Domestic Abuse Act 2021
WHAT IS THE NEW ACT?
The UK Government through the Home Office, passed the Domestic Abuse Act in April 2021, primarily for England and Wales but with provision for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
There are several reforms, with measures coming into force during 2022.
The key aim is to “raise awareness and understanding about the devastating impact of domestic abuse on victims and their families”.
This call to action: support and protection for victims is crucial, involving recognition of the abuse and there is an increased focus on bringing perpetrators to justice.
As of May 2022, the statutory guidance for the Act is in draft form but recognition and discussion of the health impacts of abuse is unlikely to change significantly.
The impacts of the Act may be immediately apparent to GPs but is a change in conceptualising domestic abuse (DA) and safeguarding within government and commissioners of all services and agencies will be asked to consider DA as a strategic priority.
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Coventry Domestic Violence Services
For a summary of services see table below, including:
- Community-based support for victims (including support for children affected by domestic abuse) – run by Haven working in partnership with Panaghgar and C&W Relate
- Perpetrator service – run by C&W Relate in partnership with Panaghgar and Haven
- Supported accommodation for victims – this is run by Valley House
The Haven helpline does not operate 24/7 – however the Valley House accommodation service is always open and staff on hand (to take emergency referrals from victims fleeing Domestic Violence).
Clare’s Law -The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
Click on image below for link to printable download
One Minute Domestic Abuse Guide
Click on image below for link to printable download
Aim is to help women and their children who have experienced or are experiencing, domestic abuse in any form to free themselves from the situation they are in.
By providing safe housing and a range of support services, before during and after leaving their abusive relationship.
Supporting all women irrespective of whether they want to leave the relationship or not, older women, younger women, historic or current abuse; any woman.
Assistance with any other issues alongside abuse, eg: immigration, discrimination, disability, LGBT, housing, debt management, alcohol and drug abuse, multiple needs, or no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
Services are run by staff and volunteers free of charge.
All staff are female
Provide quality services to any woman experiencing any form of domestic violence and abuse including Forced Marriage, Honour Based Abuse (FM/HBA) and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Coventry Haven Services:
- Helpline – support, signposting, advice and information 02476 444077 (Monday – Friday 9am-4.30pm)
- The Listening Post – Our “women only” Centre and Drop-in – Open Access 10am-2pm Monday and Wednesday (no appointment or referral needed)
- Community and Advocacy Support – working within the local community
- IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advocate) – for help with criminal and civil legal support
- Refuge – 24 hour access to safe accommodation / emergency bed space
- FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) – support, information and awareness raising
- FM/HBA (Forced Marriage/Honour Based Abuse) – support, information and awareness raising
- Support & training for GP’s & staff Please contact Hayley here
- DVPP (Domestic Violence Perpetrators Programme) – Independent Support Service for women and children who’s partners are attending the Perpetrators Programme
- Just4Me – peer support, activity based groups held in the community
- DVA (Domestic Violence Awareness) – programme of support
- Training and Awareness sessions offered to employers and professionals in health, social care and education, police, schools (both teachers and pupils), colleges, universities, GP’s, hospitals
- Legal Advice – local solicitors offer a weekly legal ‘surgery’ at the Listening Post
- Counselling – professional counsellors offer weekly sessions
- Refuge link
- Emotional & practical support link
- Drop in link
- Just 4 me link
- Forced marriage & Honour based abuse link
- Female genital mutilation FGM link
In an emergency, please call 999.
If you are in urgent need of refuge outside of our office hours, please call the Emergency Duty Team on 02476 832 222.
Women’s Aid Helpline (freephone 24 hr) 0808 2000 247.
For any advice or support, or to make an appointment to come in and see us, please call 02476 444 077 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, or you can drop in to see us during those times, if that is easier for you.
Listening Post, 22 Marlborough Road, Coventry CV2 4EP Telephone: 02476 444 077
Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre (CRASAC)
CRASAC offers free and confidential support and information to anyone from the age of 5 who has been affected by sexual violence.
For more information, please visit the CRASAC GP Gateway page
For information regarding Safeguarding Adults please follow Safeguarding section of the NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG website.
The link above takes you to the Safeguarding platform which holds up to date and relevant information, forms and links.
Domestic Violence and Abuse – Warwickshire Services (Update October 2021)
Following a re-commissioning exercise, Refuge have been awarded the contract for delivering the Warwickshire Domestic Violence and Abuse Service from 1st October 2021.
Refuge is the current provider of the service and there are no fundamental changes to the current offer.
The Warwickshire Domestic Violence and Abuse Service will provide the following support:
24 units of refuge accommodation and re-settlement support,
Community based support which includes:
- Single point of contact / helpline to provide advice and information to victim-survivors, professionals and concerned family or friends
- Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) – provide 1:1 support for victim-survivors who are at a high risk of serious harm
- Outreach support – provide 1:1 support for victim-survivors who are medium or low risk of serious harm, the delivery of “drop-in sessions” and group recovery programmes
- Health Advocate Educators – provide 1:1 support for victim-survivors referred by professionals in primary or secondary care, professional advice to health professionals and delivery of awareness raising and training for health professionals
- Sanctuary Scheme – Delivery of target hardening and home security measures
- Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) coordination
- Multi-agency training and awareness raising sessions on domestic abuse
Enhancements within the new contract include:
- Co-location of Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA) within key agencies.
