The current context of restrictions of movement and self -isolation may increase the risk and severity of domestic abuse and make it harder for services to identify and support victims and those impacted by domestic abuse. There is help out there and below is a list of local and national services to help with support and signposting. This can be downloaded here.
Domestic abuse is: “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse: psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.” (Home Office, 2013)
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. (Home Office, 2015)
The definition of domestic violence and abuse now includes young people aged 16 – 17 and aims to increase awareness that young people in this age group do experience domestic violence and abuse.
Domestic abuse and violence impacts on children and young people and where there is domestic violence and abuse, the wellbeing of the children in the household must be promoted and all assessments must consider the need to safeguard the children, including unborn children.
WSCB has developed a Domestic Violence and Abuse and its impact on children Factsheet to support professionals.
The new dedicated out of hours line is 01225 712880 and will take over from the Swindon Domestic Abuse Support Service, which has kindly provided additional out of hours telephone support to Wiltshire residents over recent months.
Wiltshire’s Domestic Abuse Strategy
Wiltshire’s Domestic Abuse Strategy and Wiltshire’s Strategy for the Provision of Domestic Abuse Support in Safe Accommodation were published in draft in October 2021. Both strategies have been produced by the Wiltshire Domestic Abuse Partnership Board, which is a collaboration between Wiltshire Council, Wiltshire Police, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Clinical Commissioning Group, National Probation Service and our community and voluntary sector. Together, we are committed to achieving our shared goals on preventing, supporting and safeguarding those impacted by domestic abuse in Wiltshire, and ensuring access to services early and ensure greater accountability and justice is sought against those perpetrating it.
The introduction of the new Domestic Abuse Act 2021 is an integral piece of legislation that will help to protect and safeguard those impacted by domestic abuse. Wiltshire’s strategy for the provision of domestic abuse support within safe accommodation, will outline how together the partnership will work collaboratively to provide victims and their families who have been impacted by domestic abuse a range of options to remain safe at home or access suitable alternative safe accommodation and support. This work seeks to complement existing work taking place across the county to address health and wellbeing, community safety and housing needs of those who are experiencing domestic abuse in Wiltshire.
Where to get help – useful links for professionalsMulti Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH): Tel 0300 456 0108 Early Help (single point of contact): Tel 01225 718230 Splitz Support Service (for victims, perpetrators and children) Splitz Wiltshire or Tel 01225 775276 NSPCC domestic abuse Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or go to www.thehideout.org.uk for advice and guidance On Your Mind signposts children and young people in Wiltshire to sources of support for good mental health and emotional well being, including free online support and counselling from kooth.com Guidance: Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship Department for Health – Responding to Domestic Abuse (a resource for health professionals)