Please see the below August information round up from the East Sussex DA SVA and VAWG Team, which contains latest news from the sector, policy and legislative updates, research and best practice, local service information and job opportunities.
The Office for National Statistics has recently published its first estimates of domestic abuse during two years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Figures show that 5.7% of adults aged 16 to 59 years experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022, no significant change compared with the year ending March 2020 (6.1%). The ONS also included the first sexual assault figures since March 2020. These show that 2.7% of adults aged 16 to 59 years had experienced sexual assault (including attempted offences) in the year ending March 2022, no significant change compared with the year ending March 2020 (2.2%).
The Crown Prosecution Service recently published their latest statistics on all crime types, showing steady increases in rape charges and convictions in January-March 2022.
Refuge, in collaboration with Avast, released an interactive tool in July designed to provide awareness and understanding of the various platforms a partner may have access to, with guidance on how to protect against the threat of tech abuse from ex partners.
National domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid have announced that they are working with ITV after a backlash to recent episodes of reality show Love Island, in which viewers complained about misogynistic and controlling behaviour. This work is part of a new campaign called Come Together to End Domestic Abuse. The campaign will measure public attitudes around domestic abuse to show what needs to change and how we can all work together. Everyone can take part in the campaign and use #EndAbuseTogether to see more on social media.
The Home Office has published the Domestic Abuse Act Statutory Guidance after previously consulting on the draft guidance. The guidance includes information on recognising different types of abuse, differing needs according to protected characteristics, and multi-agency responses. Some key changes include:
Measures that came into force on 21 July 2022 now stop domestic abuse perpetrators from cross-examining victims in family and civil courts, the Ministry of Justice has announced. This change is part of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 and places a legal bar on parties cross-examining each other where there is evidence of abuse. Campaigners and survivors shared concerns that perpetrators could use the process as a means of extending their abuse, and that victims were being retraumatised by their experiences in court. Instead, cross-examination will be completed by a court-appointed legal professional to ensure that justice continues to be served fairly for both sides. Hundreds of lawyers have already signed up to fulfil this important role.
The Home Office has opened a public consultation on creating an offence of public sexual harassment. The consultation is open until 1 September 2022 and can be completed online.
Hourglass provides an IDVA service for older victims/survivors of domestic abuse in Sussex. The Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) are trained in providing specialist support to victims of domestic abuse. They have knowledge and expertise in providing emotional and practical advice, guidance and support to help an individual to become and remain safe in their home and community. Hourglass provide a free 24-7 helpline, which you can call on 0808 808 8141 or text on 07860052906.
Hersana is the leading support service in Sussex for Black women and girls who have experienced any form of gender-based violence. Hersana aims to create wholistic, gender-specialist, culturally specific and trauma-informed safe spaces for Black women and girls. The service provides long-term and short-term counselling as well as advocacy, practical and financial support.
Hersana also aims to raise awareness on the experiences of Black women and girls affected by or at risk of gender-based violence by providing accredited and tailored trainings, workshops, and awareness campaigns to a wide range of statutory professionals, young people, and community groups. For enquiries regarding training packages, email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or someone you know is affected or at risk of any type of gender-based violence, call 0333 016 9610 or email email@example.com
Home-Start East Sussex is a small independent charity founded in 1996. The charity supports local families and survivors of domestic abuse in one-to-one support and group work, to increase safety, increase wellbeing and confidence, and build stronger, more resilient relationships. Home-Start East Sussex has recently published its 2021-22 Impact Report, which outlines this year’s successes and challenges and their plans for the next year. Follow their work on Twitter: @HSEastSussex
The Forced Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Intelligent Safeguarding Solution has now been working for several years. The Intelligent Safeguarding Solution is a partnership between NTT Data, Police Digital Service, the Ministry of Justice, the National Police Chiefs’ Council and Microsoft, to safeguard victims of forced marriage and FGM more effectively.
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is mapping provision of domestic abuse services across England and Wales. Early findings show that, overall, there is discrepancy of services and a lack of funding that prevents services being able to meet demand. Other findings include:
For more detailed information, read the full Early Findings report.
The Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner has been awarded £1.5 million for innovative safety projects as part of the Home Office’s Safer Streets fund. Two bids, submitted by the PCC and partners, focused on tackling anti-social behaviour and violence against women and girls across Sussex.
Multi-Agency Risk Management (MARM) meetings are underway in East Sussex to manage cases of adults with multiple complex needs, in which there is a high level of risk, but the circumstances may sit outside the statutory safeguarding framework.
To make a referral to the MARM Group, please complete the Multi-Agency Risk Management (MARM) Group Referral Form and also ensure a risk assessment is submitted with the referral. Referrals should be sent by secure email to MARM@eastsussex.gov.uk. Before submitting a referral, it is expected that all other options within current safeguarding frameworks and existing multi-agency functions, such as MAPPA or MARAC, have been explored, and these have not reduced the level of presenting risk. Further guidance on assessing and support people with multiple complex needs is also available.
An adult death protocol has been developed by East Sussex, West Sussex and Brighton & Hove Safeguarding Adults Boards (SABs), alongside Sussex Police, local authorities, NHS Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups and a range of partners.
This protocol has been developed to establish a rapid, co-ordinated multi-agency response in situations where abuse or neglect by a third party is suspected to have been a contributory factor in someone’s death. This protocol will ensure that any criminal investigations and other necessary actions are undertaken in a timely and efficient manner.
Policy Foresight are holding an online live conference on 6th October to bring together a range of key partners in tackling violence against women and girls. The webinar provides an ideal platform for participants to hear from experts and policymakers, learn from innovative best practice and share ideas with fellow participants to bring about lasting change that supports victims fully, challenges perpetrators and turns the tide on the unacceptable levels of violence, intimidation and abuse suffered by women and girls. Book onto the webinar on the Policy Foresight website.
Change, Grow, Live offer the below training courses to professionals in East Sussex, in partnership with ESCC, that are available to book through the East Sussex County Council Learning Portal.
There is also ‘DASH, MARAC & Risk Assessment’ training available to book on the East Sussex Learning Platform. Choose your preferred date and book onto your training date below:
Project Support Officer for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Violence and Abuse and Violence Against Women and Girls, East Sussex County Council: This post provides important project support for the East Sussex DA, SVA and VAWG team, including MARAC, Domestic Homicide Reviews and campaigns like 16 Days of Activism. The job advert closes on 14th August. Read more about the role and apply on the ESCC website.
Housing Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA), Change, Grow, Live: This post is an exciting opportunity to be part of an innovative new project, supporting people who are experiencing domestic abuse, to secure safe accommodation and support through local authority housing departments. For more information about the role and to apply online, visit the CGL website.
Senior Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA), Survivors’ Network: ISVAs provide non-therapeutic advocacy and support to people who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any point in their lives. This Senior ISVA post will be responsible for provide line and case management supervision for frontline ISVAs and ensure the safe and effective running of the ISVA team. The vacancy is open until August 2nd. For more information about the role and to apply online, visit the Survivors’ Network website.