Domestic violence (also called Domestic Abuse) is a crime and a major social problem affecting many families. In 90% of reported domestic violence incidents, children have either been present in the same or a nearby room.
What is Domestic Abuse
The Government current definition of domestic violence and abuse is:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:
Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.
Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.'
The Government definition, which is not a legal definition, includes so called 'honour’ based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, and is clear that victims are not confined to one gender or ethnic group.
Family members includes mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister, and grandparents, whether directly related, in-laws or stepfamily.
How does it affect children?
Children, who witness, intervene or hear incidents are affected in many ways. What can be guaranteed is that children do hear, they do see and they are aware of abuse in the family. Children will learn how to behave from examples parents set for them. Domestic violence teaches children negative things about relationships and how to deal with people. For instance:
Many people find it difficult to understand why people remain in or return to abusive violent situations. A combination of fear, love, the risk of homelessness and financial issues can make it very difficult for partners with children to leave and some may not want to.
Effects upon children:
Children are affected in many ways by abuse, even after a short time. These effects include: feeling frightened, becoming withdrawn, bedwetting, running away, aggressiveness, behavioural difficulties, problems with school, poor concentration and emotional turmoil.
What can I do?
In case of an emergency, call or text 999.
Call or text:
999 in an emergency if you or someone else is in immediate danger, or there is a risk of serious damage to property.
Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247 for support, help and information over the telephone for women only, wherever you might be in the country. All calls are completely confidential. Translation facilities for callers whose first language is not English, and a service for callers who are deaf or hard of hearing are available.
NSPCC Helpline 0808 800 5000; Textphone: 0800 056 0566
Family Lives Helpline 0808 800 2222
ChildLine 0800 1111
MALE helpline on 0808 801 0327 (free from landlines and most mobile phones) for practical advice and information about accessing specialist help for heterosexual, gay and bisexual men. Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) Domestic Violence Helpline on 0300 999 5428 for confidential support to all members of the LGBT communities, their family, friends, and agencies supporting them.
Deaf Hope 07970 350366 for deaf women.
Face-to-face advice and support from a variety of agencies at Hounslow One Stop Shop, a free weekly drop-in service for anyone experiencing gender-based violence. You don’t need to make an appointment and can get information on issues including safety, accommodation, legal and childcare matters at one convenient location.
ONE STOP SHOP
Wednesdays, 10am – 12noon
36 Bath Road
All victims (this includes men and LGBT) of domestic and sexual violence that reside in Hounslow borough:
Hounslow Police Community Safety Unit on 020 8247 6185 (non-emergency)
Hounslow Domestic and Sexual Violence Outreach Service 0208 247 6163
Victim Support 0845 450 3936
EACH 020 8577 6059
Refuge Domestic Violence Floating Support Service 020 8742 7745
Women and Girls Network 0808 801 0660 (freephone)
Southall Black Sisters - for black and minority ethnic women - 020 8571 0800
Galop - for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people affected by domestic abuse in London - 020 7704 2040
The MARAC is a meeting held in Hounslow every last Thursday of the month to discuss high-risk cases of domestic violence. It brings together representatives from a number of statutory and voluntary agencies across the Borough in order to share information and put measures in place to increase the safety, health and wellbeing of domestic violence victims (and their children, where applicable).
At the heart of a MARAC is the working assumption that no single agency or individual can see the complete picture of the life of a victim, but all may have insights that are crucial to their safety. The victim/survivor does not attend the meeting but is represented by an IDVA (Independent Domestic Violence Advisor) who speaks on their behalf. Consent of the victim/survivor is preferred but not compulsory for a MARAC referral to be made. The Perpetrator of abuse should not be informed of the MARAC Referral.
Cases are referred for a one-off discussion at a MARAC. The MARAC is not an agency and does not have a case management function. The responsibility to take appropriate actions rests with individual agencies; it is not transferred to the MARAC. When referring to the MARAC staff should continue to work with the victim/survivor to reduce risk and make appropriate safeguarding referrals.
Hounslow provides half day training, through the LCSB, as well as single agency training, to all professionals that may encounter domestic abuse in their line of work. If you have recently become or are about to become a MARAC Representative please contact Community Safety on email@example.com to arrange an induction.
If any professional would like to make a referral to the MARAC, the referral form and risk assessment will need to be completed and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the MARAC, making referrals and the training please refer to the below contact details:
Tel: 020 8583 2503”