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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 The Coordinated Community Response


(Objective 3)

SECTION 2 Progress report


Objective 1
Objective 2
Objective 3 See
Section
1
Objective 4
Objective 5
Objective 6
Objective 7

SECTION 3 Legislative and procedural changes

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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

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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

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(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 inter-
relationship 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.

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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 inter-
agency 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.

18
Action for 2007/08

• Promote cross-agency collaboration by making clear to agencies how multi-


agency 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,

19
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

20
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.

22
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:

24
• 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)

25
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

26
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

27
• 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: 6 recommendations directed at


HMCS and 5 directed at CAFCASS.

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

28
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.

29
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.

30
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%.

31
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

33
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 honour-
based violence cases.

Victim care

• Witness Care Units (WCUs) deal with support for victims and witnesses.
3
www.cjson-line.gov.uk/victim/walkthrough/index.html
4
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.

34
• 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 2007-
2008, 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.

35
• 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.

36
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

37
• 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 a recent


development in services offered to victims of domestic violence.

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

38
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 inter-
agency 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 sign-
off 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 ex-
partner 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

39
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.

40
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 inter-
personal 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

41
• 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 ex-
partner had been an offender.

• Risk of intimate violence varied by demographic, socio-


economic 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 help-
seeking, 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

42
• 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 post-
implementation 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.

44
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
http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2004/20040028.htm
12
http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/victims-code-of-practice

45
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.

46
• 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
http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/domestic_violence.pdf
15
http://www.sentencing-guidelines.gov.uk/docs/breach_of_protective_order.pdf

47
• 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 family-
criminal interface in both jurisdictions.

48
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.

49