RESTRICTED – POLICY DRAFT

National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan
Annual Progress Report 2006/07

March 2007
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MINISTERIAL FOREWORD This year has seen more dedicated action against domestic violence and effective action has been taken at all levels of the delivery chain. As with last year, the centre piece of the National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence has been the continued expansion of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) Programme and its multi-agency component approach to putting victims at the heart of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) which is continuing to produce significant improvements and criminal justice outcomes. The launch of the expanded SDVC Programme at 10 Downing Street in September 2006, together with the National SDVC Steering Group being nominated in the top three Westminster and Whitehall Awards for “Joined Up Government” acknowledged the recognition that has been given by government to the significance of this work. This approach requires continued action by single agencies such as the police, CPS, courts and probation and the targets set in 2005 will be pursued with greater vigour. Emerging from the SDVC Programme has been the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC) and the role of the Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA). These initiatives, we believe, should be the central focus in the coming years, with the continued development of SDVCs. Through the MARAC and the IDVA we will continue to produce better CJS outcomes but also protect victims from serious injury or even homicide as well as bringing perpetrators to justice. We aim to develop further IDVAS and MARACs independent from, as well as linked to, SDVCs. That is why on the 5th March, the Home Secretary announced a further £1.85 million to roll out MARACs across the country. Embargoed: This will be supplemented by a further 3 year package of £9m to enable IDVAs to be employed as caseworkers to support the MARAC. This is a significant leap forward in providing a comprehensive set of interventions to ensure victim safety and better manage perpetrators. The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 When the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims (DVCV) Act 2004 received royal assent in November 2004 it was agreed that sections of the Act would be rolled out in stages, as and when resources became available. In December 2006, the Prime Minister announced that the outstanding sections would be introduced from 1st July 2007. This will complete the suite of measures aimed at providing better legal protection for victims and their children. Homicide Reviews

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Section 9 of the DVCV Act creates a statutory basis for establishing and conducting domestic violence Homicide Reviews of the circumstances in which the death of an adult has or appears to have resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by: a person to whom they were related to; or had been in an intimate relationship with, or was a member of the same household. We have undergone an extensive consultation on the nature and scope of Homicide Reviews and the final guidance will be issued as soon as it has been cleared across government departments and governance arrangements have been set. The Coordinated Community Response In last year’s report we identified the Specialist Domestic Violence Court model as the catalyst for a more coordinated approach to domestic violence. Building on the experience of the SDVC Programme and what we know from UK and other international research, the Domestic Violence Virtual Unit have been working on developing and refining this model to see how this could work to best effect in practice. The current model was designed for those partnerships which may have a range of complementary services but do not have an SDVC. The consultation process proved to be helpful and informative and alongside this report a link has been established which shows both the Co-ordinated Community Response PowerPoint presentation about the landscape that local partnerships need to create, and the risk assessment and management processes required to manage cases effectively. We believe this model is the best way forward to ensure that limited local resources are targeted at the most vulnerable victims using the available public protection frameworks as the pivotal mechanisms. Merging inter-personal violence work streams There has been a case made for closer working between government programmes particularly in the areas of domestic and sexual violence as they are so closely linked by victim and perpetrator profiles. In the coming year we will see a greater collaboration between the domestic violence and the sexual violence action plans which will help local partnerships deliver through local partnerships.. Although there are distinct differences associated with each of the crime types, there is much in common with the victim support and criminal justice approaches which makes it sensible to merge the programmes. Already in 2006/07 we have developed a joint accredited training programme for IDVAs and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) to allow local activity through Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) to be coordinated. The Sexual Violence Action Plan for 2007/08 will be published in March 2007 but guidance for local partnerships has already been issued in June 2006 asks them to develop a Coordinated Community Response to include sexual

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violence and domestic violence using a template which has its origins in the SDVC Programme.

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CONTENTS Page Foreword Executive summary Introduction SECTION 1 SECTION 2 The Coordinated Community Response (Objective 3) Progress report Objective 1 Objective 2 Objective 3 Objective 4 Objective 5 Objective 6 Objective 7 SECTION 3 Legislative and procedural changes

See Section 1

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Early identification and intervention As in 2005/06, Health is making significant progress in the early identification of, and intervention with, domestic violence victims. The roll out of routine enquiring of all pregnant women has been a major achievement. Progress has also been made in plans to collect violent crime data (including domestic violence) as part of the embedding of Electronic Patient Records. In Education, existing work is continuing to be established with domestic violence being included in the Common Assessment Framework and the recently established Local Safeguarding Children’s Boards. Exciting developments have been occurring in relation to the evidence base concerning children as victims of domestic violence with the work of Gordon Harold at Cardiff University and the Wave Trust informing the agenda on the impact of on children of witnessing domestic violence. Among Employers we have seen innovative work in the past year. In particular, the progress made among government departments in training their staff, developing domestic violence policies and raising awareness of the issues. Of particular note is the CPS Employee Domestic Violence handbook for staff which is being disseminated to other government departments. The Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV) continues to grow with 160 companies now recognising the benefits of joining. In 2007/08, CAADV will develop a strategy for its continuing work. Building capacity within the domestic violence sector The Local Government Association (LGA) Domestic Violence Project has now come to an end, but will leave a lasting legacy of the crucial role of local government in tackling domestic violence. The programme has yielded up important information about the role of local authorities in tackling domestic violence and the project acted as a consultancy with those local authorities who were part of the specialist domestic violence programme. Although the project has now ended the legacy of the work will continue through the mainstreaming of the work through the LGA work programme. As we pursue the development of a Coordinated Community Response to domestic violence in 2007/08 the LGA and local authorities in particular, will be vital to its success. In last year’s report, we identified that there was a pressing need to develop a Men’s Agenda to engage with men in a coherent and co-ordinated way not just as victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, but as a powerful lobby to challenge the culture and behaviour of other men that colludes with this destructive behaviour. In this past year we have merged the two men’s phone lines: RESPECT for male perpetrators and Men’s Advice Line and Enquiries for those men who find themselves in abusive relationships.

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This collaboration has also joined with the Men’s Health Forum, to consider the formation of a coalition of organisations who deal with men’s health and their behaviours in order to lend a powerful male voice to tackling domestic violence. The Centre for Public Innovation was funded by the Home Office to host two seminars on changing men’s behaviour in 2006/07. This is on going work and will work toward the development of the national men’s coalition in the coming year. During 2006/07 the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) published the results of the national consultation held in 2005 on whether the Government should make forced marriage a criminal offence. As a result, it was decided that specific legislation would not be introduced at this time. A private peer’s bill: the Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill, has now been introduced by Lord Lester. The Government plans to work with Lord Lester and other backers of the Bill on the proposals as the Bill goes through its Committee stage in the Lords. FMU is pursuing the recommendations of the consultation and continues to provide assistance to approximately 300 victims and potential victim of forced marriage; to increase awareness of the issues and develop guidance for public service professionals. In addition, in 2006 two Honour Killings seminars were jointly hosted by Attorney General and Baroness Scotland with community leaders. Plans are underway in CPS to pilot monitoring of these cases to inform future guidance and training plans to address prosecution of these cases. We have a continued commitment to the issues faced by domestic violence victims from black and minority ethnic groups (BME) and have funded IMKAAN to examine how many BME victims of domestic violence have accessed refuge accommodation. As domestic violence has steadily grown in importance as an issue, so the need has grown to ensure that the domestic violence sector, its services and its work force are fit for purpose. We need to ensure that we have high professional standards for all of those services which come into contact with domestic violence victims and perpetrators and that they are dealt with appropriately by highly trained and qualified staff. Working with organisations within the domestic violence and sexual violence sector, the government aims to establish service and occupational standards for both sectors which would create a consistency of service to victims and perpetrators. To this end we are working to develop national occupational standards for the voluntary sectors dealing with sexual and domestic violence. Draft service standards have been prepared by Women’s Aid for both sectors and are being circulated as part of a consultation exercise. In addition draft occupational standards for IDVAs and are being consulted on and will be developed further in 2007/08. This will be co-ordinated with the work on the

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Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention Programme (VVAPP) work to create a co-ordinated package of measures to ensure the best possible responses to domestic and sexual violence are made available. We have demonstrated our commitment to the provision of a range of accommodation options for victims of domestic violence from our traditional responses of refuge provision and re-housing with floating support through to the publication of the Sanctuary Scheme guidance in December 2006. Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) is continuing to build on the recommendations in Her Majesty’s Inspection of Court Administration’s inspection of the handling of domestic violence issues by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and the administration of family courts by HMCS. HMCS has produced a DVD about the family court process: “You Don’t Have to Live in Fear” which aims to minimise the concerns that victims may have when making an application for a civil injunction. HMCS has also repeated a survey of special facilities available in the family courts and has worked to increase awareness about what to do when there are concerns about intimidation while at court. Increasing reporting and arrests for domestic violence It is policing policy that where an arrest is possible in a domestic violence incident this should be pursued. We will continue to roll out the CENTREX/CPS 'Responses to Domestic Violence' training manual training to embed the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Guidance on Investigating Domestic Violence in local policing policies. We set a target that all officers will be familiar with the guidance by 2008. In this past year, ACPO has been undertaking an audit of how close we are to reaching that target by April 2008. Lessons learned during the Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaigns (DVECs) mean that we continue to develop the evidence base on what works in relation to policing domestic violence. This includes innovative work such as the use of head cams to aid effective evidence gathering when responding to domestic violence incidents. An interim report on the use of head cams and a report into policing domestic violence during the FIFA World Cup are both on the Home Office website. Increasing the rate at which sanction detections are converted into offences brought to justice Building on the success of the first Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) Programme when 25 new sites were identified as being at, or working towards, the nationally agreed standard for an SDVC, the Programme was expanded in 2006/07. There are now 64 sites operational, or working towards being operational, by April 2007.

