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Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse is defined by Women’s Aid as “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. In the vast majority of cases it is experienced by women and is perpetrated by men”. 

Domestic Abuse can include, but is not limited to:

  • Coercive control, which is a pattern of intimidation, isolation and control with the use and/or threat of physical or sexual violence;
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse;
  • Physical and/or sexual abuse;
  • Financial or economic abuse;
  • Harassment and stalking; and
  • Online or digital abuse.

Violence can also be directed towards children, other family members, friends and pets, and abuse can happen in any relationship.

 

Why is this a priority?

In Telford and Wrekin in the years 2016/2017, a total of 4,832 domestic abuse offences were recorded, which was the highest rate of any Community Safety Partnership, within the Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police Alliance. As there is no specific offence of ‘domestic abuse’, crime offence and incident records where a domestic setting has been identified at the time have been used. The local current picture represents only those records of domestic abuse reported to the police, and it is acknowledged that there will be further unreported offences occurring.This therefore led the Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership to make Domestic Abuse one of their thematic priorities.

What are we doing to reduce the incidents of Domestic Abuse in Telford and Wrekin?

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership are committed to reducing domestic abuse in the borough by working collaboratively with partner organisations to review and develop multi-agency pathways for both victims and perpetators, ensuring that all policies and procedures are fit for purpose, linked to other pathways and use local and national learning to inform sharing of good work and practice. We aim to improve the understanding of the scale of domestic abuse in the borough by developing a victim and perpetrator profile. a geographical profile and an understanding of the types of domestic abuse being perpatrated in the borough. 

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership are committed to embedding the Telford and Wrekin Domestic Abuse Strategy, which outlines commitments from partners to address the issue. The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership aims to develop practitioner’s knowledge on the dynamics of domestic abuse on the whole family and provide them with the appropriate training and resources to support the family. Likewise, it also aims to increase awareness in the community of domestic abuse and how to seek support.

The Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Partnership has a Domestic Abuse subgroup that meets on a regular basis to take forward and implement the Telford and Wrekin Domestic Abuse Strategy. This subgroup also covers Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Honour Based Violence (HBV) and Forced Marriage (FM). The NSPCC provides more information on the practice of FGM and Karma Nirvana is a national organisation that supports the victims of HBV and FM. 

What should I do if I am or someone you know is affected by Domestic Abuse?

In Telford and Wrekin, there are a number of services who can support someone affected by Domestic Abuse. Further information and signposting can be found on the Family Connect website.

If you or someone you know is at risk or is experiencing Domestic Abuse, there are a number of agencies you can contact for advice and support. 

  • National Domestic Violence Helpline is a 24 hour service, who can support someone who may have fled their home and in need of a place of safety, discuss fears and offer support and offer assistance in terms of housing guidance, legal rights and reassurance about calling the police. They can be contacted on 0808 2000 247, and it is a free phone number
  • West Mercia Women’s Aid can be contacted if you are worried or frightened by your partner or ex-partner, a family member or someone close to you. Please ring 0800 783 1359, where support, advice and information will be given
  • West Mercia Police can be contacted if you want to report an incident, and this can be done by either ringing 101 which is the non-emergency number, or by going to your local police station to speak to someone in person.

If it is an emergency or there is an immediate danger, always ring 999.