Overview 1.A contemporary social issue 2.Differences in the understanding 3.The impact of domestic violence 4.Approaches, Resources and Services 5.Summary 6.Useful Source Material
1. DV as a Contemporary Social Issue Whatever form it takes, domestic violence is rarely a one-off incident. More usually it's a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Domestic violence occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography. Victims of domestic violence suffer on many levels - health, housing, education - and lose the freedom to live their lives how they want, and without fear. (www.homeoffice.gov.uk)
Facts & figures Although domestic violence is chronically under reported, research estimates that it: accounts for 16% of all violent crime; has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police); costs in excess of £23bn a year; claims the lives of two women each week and 30 men per year; is the largest cause of morbidity worldwide in women aged , greater than war, cancer or motor vehicle accidents; will affect 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime. (Source: Crime in England and Wales 04/05 report)
2. Differences in the Understanding of DV Mooney states that, in researching domestic violence, the first issue that needs to be confronted is that of definition (Mooney, 1996: 204). The numerous interpretations of the term domestic violence are influenced by the people using them.
Government (Home Office) Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. This includes issues of concern to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities such as so called 'honour killings'. An adult is defined as any person aged 18 years or over. Family members are defined as mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in laws or stepfamily.
Womens Aid In Women's Aid's view domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called 'honour crimes'. Domestic violence may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently 'violent'. (www.womensaid.co.uk)
NSPCC Domestic violence affects people of every class, age, race, disability, and sexuality. The violence can begin at any stage of a relationship and may continue after the relationship has ended. It's usually women who are at the receiving end of domestic violence, and it's often men who are responsible. The violence may involve physical abuse, sexual assault and threats. Sometimes it's more subtle, like making someone feel worthless, not letting them have any money, or not allowing them to leave the home. Social isolation and emotional abuse can have long-lasting effects as well as physical violence. (www. nspcc.org.uk)
Broken Rainbow (support group for LGBT) Define domestic violence and abuse as: Any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. Aim is to reduce: Same sex domestic violence Homophobic domestic violence Biphobic domestic violence Transphobic domestic violence Child abuse: homophobic, biphobic and transphobic
Mens Aid Domestic Abuse is a social issue and not a gender problem that affects men, women and children. It includes: Physical abuse Sexual abuse Emotional abuse Financial abuse Psychological
3. Impact of Domestic Violence The Wheel of Power and Control Abusers believe they have a right to control their partners by: Telling them what to do and expecting obedience Using force to maintain power and control over partners Feeling their partners have no right to challenge their desire for power and control Feeling justified making the victim comply Blaming the abuse on the partner and not accepting responsibility for wrongful acts. The characteristics shown in the wheel are examples of how this power and control are demonstrated and enacted against the victim.
Children and domestic violence Examples of how children can be affected: physically abused witnessing can be damaging try to intervene to protect the adult victim, which puts them in danger copy the violent behaviour they witness, both as children and as adults develop stress-related illnesses they can lose confidence, be afraid and angry, and blame themselves for what is happening. (www. nspcc.org.uk)
4. Approaches, Resources and Services The first Women's Aid Federation was set up in 1974The first Women's Aid Federation was set up in 1974 In 2003, 250 local projects, providing over 400 refuges,In 2003, 250 local projects, providing over 400 refuges, In ,000 women and children stayed in womens Aid refuges and over 35,000 individuals called their Help-line In ,000 women and children stayed in womens Aid refuges and over 35,000 individuals called their Help-line There are less than 5 refuges specifically for menThere are less than 5 refuges specifically for men Lesbians escaping domestic violence and abuse routinely face homo/transphobia in womens refuges.Lesbians escaping domestic violence and abuse routinely face homo/transphobia in womens refuges. Gay men - access to limited bed spaces in the UK.Gay men - access to limited bed spaces in the UK. Both bisexuals and transgender people have absolutely nowhere to go, and continue to remain completely invisible to the system (LGBT 2004:38).Both bisexuals and transgender people have absolutely nowhere to go, and continue to remain completely invisible to the system (LGBT 2004:38).
until the rule of thumb; In powers to arrest; Domestic Violence Act 1976; Domestic violence inc. homelessness leg. (1977); Family Law Act 1996; The Protection from Harassment Act 1997; The Crime and Disorder Act 1998; Criminal Justice Act 1988; Housing Acts 1996 and 2002; 2004,Smacking Children Legislation; The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004; recent introduction of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC) and Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs); Since 1995, inter-departmental circulars have been sent out – promoting inter- agency working and providing guidance to agencies.
Progress on domestic violence since 1997: Routine enquiry about domestic violence has been rolled out to all pregnant women. In Education, domestic violence is being included in all routine assessments of children. The Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence was formed, representing approximately 160 companies and over 2 million employees. Domestic violence training rolling out to all police and CPS. Every police force and CPS area now has a domestic violence co-ordinator. Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme continues with 64 SDVCs in April Accredited domestic abuse perpetrator programmes now in all probation areas High proportion of authorities across the country have Specialist Court and MARAC status (which they had to apply for)
5. Summary Domestic violence may occur at the micro level, affecting one family at a time, but it is also a macro problem, calling for interventions at all levels of social work practice. Yes, social workers are involved in providing services to those directly involved in violent families, but we also must be working at the community level and on policies that will create a society that is less tolerant of domestic violence. The prevalence of domestic violence mandates that social workers must develop adequate knowledge and skills to respond to domestic violence, regardless of practice setting, in order to respond appropriately to situations related to domestic violence. (http://www.socialworker.com/domesticviolence.htm)
6. Useful Source Material Examples of Websites: pdf crime/domestic-violence/
Examples of Books: Tonight with Trevor McDonald [vhs] [19-Jun-2006] ( ton) Rowlands J (2006) Domestic abuse among gay and bisexual men : an exploratory study in South Wales ( row ) Palin-Davies, S (2006) Male victims of female-perpetrated domestic violence ( pal ) Lawson E... (et al.) Blackstone's guide to the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 / 2005 ( bla) Mullender A (et al) (2002) Childrens Perspective on Domestic Violence ( chi) Hester M, Pearson C and Harwin N (2002) Making an impact : children and domestic violence : a reader ( hes) Mullender A (1996) Rethinking Domestic Violence: The Social Work and Probation Response ( mul) Humphreys C, Nicky Stanley N (2006) Domestic Violence and Child Protection: Directions for Good Practice Jessica Kingsley Publishers Humphreys C (2000) Social Work, Domestic Violence and Child Protection: Challenging Practice (Paperback) Children Living with Domestic Violence: Towards a Framework for Assessment and Intervention (Paperback) by Martin Calder M, Harold G and Howarth E (2004)