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The Programme jointly managed by the Home Office, the CPS and Her Majesty’s Courts Service was short-listed for The Joined-Up Government Award in the Whitehall & Westminster World Civil Service Awards 2006. The launch of the expanded SDVC Programme at 10 Downing Street in September 2006, together with the National SDVC Steering Group being nominated in the top three Westminster and Whitehall Awards for “Joined Up Government” acknowledged the recognition that has been given by government to the significance of this work. The CENTREX/CPS training manual was launched in February 2005 with a target to train all Crown Prosecution Service prosecutors and caseworkers by April 2008. By January 2007, over 2,400 CPS staff had been trained in domestic violence. This and the dissemination of good practice guidance have led to successful prosecutions for domestic violence rising from 46% in 2003 to 65.4% by December 2006. Supporting victims through the CJS and managing perpetrators to reduce risk IDVA involvement with victims of domestic violence has been shown to decrease victimisation; increase notification of children at risk, and reduce the number of victims unwilling to support a prosecution. During 2006/7 £3 million was used to seed fund IDVAs in the 64 SDVC areas and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) were developed in Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and specialist sexual violence voluntary sector organisations. Accredited training was also developed and provided for both roles. EMBARGOED: The Home Office funded the initial stages of the programme. The Department of Constitutional Affairs has now secured £3 million per annum from 2007/2008 towards the local funding of IDVA posts in all the court areas. The ISVA funding is also continuing for 2007/08. At the beginning of March 2007, the Home Secretary announced £1.85 million to develop Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs). MARACs are a recent development in services offered to victims of domestic violence which focus on high risk victims of domestic violence as indicated through the use of risk assessment checklists. By sharing information, agencies get a better picture of victims’ situations and so develop responses that are tailored to the needs and goals of individual victims and their children. In Cardiff where the MARAC has been evaluated by Cardiff University, the level of reported repeat victimisation has dropped from 32% to below 10% and in 2006/07 the Home Office funded the development of a training package for MARACs based on the evaluated Cardiff model. The training is being rolled out across the SDVC areas. In the coming year, MARACs will be rolled out to an agreed national standard in a 100 areas by the end of April 2008.

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All probation service areas now run a perpetrator programme accredited by the Correction Services Accreditation Panel (CSAP) for delivery in the community. During the beginning of 2006/07, all areas received programme sign-off by satisfying CSAP’s quality standards and for the first time, targets were set by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) for programme completions. Women Safety Workers (WSWs) play an essential role in the programmes and in support of this role, NOMS has made available additional funds and run four national training events for WSWs. Developing the evidence base We have continued to take an evidence based approach to developing our policies on domestic violence and have recently published the findings from the 2005/06 British Crime Survey on domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Jointly with the Northern Rock Foundation, the government commissioned research into male domestic violence perpetrators entering the CJS and to identify help seeking pathways and potential opportunities for early intervention and prevention. Other research planned includes: evaluating the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004; evaluating the evaluating the Police/Family Protocol for family court practitioners to approach the police for information in relation to family cases; evaluating revised forms for child contact and residence applications and an evaluation of a pilot project which was developed for staff in 12 Mental Health Trusts to work with patients asking about their experiences of violence and abuse. Legislative changes The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 introduced a number of new powers, and amendments to existing ones, to strengthen the victim’s case when brought to the attention of criminal justice system. Three provisions that impact on civil remedies and criminal sanctions will be implemented from 1 July 2007. They are: • • • section 1 - Making breach of a non-molestation order a criminal offence. Breach will be punishable by up to five years imprisonment on indictment; section 4 - Making couples who have never cohabited or been married eligible for non-molestation and occupation orders; and section 12 - Enabling courts to impose restraining orders when sentencing for any offence and giving any person mentioned in a restraining order the right to make representations in court if an application is made to vary or terminate the order.

The Government asked the Sentencing Advisory Panel (SAP) to consult on guidance to the courts for dealing with domestic violence cases which they 10

did so in 2004. The Sentencing Guidelines Council published definitive guidelines in December 2006: ‘Overarching Principles: Domestic Violence and Breach of a Protective Order’. Work continues within HMCS to improve the interface between the family and criminal jurisdictions and to improving transparency and privacy in family courts. In relation to the former, the Family-Criminal Interface Committee was established to improve the interface between the family and criminal jurisdictions and to identify areas that have not yet been addressed to enable all stakeholders to respond more effectively to child protection, domestic violence and private and public family law issues within the forensic arena.

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INTRODUCTION This is the second progress report on the National Plan for Domestic Violence, which was first published in March 2005. The report outlines the continuing progress that has been made across the work streams during the year. Although much of this work is on going, there have been significant developments especially in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) where the number of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts identified has now risen to 64. Accompanying these developments has been the expansion of the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) and more Independent Domestic Advisors (IDVAs) have been trained to the national standard. This trinity of developments is paving the way for an exponential expansion in the coming year which will transform the face of domestic violence services at local level. We are mindful that there is a continuing need to keep monitoring the data that is emerging from the SDVCs and the MARACs to ensure that the programme of work is kept on track and keeps on delivering this essential service to victims and their children. But it is equally important that we don’t let up on the developments in the mainstream services such as; health local government as well as the voluntary sector, all of which develops and refines responses and services for victims and the management of perpetrators. In relation to health, work on antenatal services, the production of a training manual for health workers and the piloting of data collection within electronic patient records of domestic violence, alcohol-fuelled violence. In the coming year, we have to ensure that these work streams have tangible goals and outputs so that we can quantify the impact of these developments. Similarly, work carried out through the Local Government Association (LGA) with local partnerships and Local Authorities identified the key role Local Authorities play to achieve the substantially revised Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) 225. This needs to be understood in the light of new partnership accountability arrangements and the emerging Local Area Agreements (LAA). Again progress on this needs to be monitored as we are seeing domestic violence targets being included in the roll out of LAAs. The voluntary sector is pivotal in providing specialised and focused services for victims and emerging work on occupational standards and the Change Up Programme for Women’s Aid services and the sector as a whole will grow in significance in the coming year. Work has been undertaken by ACPO to gauge how far police forces have undertaken the CENTREX/CPS training on investigating domestic violence and similar work is being carried out to monitor which risk assessment processes are being used at local level, with a view to standardising the police approach.

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Probation continues to develop and implement their strategy, which includes having accredited domestic abuse treatment programmes running in every part of the country which they have now achieved. Waiting times in some areas continues to challenge but there have been significant progress in many areas as significant additional funding for victims safety work has been made available. Perpetrator programmes outside of the CJS are growing in importance and principles and standards are being developed through RESPECT, which will aim to create a consistency of service and approach to reflect that of the National Probation Service. Significant progress has been made in the past year which has led to more focused activity to respond to domestic violence at national, regional and local level. This has led to the objectives of the National Delivery Plan being rationalised and re-defined to allow for greater transparency and capture more clearly the emerging model of local delivery growing out of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme. The outcomes of the National Plan for Domestic Violence: 1. to reduce the number of domestic violence-related homicides; 2. to reduce the prevalence of domestic violence, particularly in high incidence areas and/or communities; 3. to increase the rate that domestic violence is reported, particularly in high incidence areas and/or communities; 4. to increase the rate of reported domestic violence offences that are brought to justice, particularly in high incidence areas and/or communities as well as in areas with high attrition rates; 5. to ensure victims of domestic violence are adequately protected and supported nationwide. In 2006/07 the objectives of the National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence were to: 1. increase the early identification of and intervention with, victims of domestic violence earlier by utilising all points of contact with key front line professionals; 2. to build capacity within the domestic violence sector to provide effective advice and support to victims of domestic violence; 3. the promotion and promulgation of a co-ordinated community response to domestic violence; 4. to increase reporting and arrests rates for domestic violence; 5. Increase the rate at which sanction detections are converted into offences brought to justice, particularly in high incidence areas and/or communities as well as in areas with high attrition rates; 6. to support victims through the CJS and manage perpetrators to reduce risk; and 7. develop the evidence base to close key knowledge gaps, particularly around (a) understanding the nature and scope of domestic violence and 13

(b) understanding what works in reducing the prevalence of domestic violence. However, the Delivery Plan objectives have been revised for 2007/08 to reflect the move towards developing a Coordinated Community Response to domestic violence. The agreed objectives are as follows: 1. increasing the early identification of, and intervention with, victims of DV earlier by utilising all points of contact with front line professionals; 2. building capacity within the DV sector to provide effective advice and support to victims of DV; 3. improving the criminal justice response to DV (previously objectives 4&5); 4. supporting victims through the CJS and manage perpetrators too reduce risk. What was Objective 3 has now become the overarching objective and what was Objective 7 (‘To develop the evidence base to close key knowledge gaps’) is to become work to support these objectives.

