As a member of Resolution and the Family Mediation Counsel, Jennifer Allen is committed to keeping issues that arise between couples after the breakdown of their relationship, out-of-court, so far as possible. One way in which this can be achieved is through mediation or more specifically hybrid mediation. Hybrid mediation brings together the best of both family and civil mediation models and is a time-tested option when considering your mediation options.
As Euro 2012 Kicks off does this equal an Increase in Domestic Abuse?
As the football season commences with the first two matches in Euro 2012 commencing today, will this herald an increase in domestic abuse?
The current reported statistics in the UK are frightening : 1 in 4 women will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime – many of these on a number of occasions. One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute. On average, 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner. Available statistics on domestic violence are likely to understate the extent of abuse as much of it remains unreported ‘a hidden crime’. These statistics also exclude sexual assaults - which are overwhelmingly perpetrated against women, by men - many of whom are partners or former partners of the victims. Finally, another unreported form of domestic abuse, which is often not regarded as a crime, but which survivors often find even more destructive is emotional abuse / non physical abuse and this is also excluded from these statistics.
It is suggested domestic abuse is linked / associated to alcohol / alcohol abuse. Whilst Euro 2012 is on, there may well be an increased drinking culture. Many will wish to frequent pubs to watch games which could result in higher numbers of alcohol related incidents and abuse. During Euro 2012 there is concern that vulnerable persons who fear from or do suffer from abuse by their partner may be at greater risk during this period.
There is an increasing awareness of the problems of Domestic abuse in the UK and locally.
Government and Police Initiatives:
Lincolnshire Police, working with partner agencies are today (7th June) launching a sexual violence and awareness campaign.
The aim of the campaign is to encourage victims to come forward to report rape and sexual crimes and reassure them that specialist services and support are available to them.
The slogan ‘No Means No!’ is intended to highlight what consent means in relation to rape and acknowledge that there is no place for sexual abuse in society. It points out that statistics show a stark link between alcohol and rape and hopes to encourage people to drink responsibly. However, a key issue for the campaign is to promote the fact that alcohol can never be used as an excuse for sexual violence.
The aims of the ‘No Means No!’ campaign are to:
- Develop education and awareness-raising on rape and sexual assault, particularly amongst children and young persons, with emphasis on consent issues.
- Spread awareness of the law amongst the public and in particular young people.
- Promote the fact that alcohol should not be used as an excuse for sexual violence.
- Raise awareness that excess alcohol can increase someone’s vulnerability, but offenders who take advantage of someone’s intoxication are still committing a serious offence.
- Continue to promote the services of the Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Spring Lodge.
- Promote the specialist trained Emerald Team and continue to increase confidence in the expertise of Lincolnshire Police to investigate rape and associated offences.
- Work towards preventing teenagers from becoming victims and perpetrators of abusive relationships.
- Empower individuals, including men and boys, to play their part in tackling the issues.
- Encourage teenagers to re-think their views of rape, and sexual assault, and direct them to sources of help and advice.
The target group for the campaign is men and women under the age of 30. Data shows that experiences of sexual assault and pressure to have sex can start well before the lawful age of 16.
As well as aiming to reach this group, the campaign also targets parents and carers and directs them to information which helps to address the subject and support young people. Other agencies which come into contact with victims of sexual violence and who can direct them to appropriate services or organisations for help are also included.
In order to promote awareness among the target audience, the campaign will be taken into schools and other places where young people come together. A set of posters and pamphlets have been specially designed and ‘No Means No!’ wristbands have been produced for distribution.
Detective Inspector Sean Baxter, who has been key in developing the campaign says, “We have already achieved a significant amount of progress in the area of rape and sexual assault, both in terms of the specialist services and support we offer and the positive effect this has had on victims coming forward to report crimes. The ‘No Means No!’ campaign builds on this and delivers a very simple message which we hope will instill in people from an early age the need to stay safe and give them the confidence to come forward if they do become victims. It also spells out the implications of committing these crimes for perpetrators and makes it absolutely clear that society and the law will not tolerate it.”
Please follow the link for full details: www.lincs.police.uk
Pilot Scheme for disclosure of information by the Police of offenders:
Police in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire are currently running a 12 month trial of the domestic violence disclosure scheme (DVDS) from the summer of 2012. The pilot scheme is aimed to test methods used by police to help victims or potential victims of domestic violence by disclosing information about previous violent offending by their partner.
It will examine the disclosure of such information when triggered by a request from a member of the public and will also look at when police can make proactive decisions to release information.
For more information please follow the link :
What to do if you suffer domestic abuse or you are in fear of the potential threat of domestic abuse?
Hughes Paddison has a highly qualified and experienced team who can help victims or people suffering in an abusive relationship. Victims ought to be encouraged to seek advice about the level of protection the law can provide and gain protection from an abuser. Jennifer and her colleagues can help you to apply and obtain a civil injunction or protective order on an emergency basis. An injunction is an order made by a court that forbids or prevents someone from doing or threatening to do something. There are two main forms; a non molestation order and an occupation order. Such orders are aimed at preventing abusive behaviour.
Sufferers of any form of domestic abuse ought to be aware that there are many options available to them and there are many informed and experienced organisations who care and who want to help. You may also be worried about the safety of someone close to you. Some of the organisations are listed in the links attached to this page.
In case of emergency, of course the urgent advice is to call 999 for police or an ambulance and then seek advice as to what further assistance there is available. In Gloucestershire there is a designated Domestic Violence Unit with specially trained Police.
The websites and help lines below can offer help and advice on how to stay safe and how to get access to emergency refuge accommodation. They can also offer advice and possibly a ‘way out’.
National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline:
- To talk to someone in confidence for support, information or an emergency referral to temporary accommodation, contact the free 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline.
- Helpline: 0808 2000 247
- Website: www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Gloucestershire Domestic Violence Support and Advocacy Project
- GDVSAP support all victims, women, men and same sex throughout the county
- Advice and Helpline 01452 500115
- Webstite : www.gdvsap.org.uk
- Email : email@example.com
- To report information about any crime anonymously call 0800 555 111
- Website : www.crimestoppers-uk.org
- UK and Northern Ireland helpline: 08457 90 90 90
- Website: www.samaritans.org.uk
- Refuge is a national charity that provides emergency accommodation and support for women and children experiencing domestic violence.
- Website: www.refuge.org.uk
Useful links and telephone numbers for support for domestic abuse suffers or information for perpetrators follow : www.bbc.co.uk