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Domestic abuse really can affect anyone


Oct 22, 2016

This year’s Safeguarding Week runs from 17 to 23 October and its theme is “Domestic abuse can affect anyone”.

The campaign is being supported by the four Safeguarding Boards that look after children, young people and adults in North Yorkshire and York and their partner organisations, including North Yorkshire Police, the Community Safety Partnership and the Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS).

Domestic abuse is any type of controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship. It isn’t just physical violence: domestic abuse includes emotional, physical, sexual, financial or psychological abuse, and it can happen in any relationship, and even after the relationship has ended. Both men and women can be abused or abusers.

Domestic abuse can seriously harm children and young people. Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships.

“Domestic abuse can affect anyone at any time and take many forms,” said Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Winward of North Yorkshire Police. “It ranges from emotional abuse through to physical and verbal abuse and controlling behaviour.

“Figures show that the greatest number of offences are by men against women, often with both parties being in their twenties.  Nearly a third of recorded instances of domestic abuse are repeat attacks in the home, and recent figures show that 85 per cent of women who were murdered were killed by their partner.

“We are also seeing a rise in the use of electronic devices being used to eavesdrop on, or track, victims. Three quarters of women murdered over the last few months had reported stalking in the previous 12 months.

“And although there has been a decrease in the reported number of older victims, this may well be due to their lack of understanding of what abuse can be; thinking there is a social stigma associated with abuse; becoming isolated by a feeling of shame; or simply not knowing where to go for practical help and advice.

“Anyone who finds themselves in an abusive situation does not have to deal with it alone. There are many agencies who can give help and support.”

Children and young people can be the forgotten victims of abuse. Adults often think they are protecting their children from what is happening and believe they are unaffected if they are not present during an incident. However, this is not the case. Living with abuse can be terrifying for a child and in the long-term can affect everything from how they feel, how they act at school and how they behave in their own relationships.

NSPCC/Childline has extended its helpline to support young people affected by abuse in a relationship as well as those experiencing other types of domestic abuse. The charity says children and young people often describe how their partner’s comments reduced their confidence and self-esteem, and left them feeling worthless and that the abuse they have experienced is either physical, controlling or sexual in nature.

The North Yorkshire and York Safeguarding Boards and their partner organisations are working with IDAS to provide a range of support for people experiencing domestic abuse. This includes the Early Intervention Project, which picks up cases of domestic abuse at the earliest stage and before they become high-risk.

The project was piloted in York and initial monitoring has shown that it is working well, increasing contacts with safeguarding services and reducing police call-outs. Referrals to the scheme come from Domestic Abuse Officers or Domestic Coordinators and also through the North Yorkshire and York community safety hubs run by North Yorkshire Police.

For young people, IDAS provides the Respect Young People’s Programme designed to work with young perpetrators of domestic abuse. The service is available for young people aged 10 to 16 across North Yorkshire and focusses on helping them change their behaviour and to build their relationship with family members. For more information, please go to respect@idas.org.uk.

IDAS support workers can offer face to face, confidential and tailored support around an individual’s needs, whether they stay in the abusive relationship or choose to leave.

The Safeguarding Boards and their partners also support the work of the Voluntary Perpetrator Programme. This programme is run by the Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) and is aimed at offenders who wish to change their behaviour. Domestic Abuse Coordinators identify suitable cases and pass them to a Domestic Abuse Panel. CRC make contact with perpetrators and seek their engagement and agreement to access the course.

Information events for people working in health, social care and voluntary organisations are being held across the county throughout Safeguarding Awareness Week. For more information, please go to: www.northyorks.gov.uk/safeguardingweek.

In Craven, staff from Craven District Council, Police, Children and Families’ Service, Adult Social Care and local charities including IDAS, Age UK and Hand in Hand, will also be using the Mobile Police Unit to hold pop-up public information events at the following locations:

  • Tuesday 18 October 10am – noon  Settle Market Place
  • Tuesday 18 October 1pm – 3pm Main Car Park, Bentham
  • Wednesday 19th October 10am – 3pm outside Skipton Town Hall

There will be a domestic abuse drop-in awareness event at Ripon Library on Wednesday 19 October between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

In York, there will be a market stall for members of the public and professionals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday,11am to 2pm, at City of York Council’s West Offices.

Anyone who is concerned that someone they know may be the subject of domestic abuse concerns should report it:

North Yorkshire

Children: http://www.safeguardingchildren.co.uk/worried-about-child
Adults: http://northyorks.gov.uk/article/24309/Safeguarding-vulnerable-adults

City of York: contact adult social care, tel: 01904 555111 out of hours tel: 01609 780780

Adults  https://www.safeguardingadultsyork.org.uk/what-is-safeguarding/how-to-raise-a-safeguarding-concern/
Children: http://www.saferchildrenyork.org.uk/

If you think that a child or young person is being abused or neglected call the Children’s Front Door on 01904 551900 or emailchildrensfrontdoor@york.gov.uk

By Emily