Domestic and Sexual Violence/Abuse
Domestic Violence support during the Covid-19.
Home should be a safe place flyer;
Domestic Abuse Resources & Key Messages - For local professionals during the Coronavirus pandemic - May 2020;
Wrong - A guide for people who think their friend, relative, neighbour or colleague may be in a relationship with someone who is abusive.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 made changes to the definition of domestic abuse and to offences involving controlling or coercive behaviour. It introduced a new legal definition for domestic abuse:-
Domestic abuse is any single incident, course of conduct or pattern of abusive behaviour between individuals aged 16 or over who are “personally connected” to each other as a result of being, or having been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.
Children who see, hear or experience the effects of the abuse and are related to either of the parties are also considered victims of domestic abuse.
Behaviour is “abusive” if it consists of any of the following:
- physical or sexual abuse;
- violent or threatening behaviour;
- controlling or coercive behaviour;
- economic abuse;
- psychological, emotional or other abuse. This includes incidences where the abusive party directs their behaviour at another person (e.g. a child).
Economic abuse means any behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on someone’s ability to acquire, use or maintain money or other property, or obtain goods or services.
The Act has extended the scope of coercive and controlling behaviour to incorporate abuse post -separation and widens the parameters of personally connected to include ex-partners and family members who do not live together.
Importantly the Act recognises children as victims in their own right for the first time which means that their perspectives, their experiences and their need for support and protection needs to be taken in to account by all professionals working with their families
Domestic abuse in teenage relationships is just as severe and has the potential to be as life threatening as abuse in adult relationships. Victims under 16 should be treated as victims of child abuse and age appropriate consequences should be considered for perpetrators under 16. Abuse involving perpetrators and victims aged between 16 and 18 could be both child and domestic abuse.
The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 uses the term 'victim' but not everyone who has experienced, or is experiencing, domestic abuse chooses to describe themselves as a 'victim' and they may prefer another term, for example, 'survivor'.
The statutory guidance Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship defines controlling or coercive behaviour as:
"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."
Information and Support
Visit the Leicester City Council website for information about support and services available to people living in Leicester.
Leicester City Council funds a range of specialist support services for those affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence. These services expanded in April 2022. Further information is available: Specialist domestic and sexual abuse provision in Leicester from April 2022 and Frequently Asked Questions.
Leicestershire Police can also be contacted on 101 (999 in an emergency). For further information and help, visit the Leicestershire Police website.