News Item

Return to list of news items

Domestic Abuse Awareness Week: 21-25 November 2011

Domestic Abuse takes many forms, from physical to verbal to emotional.  As part of Domestic Violence Awareness week, Men’s Sexual Health will be working in partnership with Swindon Domestic Violence Services and the Community Safety Partnership to highlight the issues that face victims of abuse and the services available to them. 

Domestic abuse is defined as ‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between two adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.’   It can happen to anyone, in all kinds of relationships – heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. People experience domestic violence regardless of their social group, age, class, lifestyle, disability or sexuality. It can begin at any time – in a new relationship or after many years together.  Unfortunately, fear and intimidation that is inherent in this kind of relationship often means that victims will suffer in silence for years.  Between April 2010 and March 2011 there were 4,532 domestic abuse incidents reported to Wiltshire Police.

Male Domestic Violence Statistics:

·          The police receive a 999 call every three minutes from a male victim

·         1 in 6 men will experience Domestic Violence in their life

·         Every 3rd victim of Domestic Violence is a man

·         Domestic Violence equates to approx 25% of all reported violent crimes 

·         9% of all reported violent crimes are Domestic Violence cases involving male victims

·         Approximately 4 million men are affected every year by domestic violence

·         Practically the same percentage of men as women is victims of severe acts of Domestic Violence.

There is help and support.

In addition to a dedicated Domestic Abuse Unit, the Swindon Police are now able to issue Domestic Violence Protection Orders (DVPOs), as part of a year long pilot by the Home Office.  The DVPO pilot is designed to protect victims in the short term and give them the breathing space to consider their next steps, including pursuing longer term protection through an application for a civil injunction. 

A police officer who responds to a domestic abuse incident can apply to a superintendent for a Domestic Violence Protection Notice (DVPN) when there is not enough evidence to bring a criminal charge, but there is concern that someone is at risk.

A DVPN will only be authorised if a superintendent is satisfied that a victim has suffered violence or is at risk. Once a DVPN is issued it must be brought before magistrates within 48 hours.

Magistrates must be satisfied, before approving a police request for a DVPO, that “on the balance of probabilities”, the perpetrator has used violence, or the threat of violence, against the victim.

DVPOs can require the perpetrator not to contact the victim or return to the victim’s address for a minimum of 14 days and maximum of 28. Breaching a DVPO can lead to a fine with costs or jail.

For more information, the Community Safety Partnership  has online leaflets about warning signs and contact numbers.

If you’d like to talk to us about these issues, please ring:  01793 250951

Read more about Swindon's awareness raising activities here.