Domestic abuse information for professionals

Information for the public is on our domestic abuse web pages.

The following information is of a sensitive nature. This information is for you if you are working with a person dealing with domestic abuse.

As part of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police’s Sexual Offending Reduction Group, one of our initiatives is to reduce the number of sexual assaults that are committed during the night-time economy (NTE). This campaign has been successful in Portsmouth for Freshers Week and for festive periods across the whole of the force. The scheme enables us to work with partner agencies and local establishments, such as bars and clubs, to promote messages of safety and awareness.

A series of posters were designed to create awareness in public venues. They cover what is unacceptable behaviour in the way of harassment and unwanted attention – both physical and verbal – and that help is available. They also encourage people to speak out on behalf of others if they witness such behaviour.

The other posters centre on what rape means and is written in 16 different languages to be as diverse as possible. The most impactful one is titled ‘When does drunken sex become rape?’ We also had these printed as small business sized cards, so officers on patrol can hand them out.

NTE and venue staff have been consulted so they can give their full support. A poster was designed to answer staff questions, and these have been displayed in staff rooms.

Early reports during the festive season suggest "offending was very low" – Hampshire Constabulary

You can download the Reducing Sexual Offending posters.

Controlling and coercive behaviour

Social workers have been issued guidance on safeguarding people who are victims of controlling and coercive behaviour. The Department of Health has funded a set of tools to help practitioners respond to the issue, which experts say underpins domestic abuse and can be a heightened risk among people with care and support needs.

Access the Controlling and Coercive Behaviour toolkit.  

Within an intimate of family relationship

A new criminal offence was introduced on the 29 December 2015 of 'Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship' which carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

The offence closes the gap in law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour that occurs during a relationship between intimate partners, former partners who still live together, or family members. It sends a clear message that this form of domestic abuse can constitute a serious offence.

While the legislation is gender neutral, statistics consistently show that women and girls are disproportionately affected by crimes of domestic violence and abuse. In 2014 to 2015, 92 per cent of defendants in domestic abuse cases were male.

It is important that agencies supporting victims of domestic abuse recognise the potential evidence that can identify this offence, because victims of such types of behaviour may not recognise themselves as such. The behaviours a perpetrator might demonstrate may include:

  • isolating a person from their family and friends
  • depriving them of their basic needs
  • monitoring their time
  • depriving them of access to support services, such as specialist support or medical services
  • repeatedly putting them down, such as telling them they are worthless
  • enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade, or dehumanise the victim
  • financial abuse which includes the controlling of finances, such as only allowing a punitive allowance.

There are other forms of behaviour or abuse which are an offence in their own right, such as:

  • assault
  • rape
  • criminal damage
  • threats to kill.

Specialist services

The police and specialist services are available to support victims of 'Controlling and Coercive Behaviour' and it is important for agencies to consider making a referral or signposting a victim when identified.

For more information on this legislation, you can access the Home Office Statutory Guidance Framework.  

Reporting domestic abuse

If you have received a disclosure of domestic abuse from an individual, refer them to YOU Trust, or call the freephone helpline on 0800 234 6266. You may have to leave a message when the service is busy or if you call out of office hours.

The IW Domestic Abuse Referral Pathway (PDF, 369KB) provides a clear visual pathway on how to respond to a domestic abuse disclosure. It also details the support services available.

Independent sexual violence advice

An ISVA (Independent Sexual Violence Advisor) offers confidential advice and support to anyone who have been victims of recent or historic sexual violence. This service is run by the Hampton Trust.

What victims can expect from the service

ISVAs will give them the information they need to decided what it is they would like and need, for example:

  • practical advice on reporting to the police, the legal process and attending court
  • refer them for counselling and other appropriate services
  • help to coordinate different agencies, such as sexual health, mental health, substance misuse and housing
  • liaise with the police for regular case updates, if they choose to report the sexual assault
  • regular and ongoing phone contact or face-to-face meetings, and support.

If the victim wishes, they can also go with them to the:

  • Sexual Assault and Referral Centre (SARC) at Treetops
  • police, if they choose to report
  • sexual health clinic
  • court
  • doctor
  • housing office.

An ISVA will only provide the support the victim chooses. The role is not to tell them what to do, but helping them make informed choices.

To refer someone to this service, complete the ISVA referral form (PDF, 119KB).  

For more information, contact:

Domestic abuse posters

A new poster campaign was launched across the Island in September 2016. You can download and print the Domestic abuse posters (PDF, 656KB, 4 pages). Alternatively, contact us and we can arrange to have material posted to you. These posters are free of charge.

Home Office posters

The 'Disrespect nobody' campaign by the Home Office was launched in 2016. Posters from the campaign can be downloaded.

Modern slavery

The Modern Slavery Partnership has made their guidance and resources available.

Global Slavery Index 2016

The Global Slavery Index estimates there are 11,700 people in modern slavery in the UK. The following are its recommendations for government:

  • implement recommendations made in the independent review of the Overseas Domestic Workers (ODW) visa and immediately revoke the tied visa
  • sign and ratify ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers
  • enact a statutory system of independent child trafficking advocates or guardians for all separated and trafficked children
  • ensure provision of specialist foster care for trafficked children and training of frontline workers
  • improve data collection on victims and perpetrators of modern slavery in the UK and encourage European countries to follow the UK's led by estimating prevalence within their borders, so progress can be tracked over time
  • increase funding for quality-assessed, victim support shelters and services
  • undertake a robust and comprehensive evaluation of the NRM pilots ensuring inclusion of victim feedback
  • restructure and reform the NRM to improve identification decision-making and improve access to services and outcomes for victims of modern slavery
  • closely monitor the impact of the supply chain requirements of the Modern Slavery Act to ensure delivery of results not just reporting.

Read the full UK country report and from other countries.

Child safeguarding

The Hampshire Barnardo’s Trafficking Service has information on child safeguarding and child trafficking.

More information and resources can be found on the Modern Slavery Partnership website.

Female genital mutilation (FGM)

FGM Guidance from Karen Bradley MP and the Home Office was updated in May 2016. You can access the updated FGM Resource Pack homepage which contains FGM guidance, case studies and support materials for local authorities, professional services, and specialist voluntary organisations.

Related links