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DEVELOPING A COORDINATED COMMUNITY RESPONSE TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE At the heart of the Delivery Plan has been the excellent work of the SDVCs, which have been expanded further in 2006/07 totalling 64 by April 2007. IDVAs and MARACs for victims have played crucial roles within these court systems and have helped develop the Coordinated Community Response model to address national domestic violence work beyond the court systems. In 2007/8, the 64 SDVC systems will be consolidated with a continued expansion of such court services, but also a broader coordinated community response addressing the need for a specialist, co-ordinated multi-agency response irrespective of whether it is possible or safe for victims to go down the criminal justice route. This takes into account the fact that the majority of victims may disclose to a range of statutory and voluntary agencies before reporting to the police and supporting a case through the CJS. Also, it is recognised that some areas may not be able to set up an SDVC but that is no reason why local areas cannot implement good practice and learning to local service delivery, even if they do not have an SDVC. To that end the government aims to expand its focus from SDVCs to improving the local response to victims of domestic violence across England and Wales. This is a continuation of a dialogue that the government began at last year’s national conference for domestic violence co-ordinators and police. A model has been refined and developed which has been tested with regional groups to ensure that it has captured all the best practice. To illustrate this, the government has developed a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) model of domestic violence which demonstrates the interrelationship of agencies and levels of response for tackling domestic violence. This model is designed for local partnerships so that they can identify the dynamic of domestic violence relationships and how it plays out in a community and social context and identifies the landscape that will have to be constructed to intervene to prevent domestic violence cases escalating to serious injury or homicide. It goes on to identify the tiers of risk and illustrates the need for a co-ordinated interplay between local agencies both local and statutory, through risk assessment and the MARAC process. The model has been informed by the sector’s practitioners and policy makers and has borrowed heavily from the strategic work of Tower Hamlets in London. Ultimately it recognises and makes explicit that no one agency can deal effectively and safely with the effects of domestic violence it requires intensely close working between agencies and a collaboration which, although not always comfortable, can have a profound effect on the lives and safety of families. [Insert website link to the model here when available]

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OBJECTIVE 1: Increase the early identification of, and intervention with, victims of domestic violence earlier by utilising all points of contact with key front line professionals Rationale • Victims are often likely to be in contact with statutory health and social welfare services such as social services, general practitioners, accident and emergency departments, midwifery services, health visitors etc before they decide to report to the police. Training practitioners to screen for domestic violence and to access referral routes and care pathways is essential for early identification and intervention.

Health and Social Care Framework In 2006/07, the National Domestic Abuse Co-ordinator continued taking a strategic lead on domestic violence across the National Health Service. The Co-ordinator also continued to work with British Forces overseas supporting the development of good practice, establishing strategies, guidelines and on-going training. The Handbook for Health Professionals was published incorporating recommendations from the Domestic Abuse and Pregnancy Advisory Group, set up in 2005. The Handbook has been extremely well received and is now entering its second print run. The pilot project at Her Majesty’s Prison Foston Hall to provide female prisoners and staff information on domestic violence recommenced January 2007. The project aimed to identify the needs of prisoners within the new young offenders unit. In 2006, the Department of Health (DH) collected data on Training the Trainer sessions provided in 2005 to gauge extent of training of health professionals in local areas. An analysis of this data is planned. The joint Department of Health (DH), National Institute for Mental Health and Home Office policy document and the Victims of Violence and Abuse Prevention (VVAPP) Programme guide: ‘Tackling the health and mental health effects of domestic and sexual violence and abuse‘, was launched by Minister of State for Health Caroline Flint in June 2006. Other publications produced include: ‘Guidelines for developing Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) nationally’ (2005) and ‘The needs and effective treatment of young people who sexually abuse: current evidence’ (2006). The VVAPP Programme of research is on target to report by April 2007 with guidelines on identifying and responding to the needs of children, adolescents and adults affected by domestic abuse, and perpetrator interventions are on schedule for completion by October 2007. Health routine enquiry and raising awareness in the public health arena Routine enquiring of all pregnant women, when taking a social history has now been rolled out across midwifery services in England. 16

In June and July 2006 regional strategic breakfasts, coterminous with Government Offices were run in conjunction with the Home Office Domestic Violence Team as part of the Tackling Violent Crime Programme (TVCP) with the aim of strengthening local partnerships. An evaluation of the breakfasts was conducted and the report sent to delegates with contact information for networking to share best practice. Department of Health response to health aspects of Female Genital Mutilation, Forced Marriage and crimes committed in the name of honour DH has funded two Female Genital Mutilation initiatives in 2006 namely a prevalence study which will provide an estimate of the incidence in England and the production of a DVD for health professionals. In 2006/07, DH started work with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to develop guidelines on forced marriage for health professionals. Electronic Patient Records (EPR) An expert group continues to drive the Electronic Patient Records (EPR) work forward, a template has been established with appropriate codes embedded. The expert group continues to take forward the EPR ‘Do Once and Share’ project. Significant data has already emerged which health has been able to share with engaged crime reduction partners. Action for 2007/08 • • • • Reprinting /funding the Handbook for Health professionals (and associated training materials). Prevalence study on Female Genital Mutilation. (Has this been done in 2006/07?) Mental health pilot. (what’s this?) Negotiate the development of the health agenda with Strategic Health Authority who have been given the lead for domestic violence.

Education, Children and Young People Children may suffer both directly and indirectly if they live in households where there is domestic violence. This can have an impact in a number of ways. Children living in families where they are exposed to domestic violence have been shown to be at risk of behavioural, emotional, physical and cognitive functioning, attitudes, and long-term developmental problems. Further, they have an increased risk of becoming victims of violence themselves. Children in violent households are three to nine times more likely to be injured and abused, either directly or while trying to protect their parent. Both the physical assaults and psychological abuse suffered by adult victims who experience domestic violence can have a negative impact on their ability to look after their children.

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An effective strategic framework to tackle the complex issues associated with children affected by domestic violence needs to include specific elements focused on identifying children at risk, putting in place appropriate support services; and ensuring interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Such experiences may impair children's emotional and intellectual development and hamper their life chances if these issues are not addressed early. It has therefore been important to ensure that domestic violence issues are adequately reflected in the ‘Every Child Matters: Change for Children’ programme, and especially in safeguarding guidance. Further work in this past year has been to: • publish a revision of Working Together to Safeguard Children including guidance covering issues such as domestic violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and child abuse linked to honour crimes. ‘Working Together’ reinforces the need for agencies to collaborate closely when investigating these issues; establish (from 1 April 2006) statutory Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) to take over the functions previously carried out by Area Child Protection Committees (ACPCs). LSCBs are an important element of the improved safeguards for children put in place by the Children Act 2004. They have two key objectives: to co-ordinate the work of local agencies in relation to safeguarding; and to promote the welfare of children and to ensure the effectiveness of what is done. Working Together recommends that LSCBs and locally established Domestic Violence Forums should have clearly defined links, including cross-membership and joint working on areas of common interest. Together, they should contribute – in the context of the children’s services plan – to an assessment of children caught up in domestic violence; their needs, the adequacy of local arrangements to meet those needs and the implications for local services. LSCBs play an important role through their contribution to MARACs where domestic violence impacts on safeguarding children. publish, in late 2006, a new version of What to Do If You’re Worried a Child Is Being Abused to complement the revised Working Together. While Working Together describes how attention to domestic violence and other related issues contribute to the wider safeguarding agenda, the process by which the effects these have on children should be reported to, and followed up by, the relevant agencies is described in What To Do If; ensure that training materials published by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills reflects domestic violence issues; continue to provide grant funding to Women’s Aid to support the national 24 hour free phone domestic violence helpline and also, though the Children Young People and Families grant scheme, to support the Daybreak Family Group Conferences project; include domestic violence as one of the factors to consider in Common Assessment Framework.

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Action for 2007/08 • • • • • Promote cross-agency collaboration by making clear to agencies how multiagency risk assessment and management procedures relate to Local Safeguarding Children Boards. Review the inclusion of domestic violence, as it affects children, in the Joint Area Reviews (JARs). Domestic violence affecting children is currently part of the existing framework for JARs. Continue to provide funding support for Women’s Aid and Daybreak Family Group Conference.

Employee domestic violence policy By January 2007, seven government departments had employee domestic violence policies, with two further departments having policies in development. Northern Ireland and Wales have also developed policies. The Inter-Ministerial Group for Domestic Violence monitors departmental employee policies on a quarterly basis. An example of good practice is the implementation of the CPS Employee Domestic Violence Policy, launched in 2003 and revised in 2007 to expand on ways to address perpetrators at the workplace, whether harassing staff there or being employed in the workforce. The services for any employee facing domestic violence are provided by Care Firstwith a 24/7 service to both CPS staff and their immediate dependants. Care First’s team of more than 700 fully trained and qualified counsellors are able to deal with domestic violence cases. Their contract provides some specialist counsellors in this area of work, should the need arise in a particularly complex case. Synergy is occurring between government departments and the Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV), which includes the CAADV training package planned for use in training departmental human resources staff. Action for 2007/2008 • • • Continue to record and collate statistics on number of staff referring to Welfare Services on domestic violence issues across Government Developing a standardised work based domestic violence policy in government offices in the regions Disseminating the CPS Employee Domestic Violence Policy to all government departments.

Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence Domestic Violence currently costs UK business over £2.7 billion a year and affects thousands of working men and women every day. By proactively addressing the issue,

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organisations can both reduce the costs to their business, and, most importantly, help prevent domestic violence in society at large. The Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (CAADV) is a group of progressive companies and organisations working individually and collectively to address the impact of domestic violence in the workplace. There are around 160 members, representing over 2 million employees. The Executive Board includes The Bodyshop International, KPMG, The NHS Employers organisation, & AOL. There is a website where employees can access information about domestic violence and employers can access online resources, such as a workplace policy template, strategic communications toolkit, case studies, and other resources. www.corporateallianceuk.com A training package has also been developed, and further information can be accessed through the website. Action for 2007/2008 • • • • • Deepening relationships with existing members. Assessing the impact on members’ policy and practice. Promoting the CAADV training programme. Improved communications using the CAADV website. Delivery of an effective annual Conference

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OBJECTIVE 2: To build capacity within the domestic violence sector to provide effective advice and support to victims of domestic violence Rationale • • Evidence indicates that support can services can vary in their effectiveness across the country. The development of accredited training for IDVAs has enabled the development of a consistent, independent, professional service for victims at the point of crisis which can also perform institutional advocacy to ensure that all agencies are able to provide the most effective service possible to victims. But this is only one role within the domestic violence sector. An agreed set of standards across the spectrum of occupations and services within the domestic violence sector can create a consistency of service to victims of domestic violence.

Ensuring that all local partnerships include domestic violence in their crime reduction strategies This year there has been a concerted effort to ensure that domestic violence is considered as part of local plans and in addition to the guidance issued in 2005, further guidance was issued to provide targets for domestic violence through the Local Area Agreements. [insert information on BVPI] The 9 government office domestic violence lead officials (and officials from the Welsh Assembly Government) have continued to provide co-ordinated action and guidance to local partnerships and have been instrumental in promoting and developing government policy through the regions and within local partnerships. This has been most evident in the roll out of the SDVC Programme (see Objective 5) the TVCP and in the development of the emerging Co-ordinated Community Response which will be promoted further this year. The regional leads have proved an invaluable resource not only in promoting government policy but to feed back local intelligence which has tempered policy approaches to meet local conditions. Local Government Association Domestic Violence Project The LGA Domestic Violence Project has now come to an end, but will leave a lasting legacy of the crucial role of local government in tackling domestic violence. The programme has yielded up important information about the role of local authorities in tackling domestic violence and the project acted as a consultancy with those local authorities who were part of the specialist domestic 21

violence programme. In particular the project published ‘The vision for services and young people affected by domestic violence’ in partnership with CAFCASS and Women’s Aid; hosted a conference on Homicide Reviews’ as well as a training programme for elected members of local authorities. Although the project has now ended the legacy of the work will continue through the mainstreaming of the work through the LGA work programme. As we pursue the development of a Coordinated Community Response to domestic violence in 2007/08 the LGA and local authorities in particular, will be vital to its success. Action for 2007/08 • Provide further guidance to local partnerships which promotes the Coordinated Community Response and includes co-ordinated work on sexual offending. • Continue to refine and promulgate Local Area Agreement guidance in relation to domestic violence. Men’s Agenda In last year’s report, we identified that there was a pressing need to engage with men in a coherent and co-ordinated way not just as victims or perpetrators of domestic violence, but as a powerful lobby to challenge the culture and behaviour of other men that colludes with this destructive behaviour. In this past year we have merged the two men’s phone lines: RESPECT for male perpetrators and Men’s Advice Line and Enquiries (MALE) for those men who find themselves in abusive relationships. This collaboration has also joined with the Men’s Health Forum, to consider the formation of a coalition of organisations who deal with men’s health and men’s behaviours in order to lend a powerful male voice to tackling domestic violence. The Centre for Public Innovation was funded by the Home Office to host two seminars on changing men’s behaviour in 2006/07. This is on going work and will work toward the development of the national men’s coalition in the coming year. Forced marriage and honour-based violence In the last year, the FMU published the results of the national consultation held in 2005 on whether the Government should make forced marriage a criminal offence. The Government fully considered all the arguments before deciding whether or not to legislate, and in June 2006 Baroness Scotland announced that specific legislation would not be introduced at this time. A private peer’s bill (Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Bill) has been introduced by Lord Lester which proposes a civil remedy which would allow victims to seek an injunction where there is evidence that they are at risk of being forced or deceived into marriage.

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The government fully supports the aims of the Bill, and wish to see provisions along these lines placed in statute as soon as possible. The government plans to work with Lord Lester and other backers of the Bill on the proposals as the Bill goes through its Committee stage in the Lords. Since the last report, the FMU is now pursuing the recommendations of the consultation through the recently-agreed two-year strategy. This includes work in three areas: continuing our extensive programme of outreach work, strengthening work with statutory agencies to implement forced marriage guidelines, including increasing training to professionals, and making better use of existing legislation and civil remedies. This work has included: • • continuing to provide assistance to approximately 300 victims and potential victim of forced marriage; conducting a national publicity campaign, involving radio, television and national and local press to raise awareness of the help the FMU can offer. This included holding regional conferences in Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and London to take our message out more widely; the Attorney General and Baroness Scotland met with community leaders in October and November 2006 to address ways that community groups could advise and support victims of these crimes. developing Guidelines for Health Professionals; developing Guidance for Social Workers on dealing with both Children and Young People and Vulnerable Adults; publication of a Survivor’s Handbook to offer information and practical support to survivors of forced marriage; launching a pilot Survivors’ Network in Derby to provide emotional support to forced marriage survivors; helping to fund projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India designed to improve the links between our High Commissions and local NGOs in order to offer better assistance to victims of forced marriage; and plans were developed during 2006/7 to develop pilot flagging of these issues to inform any future guidance and training of specialist prosecutors.

• • • • • • •

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is planning to pilot monitoring of the prosecution of forced marriage and honour-based violence cases to inform any future guidance or training for staff. Action for 2007/2008 In 2007/2008, the FMU will continue to develop the way that it handles cases of forced marriage and seek to contribute to UK-wide approaches to the issue. This will include developing closer relationships with partners in the UK (including statutory agencies, Parliament and the voluntary sector) and partners overseas (including UK Embassies and High Commissions, foreign governments, NGOs and the EU); seeking to mainstream forced marriage into wider measures to combat domestic violence; and continuing our substantial programme of outreach activity across the country. 23

The FMU’s two-year strategy will form the basis for this work. This will include: • publishing a handbook of legal remedies for family law professionals, holding a series of legal seminars for practitioners in the field, and developing ways of introducing forced marriage on to family law courses at universities and colleges; working with Government departments to secure statutory backing for forced marriage Guidelines; working with Parliament, other Government departments and the voluntary sector to identify any gaps in existing legislation that could be filled; working with the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at the Home Office to explore possible further changes to the immigration rules to better protect victims of forced marriage; developing Forced Marriage Guidelines for Registrars; Hosting a conference on forced marriage as part of the wider EU project, “Active Against Forced Marriage”; taking forward work to engage with men, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community and members of the older generation; holding a joint forced marriage/child abduction conference in Dubai to share best practice and exchange information between Embassies and High Commissions in the Middle East and South Asia on handling cases of forced marriage.

• • • • • • •

Harmful Traditional Practices While we are waiting for the research results from the commissioned reports into the needs of BME communities, the government has funded IMKAAN to look into the access to refuge provision for South Asian women. The project will be examining the occupancy and ‘move on’ rates of women who are using refuges and other housing options across the country. Development of National Occupational Standards for Domestic and Sexual Violence Services in partnership with Women’s Aid Federation of England, Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse and RESPECT As with last year, local partnerships are being encouraged to mainstream the commissioning of Domestic and sexual violence services into the routine business of crime reduction. Such commissioning requires readily available service standards which in turn need occupational standards for staff employed in the delivery agencies. As this begins to take shape, it is essential that the domestic violence workforce in both the statutory and non-statutory sectors are trained to appropriate levels of competence and that services are operating to agreed national standards. Work has started on this and is being progressed on a number of fronts:

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Women’s Aid Federation of England (WAFE) has produced a draft set of standards for the voluntary domestic and sexual violence sectors as part of last year’s Change Up Programme. The standards are currently out for consultation and the Home Office is funding a post in WAFE to take this forward in the coming year; This work is complemented by the development of occupational standards for IDVAs and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) as well as standards for those services that employ them. This is being undertaken by Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse. In the coming year we envisage a greater involvement of the sector skills councils who will be able to provide a greater workforce development context for both the voluntary and statutory sectors.

