Issue - meetings

Domestic Abuse Strategy 2019-2022

Meeting: 14/03/2019 - Cabinet (Item 65)

65 Domestic Abuse Strategy 2019-2022 pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To approve the multi-agency Domestic Abuse Strategy for Herefordshire 2019-2022 and governance arrangements for implementation of the strategy.

Additional documents:


The cabinet member children and families introduced the report, highlighting that:

·        A great deal of hard work had gone into the production of the new strategy, including work with many partner organisations;

·        The impact of domestic abuse on victims and families was profound and far reaching, with significant wider impact on society;

·        Domestic abuse was a complex issue that impacted people from all communities and at all stages of life, often experienced for many years without being visible;

·        Due to under-reporting the full picture was not known, it was difficult to extrapolate from the data available and an increase in reported incidents would be a measure of success for the new strategy;

·        Domestic abuse was predominantly but not exclusively perpetrated by men against women, it was one of the toxic trio of common denominators in family breakdown and children coming into care, alongside mental ill health and substance misuse;

·        The strategy focused on four priorities under the shared vision – prevention, provision of service, partnership working and pursuing perpetrators;

·        The strategy had been developed in partnership with many agencies and relied on ongoing commitment from all partners to achieve its objectives;

·        The strategy had a clear statement of focused aim, action and output with emphasis on shared understanding, timely and effective support for anyone who has experienced domestic abuse and a holistic approach to the family including, where appropriate and evidenced, working with the perpetrator to bring about change;

·        The Community Safety Partnership (CSP) would be responsible for strategic delivery and leadership while the multi-agency Domestic Abuse Delivery Group (DADG) would produce annual action plans to implement the strategy;

·        The shared vision was that communities and individuals would reject domestic abuse as increasingly it was recognised, healthy relationships were fostered and sustained and effective help was sought and provided early.


The leader highlighted the powerful shared vision of the strategy that “domestic abuse is unacceptable to people and communities in Herefordshire” and challenged all those taking forward the strategy to make that vision more prevalent in all partner organisations and relevant literature.


In discussion of the report, cabinet members noted that:

·        appendix 2 to the report set out the learning from the previous strategy, some excellent work had been completed such as the provision of a refuge with self-contained units, partially completed actions had been rolled forward;

·        a support service for men experiencing domestic abuse was provided by West Mercia Women’s Aid through their Helpline. There was no local refuge for men but assistance with housing was available though the Housing Solutions Team and specialist refuge accommodation was available in the wider region;

·        men could be reluctant to seek support from a service provided by a women’s aid group but other organisations were encouraged to refer on cases with an explanation of the service offered, the more cases that came forward the better the needs of male victims could be understood;

·        there were various groups and populations with specific vulnerabilities and which were more hidden, an aim of the new  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65

Meeting: 29/01/2019 - Adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee (Item 40)

40 Domestic abuse strategy 2019-2022 pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To make recommendations to the executive regarding the updated joint domestic abuse strategy for Herefordshire.

Additional documents:

  • Appendix 2: Learning from the former Domestic Abuse Strategy
  • Appendix 3: Equality Impact Assessment
  • Appendix 1: Draft Domestic Abuse Strategy 2019-2022
  • Cabinet report


The chairperson welcomed the involvement of members, from the adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee and the children and young people scrutiny committee, in workshops to inform the development of this updated strategy.


It was reported that, as strategic delivery and leadership would be provided by the Community Safety Partnership, it would be for general scrutiny committee to monitor implementation going forward; statutory community safety and policing scrutiny powers were delegated to that committee.  In view of the recently formed adults and communities directorate, the chairperson considered that the scrutiny committee remits should be reviewed.  The chairpersons of the general scrutiny committee and of the children and young people scrutiny committee concurred that safeguarding matters should be delegated to the most appropriate scrutiny committee.


The senior commissioning officer gave a presentation, updated to reflect recent feedback, and drew attention to the following:


I.          The work had been led by adults and communities but had been developed in conjunction with other teams and partner organisations.


II.         This was a complex issue and, with no single place that a person might disclose domestic abuse, a shared approach to identifying and responding to domestic abuse was of vital importance.  It was a high priority across the public sector and emergency services but no additional resources were available for implementing the strategy.


III.        An overview was provided of the research and engagement activity undertaken; details of the discussions with stakeholders were included in an appendix to the strategy and would inform the development of the action plan.


IV.       It was reported that significant progress had been made to achieve the outcomes in the 2014-17 strategy and outstanding actions had been incorporated into the 2019-22 strategy.


V.        It was recognised that many incidents were not reported to the police.  In the year ending March 2017, West Mercia Police recorded 3,071 victims but it was estimated that, applying national self-reported prevalence rates, there were approximately 5,900 victims aged 16-59 in the county.  In England and Wales, 16 to 19-year-olds were most likely to say that they had experienced domestic abuse in the last year but it was anticipated that, due to Herefordshire’s demographics, there could be an older age profile of potential victims in the county.


VI.       Following feedback from the Community Safety Partnership, a revised shared vision was suggested as follows: ‘Our shared vision is that domestic abuse is unacceptable to people and communities in Herefordshire and the harm it causes will be prevented as people and communities: understand and have the skills to establish healthy relationships; recognise and reject all forms of domestic abuse; and seek, are offered and receive effective help and support early.’


VII.      An overview was provided of the priorities of prevention, provision of service, and partnership working.  It was noted that the published presentation referred to the fourth priority as ‘criminal justice’ but this should read ‘pursuing perpetrators’.


There was a brief discussion about the complexities of managing risks to individuals, especially where victims chose to remain in relationships, and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40