Over one million women suffer domestic abuse every year and approximately two people are killed by their current or former partner each week in England and Wales. Disturbingly, fewer than one in four people who suffer abuse at the hands of their partner report it to the police. Whilst much progress has been made in reducing the incidence of domestic violence in the UK, the Government is clear that much more must be done.
One year on from the launch of its national strategy ‘Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls: Action Plan’ (March 2011), the Government has released ‘Taking Action - The Next Chapter’ (March 2012), which builds on the previous strategy with greater emphasis on what is expected of local services and delivery partners as power, resources and accountability is increasingly devolved to the local level.
In order to reduce the risk faced by victims, the Government has underlined the need for better training of professionals and front-line staff to ensure guidance, legislative powers and risk management processes are understood and properly applied. In the past year, the Government has also provided the police with additional powers. Alongside MARACs and IDVAs, Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs) will now be part of the police and local agency tool kit, providing protection to victims in the immediate aftermath of an incident and an invaluable opportunity for victims to receive advice and support from professionals. The Government has also legislated two specific criminal offences for stalking in order to better secure the safety of victims and to strengthen the criminal justice response to perpetrators. Where front-line services do fail victims, all agencies and bodies will now have to hold a domestic homicide review to examine exactly what went wrong and ensure that lessons are learned.
Once a victim has been safeguarded, the Government has stressed that they and their children must receive consistent support across the country to rebuild their homes. In order to empower victims and prevent repeat victimisation, the Government has committed to improving victims’ access to financial and housing assistance, including for those with no recourse to public funds, and providing tailored support for families with multiple needs.
The Public Policy Exchange 5th Annual Domestic Violence Symposium provides an invaluable opportunity to examine the progress made over the last year in tackling domestic violence, including receiving an update on policy, legislative and delivery developments, and to explore the next steps in strengthening front-line responses to better protect victims.
- Explore the impact of the Government’s updated VAWG strategy on tackling domestic violence and understand the latest policy, legislative and delivery developments
- Examine how to improve front-line responses to domestic violence and learn from past mistakes to better protect victims
- Consider how to prevent repeat victimisation and get justice for victims through increased prosecution and rehabilitation rates
- Discuss how to help victims to rebuild their lives by strengthening support services for victims and their families
For further information or to reserve your place at this event, please visit the Public Policy Exchange website.