These two pieces of work will be complemented by the VVAP Programme which seeks to establish standards for therapeutic interventions. National help lines The continuing need to provide 24 hour access to support and information for all victims of domestic violence remains the central plank of the National Delivery Plan’s objective of providing nationwide support for victims. Under this objective, the government funds and part funds, a matrix of national help lines which focus on particular sections of the community that need support and information. The National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership between WAFE and Refuge) The government part funds this line along with the Association of London Authorities and Comic Relief and the host agencies also have a challenging fund raising strategy to ensure that the line remains fully operational. This past year has been a challenge for funders and the agencies as new performance standards were agreed and implemented. This required a change in working patterns and processes to ensure that the service was using its resources to best meet the needs of the callers. The agencies have worked hard to reschedule rotas and make efficiency gains including introducing a risk assessment protocol for all calls. The help line has also been instrumental in the development of materials for the ENOUGH campaign which was rolled out regionally to encourage 3rd party callers to seek help for their friends, neighbours and work colleagues. There are further challenges ahead in 2007/08 which will continue to test the service and its operation but there is great commitment from funders and Women’s Aid and Refuge alike to make this the best possible service for victims. Men’s Advice Line and Enquiries (MALE)

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The issue of men as victims of domestic violence is complicated as although there is no doubt that men are sometimes the victims, the responses required and service needs of this particular client group is unclear. The need for specific research has been identified but there were delays in commissioning this piece of wok in 2006/07. However, it remains a priority and it will be part of the work programme for next. Alongside of this, we funded the Devon Male helpline to offer a support and information service for male victims. It was becoming apparent that as this helpline was being promoted by a number of agencies and partnerships around the country many of the calls were coming from outside Devon. It was decided that the service should be made available nationally and be housed with a complementary national service. In November 2006 the line was transferred to the management of RESPECT and renamed the Men’s Advice Line and Enquiries whilst still keeping its external brand and separate number. Broken Rainbow help line Like the issue of men as victims it is known that domestic violence occurs in the LGBT communities. However what isn’t known is the extent of the problem and what the service needs might be. Preliminary work has been undertaken by Bristol and Sunderland universities into same sex domestic violence and further work is due to be commissioned in the coming year. Broken Rainbow has been funded by the government to provide a helpline service to the LGBT community as well as contributing expertise to other broader training packages. However Broken Rainbow has struggled this year to maintain a continuous service having been dogged with staffing and management problems. It is clear that radical new arrangements will be needed in 2007/08 if the service is to become viable proposition. Whatever the outcome of these deliberations over the structure of the service, the government remains committed to providing a service to the LGBT community. Actions for 2007/08 • Develop new proposals for the service delivery.

RESPECT phone line As with the other lines we have recognised the need for perpetrators to have access to appropriate self help services and information. RESPECT has provided this service and is a direct complement to the service standards that they are working on for voluntary sector perpetrator programmes. Developing national standards for perpetrator programmes outside of the criminal justice system

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Last year work began on developing national standards for perpetrator programmes outside of the criminal justice system which was led by RESPECT and joint funded by the Home Office and the Lankelly Trust. As awareness of domestic violence in growing, more perpetrators are expected to come forward to seek help, as the consequences of their actions become apparent to them and others. Therefore, services set up to help them must ensure that the programmes on offer are effective and consider the safety of the victims. There has been good progress this year and pilot areas are currently being considered in order to trial the draft standards. In addition, further work is being considered on establishing the standards that will be required for services that offer individual work with domestic violence perpetrators who are not eligible for group work. It is essential that the same safeguards are put in place in order to protect victims. Action for 2007/08 • • • • Develop the national occupational standards for the voluntary sectors dealing with sexual and domestic violence. Continue to develop the IDVA occupational and service standards. Pilot the service standards for perpetrator programmes outside the criminal justice system. Begin work on standards that are required for individual interventions with perpetrators.

Accommodation and housing related support The dynamics of domestic violence mean that accommodation and support can play a vital role in the resolution of interpersonal violence and conflict. It is the foundation to ensuring that adult and child victims are afforded safety and security. Communities and Local Government (CLG) and the LGA have produced joint guidance for Local Authorities on setting up Sanctuary Schemes. The Sanctuary Scheme is an innovative approach to homelessness prevention. It provides security measures to allow those experiencing domestic violence to remain in their own accommodation where it is safe for them to do so, where it is their choice and where the perpetrator no longer lives within the accommodation. CLG are currently surveying local authorities to look at the uptake and proliferation of Sanctuary Schemes across England. The results should be available during the summer. Action for 2007/08

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• •

Produce guidance for Local Authorities on homelessness prevention and accommodation options for DV victims (CLG). This year CLG will be providing £150,000 to support UKRefugesonline (UKROL) a UK wide database of domestic violence services that underpins the delivery of the national 24 hour free phone domestic violence helpline, delivered in partnership by WAFE and Refuge.

Supporting People Supporting People (SP) is a devolved programme with service commissioned and delivered at the local level according to the local needs and priorities. Each top-tier authority has a five-year SP strategy in place, and it is that which should be used by authorities to decide where support is needed in their area. In 2005/06, over £59 million of Supporting People funding was used to provide housing related support for victims of domestic violence. Exact figures of Supporting People spending on domestic violence services in 2006/07, will not be available until the summer. Response to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Court Administration (HMICA) report of the handling of domestic violence issues by the CAFCASS and the administration of family courts by HMCS In October 2005, HMICA published its report ‘Domestic Violence, Safety and Family Proceedings'1. The report followed a thematic review, carried out in nine courts, of how domestic violence was dealt with in the family courts and by CAFCASS. The report contained 11 recommendations: HMCS and 5 directed at CAFCASS. 6 recommendations directed at

One proposal in response to the recommendations was for HMCS to look at ways that court users familiarise themselves with the court environment, as a witness or applicant. In liaison with the Family Justice Council (FJC) Domestic Violence Sub-Group, Her Majesty’s Courts Service (HMCS) has produced a DVD about the family court process, based loosely on Northern Ireland’s ‘The Law on Your Side’. This new production “You Don’t Have to Live in Fear” aims to minimise the concerns that victims may have when making an application for a civil injunction. The DVD will also aim to raise awareness among service providers and practitioners of the impact of domestic violence on an applicant and the practical problems they face when seeking help. The DVD will be inserted into the existing Home Office leaflet of the same name and launched at the same time as the revised HMCS publication “Domestic Violence: A Guide to Civil Remedies and Criminal Sanctions”
1

http://www.hmica.gov.uk/files/HMICA_Domestic_violence_linked1.pdf

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HMCS has also repeated a survey of special facilities available in the family courts and have redistributed a poster for courts to display who to contact should anyone be concerned about intimidation while they are at court. A training and awareness programme has also been devised for court staff and will tie in with training to prepare for the implementation in July 2007 of sections, 1, 4 and 12 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004. The Inspectorate recently made its final assessment of the 5 CAFCASS recommendations. Four recommendations have been ‘fully met’. The first, shared with HMCS, - provision of information in the family courts - has been rated ‘partially met on the basis that it is a continuing action point in conjunction with HMCS, to promote the provision of information about Children Act [date] applications where there is domestic violence. Action for 2007/2008 • • • • • • • The distribution of the DVD and revised domestic violence guide and associated work to monitor its impact. A recognition survey is planned with practitioners in relation to the court posters.. Training and awareness raising will be carried out for court staff on domestic violence generally and on the provisions of the DVCV Act 2004. CAFCASS and HMCS will together to produce further information for service users (either leaflet or poster format) which will build on the DVD for injunction applications. CAFCASS will continue the provision of in-depth domestic violence training to all staff. CAFCASS will implement the new Safeguarding Framework for the agency, incorporating the domestic violence standards and toolkit (April 2007). CAFCASS and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to agree a joint protocol for information sharing in private law cases.

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OBJECTIVE 4: To increase reporting and arrests rates for domestic violence Rationale • • The initial response of the police to a report of domestic violence is critical and is likely to have a significant impact on the confidence and subsequent continued engagement with the CJS of the victim and their family. ACPO and Home Office guidance states that where possible, a proactive arrest policy should be pursued to assess risk; gather evidence; and investigate the precise nature of the alleged offence committed and the wider context of the incident. Despite domestic violence being a volume crime as a significant proportion of violent crime, much of it remains invisible due to under-reporting. Under-reporting appears to be particularly severe among some groups, for example: victims from BME groups; male victims; victims from LGBT communities. There is evidence that third-party reporting structures are an important means of driving up reporting rates, particularly when combined with effective support and protection services. These structures can also build the necessary linguistic and cultural knowledge for hard-to-reach communities.

• • •

Positive action in domestic violence cases The initial response of the police to a report of domestic violence is critical and is likely to have a significant impact on the confidence and subsequent continued engagement with the CJS of the victim and their family. It is Home Office policy that where an arrest is possible in a domestic violence incident this should usually be pursued (Home Office Circular 19/2000). The ACPO Guidance on Investigating Domestic Violence advises that ‘in order to ensure that an effective investigation is completed and further offences prevented, an officer will normally need time with the victim after the reported incident and while the suspect is under arrest’. The ACPO Guidance is being promulgated throughout forces in England and Wales through a modular Centrex training package for all police officers and support staff between 2005 and 2008. Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaign In 2006/07 TVCP ran a second Domestic Violence Enforcement Campaign (DVEC). Police Basic Command Units within the TVCP and within SDVC areas were funded to provide a dedicated response to domestic violence during the FIFA World Cup competition. The results from this support research which suggests a link between sporting events, alcohol consumption and domestic violence.

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During the second campaign there was a higher tendency, than in the first, which ran in February and March 2006, for offenders to be charged rather than cautioned (the latter being rarely appropriate in domestic violence cases), and a subsequent increase in the rate of sanction detections. There was also a lower rate of no further action, and in bail of over 4 weeks. Although these results were positive, it is clear that there is still plenty of room for improvement. Police body worn video devices (headcam) evaluation Body worn video equipment is used to record the actions of individuals at incidents and details of crime scenes. Devon & Cornwall Police are conducting a pilot trial of head cameras between September 2006 and March 2007. The Home Office is funding an independent review of this trial. The findings thus far include an increase in recording and detection and an apparent reduction in violent crime in the pilot areas. Draft guidance for police forces detailing best practice on body worn video equipment will be published in due course. Enough campaign The Enough campaign which focuses on third party witnesses who know or who are aware of domestic violence in families was again rolled out to the new SDVCs during March and April 2007. In relation to the previous campaign which ran from February to April 2006, research was carried before and after the campaign ran, including Plymouth/Devon, Leeds and the Midlands and there were the following findings: • There was a significant difference in awareness following the advertising from 37% to 50%. Awareness even before the advertising was high by normal standards (it is often less than 10 per cent) and so the increase which equates to 35% is very encouraging. 80 per cent said they thought the adverts made them think that the police and CJS were taking domestic violence more seriously than before. Attitudes towards domestic violence were very strong before the campaign and therefore there was little effect on opinions. However, people said they were more likely to intervene by calling police or by giving assistance to the victim – this went up from 90% to 93%.

