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Leicestershire Domestic Abuse Helpline - advice and signposting for men and women in the County -

0300 303 1844

Contents

What is domestic abuse?
Who can be affected by it?
What can you do about it?
       'Clare's law' - Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme
What can we do about it?
Domestic Homicide Reviews

Useful contacts

WHAT IS DOMESTIC ABUSE?

Domestic abuse and domestic violence are both commonly used labels but both are used to describe a pattern of abusive, coercive behaviour used to exert power and control over a partner/ex partner.
The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:
  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.

Coercive behaviour

Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.
Research shows that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are subject to domestic abuse in their lifetime.
Some typical examples of Domestic Abuse:
Physical
  • Hitting
  • Slapping
  • Punching
  • Kicking
  • Scratching
  • Strangling
  • Rape
Can include:
  • use of weapons
  • locking someone in their property
  • removing access to transport
Emotional/Psychological
  • Abusing pets
  • Threatening the children
  • Being unfaithful
  • Withholding approval
  • Withholding appreciation and affection
  • Refusing to socialise with the victim
  • Isolating the victim
  • Breaking trust
  • Making accusations
  • Bullying
    • Using body language to intimidate
  • Name calling
  • Making threats
  • Humiliating victim in front of friends and family
  • Harassment
  • Using pressure tactics
  • Denial
  • Criticism and verbal abuse
  • Speeding whilst driving
Sexual
  • Use of force, threats or intimidation to force someone to perform a sexual act
  • Rape
  • Refusing to use contraception
  • Using sex to control
    • Offering sex with conditions attached
    • Withholding sex
  • Forcing someone to watch or perform in pornographic videos/images
  • Forcing someone into prostitution
  • Degrading treatment based on sexual orientation
Financial
  • Preventing the other person from working (or impacting on victims ability to work)
  • Controlling money
  • Making all financial decisions
  • Threatening to withhold money
  • Taking money without consent
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Honour Based Violence

The CPS and ACPO have a common definition of honour based violence:
"Honour-based violence" is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and/or community'.
There is no honour in the commission of murder, rape, kidnap and the many other acts, behaviour and conduct which make up "violence in the name of so-called honour".
It is a collection of practices, which are used to control behaviour within families or other social groups to protect perceived culturaland religious beliefs and/or honour. Such violence can occur when perpetrators perceive that a relative has shamed the family and / or community by breaking their honour code.

Forced Marriage

A forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both spouses do not (or in the case of some adults with learning or physical disabilities, cannot) consent to the marriage and duress is involved. Duress can include physical, psychological, financial, sexual and emotional pressure." Guidelines: Handling cases of Forced Marriage (HM Government 2008):
Forced marriage is a violation of human rights and is contrary to UK law, including the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, which states that a marriage shall be voidable if:
"either party to the marriage did not validly consent to it, whether in consequence of duress, mistake, unsoundness of mind or otherwise."
An arranged marriage is very different from a forced marriage.
In an arranged marriage, both parties enter into the marriage freely. Families of each spouse take a leading role in arranging the marriage and this usually includes the choice of partner. However, the choice of whether or not to accept the arrangements remains with the prospective spouses. In forced marriage, one or both spouses do not (and in the case of some adults with support needs, cannot) consent to the marriage, and duress is involved.

Stalking and Harassment

Stalking/harassment can be defined as; Two or more incidents – causing distress, fear or alarm – of threatening or obscene unwanted letters or phone calls, waiting or loitering around your home or workplace, being followed or watched, or having personal property interfered with or damaged, by a person such as a partner, ex partner or family member.
Occasionally, your stalker may be a stranger, although this is fairly uncommon. In most cases, the stalker will be someone known to you, a partner or more usually an ex-partner who can't and wont accept that a relationship has come to an end.
Stalking may also be carried out through electronic means, through social networking sites, e-mail or through texting.
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WHO CAN BE AFFECTED BY IT?

Domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, cultural of financial background.
Although domestic abuse is often understood to be violence by a man against a woman, this is not always the case. Abuse happens within all types of relationships; between family members, within same sex relationships, and where a woman is abusive and violent towards a man.
There are certain factors which may increase the risk of being abused – young women aged between 16 and 24 years are most likely to suffer domestic abuse. Pregnancy also increases the risk of becoming a victim.
It can affect anyone.
Domestic Violence is a crime, and behaviour which could be percieved as 'coercive control' (a pattern of behaviour, threats and intimidation intended to control another), stalking and harassment can also be treated as criminal behaviour.
We all have a right to feel safe, and live without fear within our relationships

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?

