Domestic Abuse Awareness Month: October 2021

Fri, 01 Oct 2021

The council has joined forces with Humber NHS Foundation Trust, City Health Care Partnership and Humberside Police to support this year's Domestic Abuse Awareness Month in October. The international approach is to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the various forms it comes in, with a focus this year in the East Riding on coercive control, honour-based abuse, diversity and children affected by domestic abuse.

Controlling behaviour in relationships - abuse isn't always physical

Domestic abuse does not always involve physical violence. It can be sexual, financial and emotional abuse and can happen to anyone. Sustained controlling behaviour such as regularly intimidating, bullying, criticising or threatening someone in a personal relationship, are all forms of what is called 'coercive control'. This is a form of domestic abuse and is a criminal offence.

What is coercive control?

Typically, one person in a personal relationship, whether it be a partner, spouse or family member, will control the other over a period of time and in ways that go largely unnoticed by friends and family. As well as the bullying and criticism, common traits of coercive control can include checking the other's phone, making them dress in or look a certain way, wanting to know where they are and who they are seeing, restricting their money or cutting them off from friends and family.

What is honour-based abuse?

Honour-based abuse is defined as a crime or incident which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of the family and / or the community. Infringements may include a person having a girlfriend or boyfriend; rejecting a forced marriage; pregnancy outside of marriage; interfaith relationships; seeking divorce, inappropriate dress or make-up and even kissing in a public place. If you have information on forced marriage contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via our Anonymous Online Form: http://bit.ly/1FNHFaZ

Every year thousands of women suffer mental or physical abuse, go missing, are kidnapped and in the worst cases are murdered because of honour. Women are most vulnerable because families disapprove of relationships that are not arranged of or approved by certain family members or members of the community.

Domestic abuse can happen at any age

In 2019 over 280,000 people aged 60 to 74 (3.1%) experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales and one in five (22%) victims of    domestic homicides were over the age of 60 (Age UK 2020). Despite these worrying statistics, many surveys and studies undertaken regarding domestic abuse have excluded victims aged 60 plus. As reported by Age UK (2020), the data regarding older victims of domestic abuse are stark:

  • According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales, about 189,350 older women and 91,137 older men experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2019
  • The majority of victims are female (68%); whereas perpetrators are predominantly male (85%)
  • Older people are almost equally as likely to be killed by a partner/spouse (46%) as they are by their (adult) children or grandchildren (44%)
  • The majority of older people killed in their own home die as a result of stabbings (41%)

Young people and domestic abuse

Almost a quarter (23%) of young people exposed to domestic abuse are also demonstrating harmful behaviour themselves, and in 61% of cases the abuse is directed towards their mother.

Whilst it is normal for adolescents to demonstrate healthy anger and be challenging, this should not be confused with violence or threats, this is not acceptable. The Government defines this as adolescent to parent violence and abuse (APVA), which is any form of behaviour by a young person to control and dominate their parents. The aim is to instil fear, threaten and cause intimidation. Evidence suggests that it is increasing. Met Police figures show reports of child-to-parent violent offences increased 95% from 2012 to 2016.

If parents are in fear for their safety or feeling threatened, the police should be contacted to help diffuse the situation whilst DVAP can also be contacted to help provide support to both the victim and the child / adult child struggling with their behaviour and causing the abuse.

Domestic Abuse Awareness Month 2021

Residents in the East Riding are encouraged to follow the council @East_Riding and Humber NHS Foundation Trust on Twitter @Humbersafeguard to learn more about these important local issues as we move through the domestic abuse month of awareness in October.

Councillor Kerri Harold, portfolio holder for public health and tackling inequalities at the council, said: "Domestic Abuse Awareness Month is designed to unify women and men all across the world who have been victims of domestic violence and abuse. It is important to recognize that domestic abuse impacts millions of people, and it's not only women who are victims; many men suffer domestic violence as well.

"It is a problem across every status, culture, religion, and race. There are many different forms of domestic violence and abuse as well, which is why raising awareness is so critical. Residents can now use the council's own 'options advisor' on the website should they feel they need help or advice but don't feel they can speak to somebody about their situations. The advisor is there for people 24-hours a day and can give advice should you suspect somebody else has become a victim of domestic abuse."

Humberside police and crime commissioner Jonathan Evison added: "Domestic abuse is a devastating crime which takes many forms and often goes unseen. It can take multiple incidents of abuse before the person affected finds the strength to come forward. I want people to have the confidence to report abuse and know that services are there to help and support them. It also important for friends, family and neighbours to recognise the signs of abuse and if they have concerns about someone, to call the police and report it."

Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership (DVAP) (East Riding)

The East Riding Domestic Violence and Abuse Partnership (DVAP) provide support for victims of domestic abuse, children and individuals struggling with their behaviour in their personal relationships that may be or is at risk of being abusive.

Professional and self-referrals (calling about your own situation) can be made by calling 01482 396368 or email opsdvap@eastriding.gov.uk.  DVAP provide consent-based support for victims of domestic abuse, where information will only be shared with consent, unless there are concerns about risk of harm to children or serious criminal offences being committed.

The team will work with you so that you don't face domestic abuse alone and to help make the situation safer for you.

The out of office hours number for all council services (including housing) (for use at evenings and weekends) can be reached on 01482 393939. Please note, this is not an emergency number, but information will be passed to DVAP to contact when business hours resume.

If you need immediate support in an emergency or are concerned for your own or someone else's immediate safety, please always ring the Police on 999.

Alternatively, you can ring the Police for a non-emergency on 101.

The DVAP Website Options Advisor also provides safety information which is available on their website 24 hours a day. 

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