• •

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OBJECTIVE 5: Increase the rate at which sanction detections are converted into offences brought to justice, particularly in high incidence areas and/or communities as well as in areas with high attrition rates. Rationale A co-ordinated response by the CJS and other partners to reported domestic violence incidence can have a major impact on achieving protection for victims and bringing perpetrators to justice. Specialist Domestic Violence Court Programme The SDVC Programme has been the centrepiece of the National Delivery Plan for Domestic Violence and contains 11 core components which have contributed to the positive outcomes that have been demonstrated. Following the successful selection of 25 SDVC systems in 2005/06, it was announced that the SDVC Programme would be expanded further in 2006/07 and the number of SDVCs supported by the Programme will increase to 64 by April 2007. After two selection rounds (2005/6 and 2006/7), the next steps for the national Programme are to: 1. review the progress of those SDVCs selected in 2005/06; 2. embed the SDVCs selected in 2006/7; and 3. select further SDVC following the review and implementation work programmes. The SDVC Programme has enabled the development of a network of IDVAs within the SDVC areas. Co-ordinated local activities, which include the CJS, can have a major impact on achieving protection for victims and bringing perpetrators to justice. Increased charged cases and successful prosecutions of domestic violence cases were recorded and monitored by CPS. The Programme jointly managed by the Home Office, the CPS and Her Majesty’s Courts Service was short-listed for The Joined-Up Government Award in the Whitehall & Westminster World Civil Service Awards 2006. Action in 2007/8 • • • • Establishing lessons learnt from a review of the first tranche of SDVCs selected in 2005/06. Implementation work with the new SDVCs selected in 2006/07. Expansion of IDVA and MARAC provision beyond court systems into a broader Coordinated Community Response. A further selection of SDVCs in 2007/8. 32

CPS training for prosecutors and the whole of the service The CENTREX/CPS 'Responses to Domestic Violence' training manual was launched in February 2005 with a target to train all prosecutors and caseworkers by April 2008. The following actions were undertaken in the past year: • • • by January 2007, over 2,400 CPS staff had been trained in domestic violence; of which 1,784 were prosecutors and caseworkers; plans were in place to ensure all SDVCs had trained prosecutors to work in the new SDVCs by April 2007; all CPS Domestic Violence Coordinators (DVCs) had been trained as trainers by January 2006 to deliver the training programme on an ongoing basis; a second tranche of training was carried out for DVCs in autumn 2006 to ensure every Area had a trained DV trainer; the manual was developed into an e-learning format – for use by staff awaiting face-to-face training; in early 2007 a pilot is planned with the Bar for their use of the e-learning training programme.

• •

Good practice guidance Good Practice Guidance developed from the CPS Domestic Violence Project and two SDVC pilots in Croydon and Caerphilly, was disseminated to all CPS Areas in 2005-6 to inform 2006/07 Business Plans. The Guidance outlined ten key points of action to improve the number of offenders being brought to justice. An audit was carried out in autumn 2006 to assess the implementation of domestic violence community engagement in the 42 Areas 95% of Area Domestic Violence Co-ordinators were involved in their local Domestic Violence Forums. In early 2007 an audit of the implementation of the good practice guidance on domestic violence was undertaken with all CPS Areas. Areas were informed of their successes and also of issues for further development to address best practice locally. The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime and the Prosecutors’ Pledge The Code of Practice for Victims of Crime2 sets out the standards of service that victims can expect from the criminal justice agencies. The Code was launched in April 2006. To complement the Code, the Attorney General published a Prosecutors' Pledge in October 2005. Broader than the Code, the Pledge addresses the impact of charging and the acceptance of pleas on victims of crime. The commitments contained in the Pledge, alongside the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, provide clear
2

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/victims-code-of-practice

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guidelines that should ensure that victims and witnesses are kept informed of the progress in their case. There is also an interactive website that enables victims to do a ‘walk through’ of their case3. Domestic violence performance monitoring • • • • The numbers of recorded domestic violence prosecutions from April – December 2006 had increased by 19% from the same period in 2005 (from 35,231 to 41,860 cases). Successful prosecutions had increased from 59.7% in April 2006, reaching beyond the April 2007 target of 64%, to 65.4% by December 20064. Discontinued domestic violence cases reduced from 33% to 28% and the use of bindovers from 15% to 8% in the same period. An indicator was also used to identify the proportion of successful prosecution outcomes in relation to the number of incidents where an arrest was made (Police Performance Assessment Framework Key Diagnostic Indicator) with quarterly reports. From April – September 2006 the KDI average was 17.1% compared with 15.4% for the same period in 2005. From April 2006, the DV data was analysed by gender and ethnicity, of defendant. From April to December 2006, 95% of defendants were male, with 17% from minority ethnic communities (analysis only currently carried out between July and Sept 2006). Since December 2006 cases are monitored by disability. Performance monitoring of the outcomes of the 25 SDVCs set up by April 2006 was undertaken by CPS. The SDVCs illustrated improved performance and full data analysis of the first year will be available in 2007.

• •

CPS Snapshot • • • • In December 2006 a more detailed “snapshot” of domestic violence case analysis was undertaken with a report planned for July 2007. Changes were introduced in the computer monitoring system to enable the detailed analysis of cases to be recorded on an ongoing basis from April 2007. Data on case progression following victim retractions will be recorded, and plans are underway to monitor specific support for victims and the relationship between defendant and victim. A pilot will be undertaken on the flagging of forced marriage and honourbased violence cases.

Victim care •
4

Witness Care Units (WCUs) deal with support for victims and witnesses.
3

www.cjson-line.gov.uk/victim/walkthrough/index.html April 2006-March 2006 average of 59.7% successful outcomes for DV cases; by quarter 2 in 2006-7 (Sept - Dec 2006) 65.4% successful outcomes.

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• •

Specific procedures have been set up with No Witness No Justice (the National Victim and Witness Care Programme) to deal with domestic violence cases, ensuring that domestic violence specialists are the primary point of contact for domestic violence victims. Guidance on Direct Communication with victims is available for all prosecutors. See Objective X for the Code of Practice for Victims and the Prosecutors Pledge.

Further work undertaken by the CPS in 2006/07 • Ensured that equality issues within domestic violence are addressed through the overall work plans, linking into work on Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) issues, including forced marriage; harmful traditional practices; and female genital mutilation through the Home Office-led working group. Ensured that internal publication of guidance on any sections of the DVCV Act 2004 was implemented during this period on the intranet.

Violence against Women • • • • • The CPS addressed work to link domestic violence with other sections of violence against women (VAW) i.e. forced marriage, honour-based violence, rape; FGM; children; prostitution; elder abuse and trafficking, etc. In March 2006, the CPS ran a ‘Violence against Women’ poster campaign, highlighting the range of offences that could be prosecuted across this theme. The publicity also indicated support services for victims. The CPS was awarded top marks across government for their work on VAW by the End Violence against Women Campaign5 in November 2006. In December 2006 the CPS launched its Single Equality Scheme that included plans for a VAW strategy and Action Plans by December 2007. Violence against Women has been prioritised with the CPS national six strategic themes for 2007/8.

Action for 2007/08 • Guidance for prosecutors on the implementation of Sections 1 and 12 of the Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004 will be produced for July 2007. • The CPS intends to continue to drive up performance through improved performance management and implementation of good practice in 20072008, with a new target of 70% successful prosecutions by April 2008. • On-going data analysis of SDVCs, on a quarterly basis will be coordinated by CPS. An evaluation of the first 25 SDVCs will be carried out in 2007. • Plans for the monitoring of the new SDVCs are underway from April 2007.
5

Women’s National Commission and Amnesty UK coordinate the End Violence against Women campaign.

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• • • •

• • • • • •

All other prosecutors and caseworkers will be trained by 2008. Domestic violence training materials will continue to be updated annually and included as part of e-learning; a new format based on cases will be introduced post 2008. Further development of Training for the Bar will be undertaken A pilot to investigate the prosecution of forced marriage and honour-based violence will be undertaken in 2007. Plans to develop guidance and training for specialist prosecutors dealing with these cases will be assessed. Develop work with ACPO on the civil and criminal interface. Review the implementation of good practice annually. Work with Home Office and DCA/HMCS in the further development of IDVAs, MARACs and SDVC within the Coordinated Community Response model. Domestic violence equality and diversity issues will be reviewed in 2007. Develop a ‘Violence against Women’ strategy and action plans by December 2007. Complete training for HR advisors on the revised Employee Domestic Violence Policy and ensure it is monitored.