- Arrangements are being put in place for co-location with the ‘Front Door’ (formerly the MASH – Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) and Warwickshire Police.
- Opportunities for co-location with housing teams are being explored
- Increased outreach provision – to increase the number of victim-survivors accessing support early
- Expanding the Health Advocate Educator will remain the same but the offer to key secondary care health teams (previously this was exclusively focused on providing support to victim-survivors referred by GPs and providing professional support to GPs)
- Increased budget for the provision of Sanctuary Support
The referral route (the email address and the telephone number for the Single Point of Contact) remain the same. Victim-survivors and frontline professionals will see no change to the way in which they access the service, or the advice, information and support provided.
The Warwickshire Domestic Violence and Abuse Service can be contacted by the public or professionals on:
Further support can be accessed via: https://www.talk2someone.org.uk/
Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
The Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) is a partnership between Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Police, National Health Service (NHS) and other key partner agencies working together to safeguard children, young people and adults.
Please visit the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Portal for more information on the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH)
Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – Blue Sky Centre
A Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) is a single location where any victim of Rape or Serious Assault will receive medical care, intervention (if you choose to report the crime) and various other support services.
Please visit the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Portal for more information on the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC).
Warwickshire against domestic abuse
A useful web-based resource for those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse.
Please visit the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Portal for more information on the Warwickshire against domestic abuse resource.
Refuge in Warwickshire
Refuges provide safe emergency housing and support to women (aged 16 and over) and their children escaping domestic violence and abuse. Addresses are confidential.
Please visit the Refuge in Warwickshire link for more information
If you’re in Warwickshire, please call Refuge’s Domestic Violence Service Warwickshire Helpline on 0800 408 1552 (Monday-Friday 8:30am-8:30pm; Saturday 10am-4pm) to speak to one of our support workers.
If the line is busy or for out of hours calls, a voicemail operates on this number. If you leave a message, please do let us know your name, number and a safe time to call and we will get back to you.
Email us – DVSW@refuge.org.uk – with any queries or questions.
Our safe houses are for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence. Staff in our refuges work with women to keep them safe, but also offer practical and emotional support. They understand the trauma women have experienced and are there to listen. The other women staying in the refuge can also provide valuable peer support.
Independent Domestic Violence Advocates
Refuge’s independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs) support both men and women who have experienced domestic violence who are navigating the legal system.
Provide non-judgmental practical and emotional support to clients.
Help to keep clients safe whilst liaising with the numerous agencies involved in pressing charges against perpetrators. They advocate for the client – acting as their ‘eyes and ears’.
An IDVA can help with the following:
- Creating safety plans and undertaking risk assessments
- Accompanying clients to court or arranging pre-trial visits
- Supporting clients to give evidence and write victim impact statements
- Requesting special measures e.g. screens to conceal clients in court so they do not have to face their abuser
- Helping clients to access refuge accommodation
- Helping clients to increase security in their property so that they can continue to live safely at home
- Providing emotional support and referring victims to counselling or mental health services
- Liaise with social workers on child protection issues
Our IDVAs have been shown to substantially reduce the risk of domestic violence facing victims.
IDVAs also play a crucial role in the community. They provide essential domestic violence training to key agencies such as the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, which greatly improves the way professionals respond to domestic violence cases.
Our community outreach workers meet people in their homes, or in a discreet place in the community, to offer confidential support on a range of safety, practical and emotional issues.
Outreach workers can help people to keep safe, whilst supporting them to understand their options and make decisions about their lives. They will not judge people and will always respect their choices.
- A 10 week group programme for women focusing on the dynamics of domestic violence
- A sanctuary scheme which can provide additional security to a property. For example this could include additional locks on windows and doors, a door chain, a spy hole in the door, fire proof letter box, or a smoke detector
- Drop-in services, held at locations across Warwickshire, to give clients the opportunity to meet with our outreach team
Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC)
Refuge also works with the local multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC) team to share information, as appropriate, with statutory and voluntary agencies in relation to high risk cases of domestic violence.
What is the MARAC?
The MARAC is a monthly multi-agency risk assessment conference which reviews the safety of victims of domestic abuse identified as being at high risk. At the conference risks are identified and safety actions are taken by the appropriate agencies.
Referrals and further information:
Referrals to the MARAC can be made, and are encouraged, by any agency which identifies a victim of domestic abuse as being high risk. The formal risk identification tool (DASH) should be completed by the referring agency and then sent to the MARAC coordinator via email:
If the referrer does not have a secure email, then the referrer should ring the MARAC coordinator on 0800 408 1552 for support and information or email:
Who can access our services?
- Women and men experiencing domestic violence in Warwickshire: Nuneaton and Bedworth; North Warwickshire; Rugby; Warwick District; Stratford Upon Avon
- Everyone – clients who are black or from minority ethnic backgrounds, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning or intersex
In an emergency always call 999.