Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence
There are many forms of domestic abuse not all of which are physical violence
Domestic abuse involves the misuse of power and is based on a range of control tactics, which include: physical, sexual, psychological, social or economic abuse, or neglect of an individual. Forced marriage and honour crimes are also forms of domestic abuse.
Domestic abuse is a crime, that is largely hidden behind closed doors, and leaves its victims feeling powerless and isolated. Domestic abuse is rarely a one off event and can be experienced for many years. Some people don’t even realise they are being abusive but that doesn’t make it acceptable or that you have to tolerate it.
Do you feel afraid of someone in your life who is supposed to care about you, but hurts you deliberately or doesn't let you live your life the way you want to? Please don't suffer in silence. Get confidential advice and support by calling the FREE helpline: Women: 0800 980 3331 / Men: 0800 014 9082
Police and partners working together to reduce domestic abuse in the West Mercia force area will have new powers to help protect people from the problem. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - also known as Clare’s Law - was launched in West Mercia.
The scheme gives people the "right to ask" police whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. If records show that an individual might be at risk of domestic violence from a partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so.
For example, a mother or father could make an application on behalf of their daughter or son if they are concerned a new partner might be violent. If it meets the criteria, information will be disclosed directly to the daughter or son concerned or to a third person for the purposes of protecting the son or daughter from domestic abuse.
The police can also use the "right to know" to proactively disclose information to an individual to protect a potential victim of domestic abuse. That enables an agency to apply for a disclosure if the agency believes that an individual is at risk of domestic violence from their partner.
Anyone concerned about whether a new or existing partner has a violent past can visit the front desk of their nearest police station, ring 101 in the first instance or speak to a police officer. Information about the scheme will also be available online. The applicant would need to provide relevant information and checks would be done to confirm their identity. If anyone believes there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, they should always call 999.
The Forum are pleased to announce that through Respect not Fear the release of their FREE iPhone and iPod App promoting Healthy Relationships.
The App is a smaller version of the Respect not fear website (accessed via the Children and Young People tab) on the forum website and contains information about relationships. Once downloaded it can provide a young person with instant access to important information and support services. It also has the pledge, pyramid and respect'o'meter games that can be played.
Take a look at the excellent film produced by Women's Aid as part of Teenspeak