men who committed multiple simultaneous murders against their own family members. Out of 71 family annihilators identified in the period 1980-2012, 59 had been male. The incidence rate had been increasing, with the first decade of the 21st century claiming over half of all cases. Over half of the men were in their thirties, and August was the most common month for the killing to take place, accounting for 20 per cent of cases. Just under half of all murders were committed over weekends, especially on a Sunday.
Source: Elizabeth Yardley, David Wilson, and Adam Lynes, 'A taxonomy of male British family annihilators, 1980-2012', Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 53 Issue 2
An article examined the prevalence of domestic violence among women requesting termination of a pregnancy in North East England. Comparing the questionnaire responses of women requesting terminations with those of women attending antenatal care, the paper said that women requesting a termination were six times as likely to suffer physical abuse in their existing relationships, and five times as likely to suffer emotional abuse. The article said that, of 274 women requesting terminations, ten mentioned domestic violence as a contributing factor.
Source: Tonye Wokoma, M Jampala, Helen Bexhell, Kate Guthrie, and Stephen Lindow 'A comparative study of the prevalence of domestic violence in women requesting a termination of pregnancy and those attending the antenatal clinic', BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Volume 121 Issue 5
An article examined the use and efficacy of social marketing in reducing the incidence of domestic abuse, drawing on the responses of domestic abuse perpetrators exposed to the United Kingdom government's This Was Abuse campaign film.
Source: David Gadd, Mary-Louise Corr, Claire Fox, and Ian Butler, 'This is abuse... or is it? Domestic abuse perpetrators' responses to anti-domestic violence publicity', Crime Media Culture, Volume 10 Issue 1
An article examined findings from an evaluation of a specialized youth service for young people who had experienced or been affected by domestic abuse in one town in Scotland. The findings suggested that one-to-one support and group work sessions facilitated a better understanding of domestic abuse and helped young people in working through their feelings and making new friends. The analysis also suggested that young people valued the specialist services provided, perceiving them as different from other youth work services. The arguments in favour of specialist services were said to be compelling, yet caution was called for in order to avoid creating dependency. There were also calls for improved communication and understanding among participating partner agencies.
Source: Annette Coburn and Sinead Gormally, '"They know what you are going through": a service response to young people who have experienced the impact of domestic abuse', Journal of Youth Studies, Volume 17 Number 5
A report provided results from a study of violence against women, based on interviews with 42,000 women across the member states of the European Union. Women were asked about their experiences of physical, sexual, and psychological violence, including domestic (or 'intimate partner') violence, stalking, and sexual harassment, as well as the role of new technologies in their abuse. The survey also asked about their experiences of violence in childhood. The report said that 33 per cent of women had experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15, and that one in 20 women had been the victim of rape. There were differences between member states in the reported levels of harm. The report called for a victim-centred and rights-centred approach to be reinforced at the EU and member state level, and made recommendations for action including legislation, training, resourcing, specialist support, and better, harmonised data.
Source: Violence Against Women: An EU-wide survey – main results, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA)
A report examined the impact of domestic violence on children and young people in the United Kingdom. It said that the scale of the issue was significant, and under-reported, and had a long-term impact on children, with potential inter-generational impacts and costs. It called for improvements in early intervention and prevention to reduce the long-term negative consequences.
Source: Jonathon Guy, Leon Feinstein, and Ann Griffiths, Early Intervention in Domestic Violence and Abuse: Summary and recommendations, Early Intervention Foundation
A report said that around two thirds of children exposed to domestic abuse also suffered direct harm as a result, but only half of them were known to children's social care services. It said that children's outcomes significantly improved following support from specialist children's domestic abuse services, and that there was a relationship between the cessation of domestic abuse and the cessation of direct harm to children. The report called for better early intervention, for linked specialist adults' and children's services, and for better monitoring of provision and outcomes for children exposed to domestic abuse.
Source: In Plain Sight: Effective help for children exposed to domestic abuse, Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA)
A report provided interim findings from an evaluation of the Caring Dads: Safer Children (CDSC) programme. CDSC was a group work programme for domestically abusive fathers, and the evaluation compared the fathers' behaviour towards their children and partners before and after the programme, and assessed the effects of any changes on their well-being. The report said that, following the programme: generally, fathers found being a parent less stressful and interacted better with their children; depression and anxiety among mothers had reduced; and most mothers said that fathers' abuse towards them had reduced. The evaluation would continue to run during 2014.
Source: Nicola McConnell, Matt Barnard, Tracey Holdsworth, and Julie Taylor, Caring Dads: Safer Children – Interim evaluation report, National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children