There are support services in the County that can offer you confidential support and advice, to help you improve your safety and help you decide what you want to do. They can also help you and your children move to a place of safety (a refuge, or alternative) if required.
Wherever possible, find somebody that you trust that you can talk to about what is happening to you. Try and make arrangements so that you have a place of safety that you can escape to if necessary. Talking about your experience will break the secrecy and help you to gain the help you need.
Many services, such as housing, your GP, a health visitor or midwives, even your local library can help you to get in touch with the specialist Domestic Abuse Support Services in your area
Think about your safety – and try and keep some cash, spare clothes, medicine, passport and any other important items or documents to hand should you need to escape in a hurry.
Be aware of triggers which may lead to an abuse (use of drugs, alcohol, sports matches etc) and find ways to avoid or minimise the risks.
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Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme (Clare's Law)

Individuals have been given the right to find out whether a new partner has been a domestic abuse offender in the past.
The Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme is also known Clare’s Law after Clare Wood, who was killed in 2009 by an ex-partner who unknown to her had been violent to previous partners.
The provision gives people in a new relationship – or their friends or relatives – the right to ask police whether a new partner has a record of committing domestic abuse with previous partners.
Find out more here
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WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?

The Police take domestic abuse seriously (it is no longer treated as ‘just a domestic’) and will record and respond appropriately whenever you report an incident of violence. The Police can be contacted on 101.  Remember, if you are in danger call 999.
The County Council works in partnership with other agencies and the Specialist support services to provide services and networks to improve safety.
Outreach Services will provide emotional and practical support, and help access legal and financial support for men and women, who are not in immediate danger, but who require help to improve their safety and circumstances.
IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisors) provide immediate support, safety planning and court support to men and women at high risk of assault and abuse who need urgent intervention. These victims may also have their case heard at a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference). These exist to allow all services to exchange information that they have about the victim  and perpetrator to ensure that they are all fully aware of all the risks and issues, and can work together to provide the correct package of safety and support measures.
If you need to speak to someone for advice and support, either about your own situation, or a friend or family member, please contact the Specialist Support Services.
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Domestic Homicide Reviews

Community Safety Partnerships are responsible for carrying out domestic homicide reviews in their area. A domestic homicide review (DHR) is a review of the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by:-
  • a person to whom they were related or with whom they had been in an intimate personal relationship, or
  • a member of the same household as themselves.
More information and domestic homicide reviews published for Leicestershire & Rutland can be found on the Domestic Homicide Review website - www.lrdhr.org.uk

USEFUL CONTACTS

Leicestershire Domestic Abuse Helpline - for advice and signposting to support services - for men, women, concerned friends, professionals
0300 303 1844  
Blaby Domestic Support Services - Support for men and women living in the Blaby District
0116 272 7637 or 07900 226 875
There is also a service specifically for straight, gay, bi-sexual or transgender men living in the Blaby District or Hinckley & Bosworth Borough. Please call 0116 272 7637 or 07920 183746
Hinckley & Bosworth Domestic Abuse Support Services
01455 255 746 or 07966 202181
An Outreach Service for all (male and female) living in the Hinckley & Bosworth District
There is also a service specifically for straight, gay, bi-sexual or transgender men living in the Blaby District or Hinckley & Bosworth Borough. Please call 0116 272 7637 or 07920 183746
Living Without Abuse (Charnwood, North West Leicestershire and Rutland)
0300 365 0112  
www.lwa.org.uk
Women’s Aid Leicestershire (Melton, Harborough and Oadby & Wigston)
(incorporating the ADAM Project for Men)
0300 303 1844
www.wa-leicester.org.uk
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Who Else Can Help?

The Emergency Services
If a serious crime is happening now, or if someone is in immediate danger, Tel: 999.
Police Control
If you require the police to attend any non-urgent incidents.
Tel: 101
Crimestoppers
If you have any information about any crime, but do not wish to be identified.
Tel: 0800 555 111
Parentline Plus
Can offer you support and advice regarding parenting over the phone or internet 24hrs a day.
Tel: 0808 800 2222
Victim Support
Provide confidential support and information to victims of crime and to witnesses attending local courts.
Tel: 0300 303 1947
Citizens Advice Bureau
This service helps people resolve their legal, financial and other problems by providing free information and advice.
Tel: 0116 285 2801.
Domestic Violence Helpline
A confidential support and advice service.
Local helpline - Tel: 0300 303 1844
National helpline (24hrs) – Tel: 0808 200 0247
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Page Last Updated: 4 August 2014