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OBJECTIVE 6: To support victims through the CJS and manage perpetrators to reduce risk Rationale The provision of specialist support to victims and enabling them to access a range of services, can a profound effect on their feelings of safety and their engagement with the CJS. A multi-agency approach to victims of domestic violence is crucial to understanding the dynamics and context of individual cases. By both statutory and voluntary agencies sharing information, a better picture emerges of victims’ situation and the development of responses tailored to the victim’s safety and the management of perpetrator. Independent Domestic Violence Advisors IDVAs are trained specialists whose goal is the safety of their victims. Their focus is on providing a service to victims at medium to high risk of harm to address their safety needs and help manage the risks that they face. The role of the IDVA is both a pivotal component of the Specialist Domestic Violence Court model and the Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference. IDVA involvement with victims of domestic violence has been shown to decrease victimisation; increase notification of children at risk; and reduce the number of victims unwilling to support a prosecution. The evaluation report (which was launched in June 2005) on the SDVC pilots, in Caerphilly and Croydon, found that victims were more likely to participate in the criminal justice system if they were assisted by advocates. During 2006/7 £3 million was used to seed fund IDVAs in the 64 SDVC areas and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors (ISVAs) were developed in Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and specialist sexual violence voluntary sector organisations. Accredited training for IDVAs and ISVAs has been developed by CAADA6. In 2006/07 the Government funded training for 77 IDVAs and 38 ISVAs. Action for 2007/08: • Embargoed: The Home Office funded the initial stages of the programme. DCA has now secured £3m per annum from 2007/2008 towards the local funding of IDVA posts in all the SDVC areas and in further selected areas.

6

Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse, www.caada.org.uk

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The Home Office are continuing to fund the 38 ISVAs in 2007/08 and both the ISVAs and the IDVAs are being subject to a process evaluation during 2007/08.

Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences Multi-agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) are development in services offered to victims of domestic violence. a recent

MARACs focus on high risk victims of domestic violence as indicated through the use of risk assessment tools. Lead by the police, the MARAC comprises statutory and voluntary representatives including Social Services, Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs), victim support services, health representatives (midwifery, health visitors, child protection nurse, hospital staff as appropriate), housing, probation and education. Sharing information enables a better picture of victims’ situation and the development of responses tailored to the victim’s safety and the management of perpetrator. Members of the MARAC construct jointly and implement a risk management plan that provides professional support to all those at risk and that reduces the risk of harm. In Cardiff, where the MARAC has been evaluated, the level of reported repeat victimisation has dropped from 32% in 2004 to an average of under 10% in the period from April 2006 to December 2006. In 2006/07 the Home Office funded Co-ordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) to develop a training package for MARACs based on the evaluated Cardiff model and the training continued to be rolled out to all the SDVC areas. In February, CAADA facilitated its first Training for Trainers course for MARAC training. Action for 2007/08 In March 2007, the Home Secretary announced £1.85 million to continue to roll out MARACs to the SDVCs areas and to selected further areas. This support will comprise: • Seed funding to support the MARAC (this would include the resources required to administer the MARAC7 and also the purchase or development of a case management resource to enable those cases heard at the MARAC to be documented and tracked. Continue to fund the MARAC training provided by CAADA8.
7

Either through utilising existing posts or the recruitment of a dedicated MARAC administrator 8 Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse www.caada.org.uk

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Accredited Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes within the Criminal Justice System Probation Service By the end of 2005/06, all probation service areas were running one of two domestic abuse treatment programmes accredited by the independent Correctional Services Accreditation Panel (CSAP) for delivery in the community. The Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme (IDAP) and the Community Domestic Violence Programme (CDVP) are part of the coordinated community response to domestic abuse. They promote and require cooperation and interagency working with both statutory agencies and voluntary organisations. IDAP and CDVP are more akin to a system which focuses on the planned intervention in relation to the sentenced perpetrator, and promotes the safety of their victims and current female partners. During the beginning of 2006/07 all probation areas received programme signoff by satisfying the quality assurance process which enables programme completions to the counted towards targets. For the first time, targets were set by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) for programme completions. For 2006/07, the national target was set at 1,200 completions and probation areas are on course to meet this. Areas’ implementation plans are being reviewed to ensure the programmes are being funded correctly. Women Safety Workers (WSWs) play an essential role in the programmes and in support of this role, NOMS has made available additional funds and run four national training events for WSWs. Action for 2007/08 • • • NOMS is to commission a process review prior to a full evaluation of the effectiveness of the accredited programmes. WSW training will be upgraded so that WSWs can achieve a NVQ The programme designers are to collaborate with NOMS on a joint booster / one-to-one programme.

Prison Service The Prison Service accredited programme is called the Healthy Relationships Programme (HRP) and is a slight adaptation of a programme that is delivered across the Correctional Service of Canada. CSAP has accredited this programme, meaning that they are of the view that it is likely to reduce future incidents of domestic abuse. The HRP is suitable for those prisoners who have convictions for violence against a partner or expartner as well as those that self-report such violence and are willing to address their abusive behaviour within their relationships. The HRP is the same

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programme as the Community Domestic Violence Programme (CDVP) provided by the Probation Service. Since being piloted and subsequently gaining accreditation, the Prison Service has been gradually building up delivery of the HRP. Fifty-eight perpetrators of domestic violence completed this programme in four prisons in 2005. During 2006/2007 an additional prison began to offer the programme, and there was a consequent increase to sixty-six target completions. Action for 2007/08 • • • • • Working towards having a dynamic risk assessment tool for domestic abuse Increasing the amount of target completions to in excess of eighty. Development of a booster/relapse prevention programme Development of a motivational programme Improvement of staff training and selection

National Probation Service Interim Domestic Abuse Policy and Strategy To support the NPS Policy and Strategy, guidance was drawn up during 2006/07 which covered in more detail the principles and practice aims of the Policy and Strategy. The guidance was issued on the NPS intranet in sections, focussing on such topics as working with victims; the nature and context of domestic abuse; the Specialist Domestic Violence Court programme; and the assessment and management of risk of harm and the use of interventions. Work is underway to develop a draft model policy for Probation Boards to consider adopting in respect of staff who may be victims or perpetrators of domestic abuse. Action for 2007/08 • • Monitor the local implementation of the strategy and use of the supporting guidance. Issue additional guidance and update existing guidance as necessary. Work towards the development of a NOMS domestic abuse strategy covering the work of both the probation and prison services.

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OBJECTIVE 7: Develop the evidence base to close key knowledge gaps Rationale Research and evaluation is required to develop an evidence base to support the formation of targeted and meaningful policy and intervention. Furthermore, statistics on domestic violence also provide indicators by which to measure the impact of policy and practice. Prevalence of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking Findings from the 2005/06 British Crime Survey (BCS) self-completion module on domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking were published in January 20079. The report provides an overview of prevalence, changes over time, and, risk factors associated with interpersonal violence. The key findings were as follows: • Women were more likely than men to have experienced intimate violence across all four forms of abuse (partner abuse, family abuse, sexual assault and stalking) since the age of 16. The differences in relation to experiences last year were less marked. Partner abuse (non-sexual) was the most commonly experienced type of intimate violence among both women and men since the age of 16. Twenty-eight per cent of women and seventeen per cent of men reported having experienced partner abuse (non-sexual) since the age of 16. In the last 12 months stalking was the most commonly experienced type of intimate violence. Nine per cent of women and seven per cent of men reported having experienced stalking in the last year. Nearly half of women (48%) who had experienced intimate violence since the age of 16 had experienced more than one type of intimate violence. Men were less likely to have experienced multiple forms of intimate violence (33%). Forty per cent of women and 29 per cent of men who had experienced intimate violence since the age of 16 had experienced intimate violence by more than one offender type.

9

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs07/hosb0207.pdf

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Less serious sexual assault was most likely to be committed by a stranger. Sixty-three per cent of women and 51 per cent of men who had experienced less serious sexual assault reported the offender had been a stranger. Offenders of serious sexual assault against men and women were more likely to be known to the victim than a stranger. Just over half (54%) of female victims reported that a partner or expartner had been an offender. Risk of intimate violence varied by demographic, socioeconomic and lifestyle characteristics. Characteristics that were independently associated with increased risk of intimate violence across the forms included marital status (in particular being unmarried), tenure (social and private rental sector), age (under the age of 45) and having a limiting disability or illness.

Domestic violence perpetrators research Exploratory qualitative and quantitative research was commissioned by the Northern Rock Foundation and the Home Office to develop a detailed picture of male domestic violence perpetrators entering the criminal justice system and to identify and help-seeking pathways and potential opportunities for early intervention and prevention. A report which presented the key findings was published in April 200610 and in June 2006 a conference, sponsored by Northern Rock, was held to disseminate the key findings. The key findings were as follows: • Male perpetrators were more likely to seek help at some kind of ‘crisis’ often when a partner gave then an ultimatum or actually left, or where there were child contact issues. It should be noted, however, also the time that perpetrators are more likely to be especially dangerous and homicidal and the safety of the woman and children concerned therefore has to be a priority for any agency intervening with men at this time. Some perpetrators suggested that a CJS sanction or threat or consequence of sanction, provided the incentive for helpseeking, and intervention might be effective at this point. Indeed, some perpetrators wanted the police to direct them to domestic violence perpetrators and/or provide information about help seeking.

10

http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/downloads/FPCW/perpetratorsreport.pdf

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Health service responses should not refer perpetrators to counselling or related approaches which may re-enforce the ‘poor me’ syndrome. Instead GPs, who were often contacted by the perpetrators for help and advice in relation to their abusive behaviour, and other health service staff, should direct services that are critical of, and aim to change, violent men’s behaviour. Agencies from the CJS; health social care; family proceedings and other sectors need to work together to form coherent and co-ordinated approaches to perpetrators that focus on tackling men’s violent and abusive behaviour while also ensuring the safety for any women and children concerned. This should apply to the whole ‘continuum of domestic violence perpetrators’, from early intervention to chronic and severe offenders. Agencies which come into contact need the skills to safely ask about violent and abusive behaviour. Specialist services are needed for some groups, such as young men, and for men whom English is not their first language

• •

Further analysis of the interview data from both perpetrators and perpetrator co-ordinators is being conducted and is planned to be published as an online research report in the autumn. Assessing the needs of minority victims of domestic and sexual violence Qualitative research was planned to be commissioned in 2006/07 to explore the nature of abuse and the service needs of minority and vulnerable victims, for example: male, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups to assess their needs with regard to service provision and engagement with agencies including the CJS. Unfortunately, due to changes in Home Office spending commitments and priorities the work was not commissioned; however, it is planned to commission the project in 2007/08. Assessing Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVAs) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs) A process evaluation to assess the role of IDVAs and ISVAs and their role and remit within the Co-ordinated Community Response is planned to be commissioned in 2007/08. The impact of the ‘Gateway form’ 43

Revised forms for child contact and residence applications were introduced in 2005 to give applicants and respondents an early opportunity to raise issues of ‘harm’ for the court to consider. The evaluation of the impact of the ‘Gateway form’ will be submitted in March 2007. Evaluating the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 Researchers have been evaluating and comparing how domestic violence cases are handled at two Magistrates’ Court venues (Croydon and South Tyneside). A comparison will be made on how a non-specialist court and an 'innovative' court deal with domestic violence prior to and post implementation of the DVCV Act 2004. Since the implementation of some provisions of the DVCV Act will not take place until July 2007, the evaluation will be extended to facilitate the postimplementation part of the study in November 2007. ACPO Police/Family Disclosure Protocol The Police/Family Protocol sets out the procedure for family court practitioners to approach the police, in a standardised and timely manner, for information in relation to family cases. ACPO notified Force Champions to implement the protocol across all police areas from April 2006 and a Business Information letter was circulated to the courts and judiciary. The pilot evaluation report and revised versions of the protocol have been posted on the DCA website and linked from the HMCS site at Annex X. National Mental Health Trusts Pilot Collaboration – Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse • • This is a project developed (with training as component) for staff in 12 Mental Health Trusts to work with patients asking about their experiences of violence and abuse. An evaluation has been commissioned to report in April 2008.

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LEGISLATIVE AND PROCEDURAL CHANGES The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (DVCV) Act 200411 introduced a number of new powers, and amendments to existing ones, to strengthen the victim’s case when brought to the attention of criminal justice system. Three provisions that impact on civil remedies and criminal sanctions will be implemented from 1 July 2007. They are: • • • section 1 - Making breach of a non-molestation order a criminal offence. Breach will be punishable by up to five years imprisonment on indictment; section 4 - Making couples who have never cohabited or been married eligible for non-molestation and occupation orders; section 12 - Enabling courts to impose restraining orders when sentencing for any offence and giving any person mentioned in a restraining order the right to make representations in court if an application is made to vary or terminate the order.

The following measures within the DVCV Act 2004 which put all victims at the heart of the criminal justice system by: • • • providing a Code of Practice for Victims of Crime12, binding on all criminal justice agencies, so that all victims receive the support, protection, information and advice they need; allowing victims to take their case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman if they feel the Code has not been adhered to by the criminal justice agencies; setting up an independent Commissioner for Victims to give victims a powerful voice at the heart of Government and to safeguard and promote the interests of victims and witnesses, encouraging the spread of good practice and reviewing the Code; giving victims of mentally disordered offenders the same rights to information as other victims of serious violent and sexual offences; giving the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority the right to recover from offenders the money it has paid to their victims in compensation; providing that surcharges payable on criminal convictions and fixed penalty notices will contribute to the Victims Fund (for motoring offenders the surcharge will only apply to serious and persistent offenders); enabling courts to impose restraining orders on acquittal for any offence (or, if a conviction has been overturned, on appeal) if they consider it necessary to protect the victim from harassment.

• • • •

Other measures in the Act will: • close a legal loophole by creating a new offence of causing or allowing the death of a child or vulnerable adult. The offence establishes a new
11 12

http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/20040028.htm http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/victims-code-of-practice

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criminal responsibility for members of a household where they know that a child or vulnerable adult is at significant risk of serious harm; bring in the Law Commission recommendation for a two-stage court trial to ensure that high volume crimes like fraud and internet child pornography can be punished in full.

Children and Adoption Act 2006 The Children and Adoption Act 2006 completed its Parliamentary passage and received Royal Assent on 21 June 2006. Section 7 of the Act requires Children and Family Court Advisory Support Services (CAFCASS) officers, or Welsh family proceedings officers, to carry out risk assessments in private law proceedings under the Children Act 1989 (residence/contact/prohibited steps and specific issues orders) where they consider that there is cause to suspect that a child is at risk of harm. They are then required to inform the court of their findings in respect of the risk of the child-suffering harm. The Government is now considering the implementation of the provisions of the Act, including the provisions for risk assessments by CAFCASS. Disclosure The Children Act 2004 changed the rules for disclosure of information in family proceedings cases involving children. New rules were commenced on 31st October 2005, detailing the new arrangements13. Improving Transparency and Privacy in Family Courts As part of the work on the wider transparency agenda, a consultation paper “Confidence and Confidentiality: Improving Transparency and Privacy in Family Courts” was published by the Government on 11 July 2006. The consultation closed on 30 October 2006. The main proposals in the consultation paper were: • • making changes to attendance and reporting restrictions consistent across all family proceedings; allow the media, on behalf of and for the benefit of the public, to attend proceedings as of right, though allowing the court to exclude them where appropriate to do so and, where appropriate, to place restrictions on reporting of evidence; allow attendance by other people on application to the court, or on the court’s own motion;
13

For full details see guidance published on the Courts Service website http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/docs/ex710_1105.pdf which came into force on 31 October 2005.

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• • •

ensure reporting restrictions provide for anonymity of those involved in family proceedings (adults and children), while allowing for restrictions to be increased or relaxed, as the case requires; introduce a new criminal offence for breaches of reporting restrictions; make adoption proceedings a special case, so that there is transparency in the process up until the placement order is made, but beyond that proceedings remain private.

In addition to the proposals, the consultation paper invited consideration about: • • • whether we should make special provisions for HMICA and CSCI inspectors and specified other groups to attend without needing to make an application to the court; options on the further provision of information for adults who were involved in family proceedings as children; a large number of responses were received from a broad cross-section of stakeholders and are now being looked at very carefully. The Government will announce how it intends to proceed within the next few months.

Sentencing guidelines The Government asked the Sentencing Advisory Panel (SAP) to consult on guidance to the courts for dealing with domestic violence cases which they did so in 2004.The Sentencing Guidelines Council published definitive guidelines on 7 December 2006 on Overarching Principles: Domestic Violence14 and Breach of a Protective Order15. Family Justice, Her Majesty’s Courts Service The Family-Criminal Interface Committee was established to take an ‘overview role’ in co-ordinating all work currently being undertaken in England and Wales. Its aim is to improve the interface between the family and criminal jurisdictions and to identify areas that have not yet been addressed to enable all stakeholders to respond more effectively to child protection, domestic violence and private and public family law issues within the forensic arena. Action for 2007/08: In 2007/08 the Family-Criminal Interface Committee will continue to: • assess the effectiveness of the existing legal framework, structures and procedures, including primary and secondary legislation;

14

15

http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/domestic_violence.pdf http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/breach_of_protective_order.pdf

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identify legislative, structural, procedural and other changes that may be required to improve the interface between the family and criminal jurisdictions; • recommend and prioritise necessary changes to be acted on by the Government and the relevant stakeholders; • identify and promulgate good practice on a consistent national basis for relevant stakeholders, e.g. on joint directions where there are concurrent criminal and family proceedings; • circulate guidance for legal practitioners to improve awareness of the familycriminal interface in both jurisdictions.

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Annex X: ACPO Police/Family Disclosure Protocol The Police/Family Protocol sets out the procedure for family court practitioners to approach the police, in a standardised and timely manner, for information in relation to family cases. ACPO notified Force Champions to implement the protocol across all police areas from April 2006 and a Business Information letter was circulated to the courts and judiciary. The pilot evaluation report and revised versions of the protocol have been posted on the DCA website and linked from the HMCS site at the addresses noted below: Explanatory Memorandum Protocol (as used in the pilots including procedure and forms) http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/metpol-expmem.pdf Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) version http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/metpol-protocol.pdf Northern Circuit version (for areas outside of London/MPS) http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/metpol-northerncircuit.pdf Standard Reply and Request Forms – Annexes B and C: http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/stdreq-form-annexb.doc http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/stdpol-replyform-annexc.doc Evaluation Report http://www.dca.gov.uk/family/police-info-family-proceedings.pdf To access these documents on the HMCS website click on: http://www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk/infoabout/family_law/index.htm Go to the section that says 'Part IV of the Family Law Act 1996' there is now a link in the right hand box 'Further Information' called 'Domestic Violence Guidance and Information' – this will take you to the DCA site.

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