Domestic abuse victims


Last updated: 2019-05-20 14:47:12
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1. What are the key issues?

In 2015/16, there were 4,396 domestic abuse incidents reported in Stockton-on-Tees. This is an increase of 132 incidents (3.1%) on the previous year.

In 2015/16, the number of domestic-related crime (all crime categories) offences rose by 33.8% (n=371) compared to the previous year.  

Domestic-related crime accounts for 12% of the total crime in Stockton-on-Tees, this is higher than the national average (11%).

One-third of all violent offences in Stockton-on-Tees are also recorded as being domestic abuse related. This is higher than the national average.

Despite the rise in crime and incidents, the number of referral applications for homelessness and to childrens services has reduced.

The prevention of repeat victimisation and offending is the main thrust of the new strategy, as it continues to exist in Stockton-on-Tees.

It is difficult to estimate the local Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) prevalence due to the small number of high risk population in Stockton-on-Tees. In 2015/16, there were 385 new recorded in the north of England.

Domestic abuse is a key priority for Stockton-on-Tees and forms part of the 2014-17 Community Safety (CS) plan. Domestic abuse was added to CS Plan in 2014 after it was identified through a resident survey that this was a key issue.

Last updated: 07/11/16

2. What commissioning priorities are recommended?

Current priorities:


Commission domestic abuse training for the health and social care staff to improve the knowledge and raise awareness of domestic abuse.


Establish a Domestic Abuse Network (DAN), with the aim of reviewing data submitted on a quarterly basis to identify trends and share expertise.


Establish a domestic database to help identify issues and trend of different types of domestic abuse.

Previous priorities:


Research the costs of domestic violence to the NHS in Stockton-on-Tees, looking particularly at A&E attendances and GP contacts - COMPLETED.


Pilot an integrated offender management approach to tackling domestic violence, working with 10 families with a view to reducing the impact/frequency of health services as a result of intervention – ONGOING.


Provide focussed support work in a one-to-one and group setting for individuals with substance misuse issues – ONGOING (Completed – Harbour is now provided the support and work closely with the Substance misuse services).


Explore the feasibility of utilising specialist workers to work to support ‘hard to reach’ groups such as individuals with special needs and male victims – NOMINATED LEADS WITHIN HARBOUR SERVICES- COMPLETED.


Improve the training and awareness of domestic violence for health professionals such as GPs, A&E staff, midwives and health visitors – CONDUCTING A TRAINING NEEDS ANALYSIS.


Agree funding arrangements to ensure the continuation of the Safe at Home scheme for a further 12 months – WITHIN HARBOUR SERVICES CONTRACT - COMPLETED.


Commission domestic abuse link worker within the hospital setting - This is to support the hospital trust to develop a systemic approach to identifying and supporting patients who have experienced domestic abuse and to establish the costs of domestic violence to the NHS in Stockton-On-Tees. It will also focus on the costs of A&E attendances and GP contacts. - The Hospital Trust is now increased awareness of domestic abuse issues and it has increased number of DA cases to be reported to their adult safeguarding team. - COMPLETED.


Commission domestic abuse training based on the training analysis result. - COMPLETED.


Commission domestic abuse training for the Health and Social Care frontline staff to improve the knowledge and raise awareness of domestic Abuse - to be continued in 2016 – ONGOING.


Raise awareness of different types of domestic abuse and available support services to Stockton-on-Tees residents. Poster campaign is developed and it will be promote widely within the community - COMPLETED.


Establish a Domestic Abuse Network (DAN), with the aim of reviewing data submitted on a quarterly basis to identify trends and share expertise. - to be continued in 2016 – ONGOING.

Last updated: 07/11/16

3. Who is at risk and why?


Women are much more likely than men to experience domestic abuse. Analysis of 10 separate prevalence studies has shown that 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence over their lifetimes. [1]

Women are also more likely than men to be the victim of multiple incidents of abuse. 32% of women who had ever experienced domestic violence did so four or five (or more) times, compared with 11% of men. Women constitute 89% of all those who have experienced 4 or more incidents of domestic violence.


Younger women

Younger women under the age of 30 years old are shown to be most at risk of domestic violence, with those aged between 16-19 at greater risk (10.1% of respondents to the BCS), closely followed by the 20–24 year old age group (9.2% of respondents). [2]

Children and young people

Domestic violence is also a child protection issue. Children can experience abuse both directly and indirectly.  On a national basis the Home Office estimate that three quarters of a million children witness domestic abuse every year and that three quarters of children living with a child protection plan live in households where domestic violence occurs. [7]

Domestic violence can have an impact upon a child’s emotional, behavioural and cognitive development. Its effects can include anxiety, fear, withdrawal, highly sexualised and aggressive behaviour, reduced educational attainment, failure to acquire social competence, anti-social behaviour and also in some cases the use of substances. [8]

Older people

Older people may become more vulnerable and therefore more dependent on others for help and support. As with domestic violence and abuse, elder abuse can present in several different forms including physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation and neglect – whether intentional or not.


Research shows that 30% of domestic violence starts or escalates during pregnancy. With the same study showing that domestic violence has been identified as a prime cause of miscarriage, or still birth and of maternal deaths in childbirth. [3]

A further study into women receiving antenatal and postnatal care to examine the prevalence of domestic violence and its associations with obstetric complications and psychological health, found that 23% of women involved had a lifetime experience of domestic violence, and 3% had experienced violence in the current pregnancy. These figures are recognised as underestimates due to the sensitive nature and reporting of abuse.  [4]


Women who separate from their partner are at a much higher risk of domestic violence than women in other marital circumstances. The BCS study found that 22% of separated women were assaulted in the previous year by their partners or ex partners.

Socioeconomic factors

People living in poor and financially insecure households are more likely to suffer from domestic violence. Domestic violence can also lead to poverty as it often creates instability, difficulties in maintaining employment and increases in ill health. As abuse is also found in households that are financially better off.


There is no significant difference in the risk of domestic violence by ethnicity reported in the BCS. However women from ethnic minorities may have greater difficulties in accessing services due to language, inter-generational issues, and cultural differences. [5]


National research shows that women with a disability are twice as likely to experience abuse as women living without a disability. Issues facing disabled women can make it harder for them to access support. They may be more physically vulnerable and socially isolated than other women relying heavily on the abuser for basic care needs and access to the wider community. [6]


Perpetrators of domestic violence are often still a part of the family. Perpetrators of violence frequently have complex needs, and behaviours, which can include mental health issues, substance misuse issues, self-harm, and offending behaviour. 

Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT)

Domestic abuse and violence is a considerable problem for members of the LGBT community. People in this group can be reluctant to seek help for fear of homophobia and may be unable to turn to family or friends for support if they are not ‘out’ about their sexuality.  This can leave such people who suffer from domestic violence especially isolated and at risk of further abuse.

Last updated: 31/08/12

4. What is the level of need in the population?

It is difficult to assess the level of need within the population as so much domestic abuse is under-reported.

There are on average, 292 domestic abuse incidents reported to police linked to residents of Stockton-On-Tees per year.

Using the ready reckoner tool, it is estimated that 6,475 women and girls aged 16-59 years old have been a victim of domestic abuse in Stockton-On-Tees per year.

The estimated cost of domestic violence in Stockton-On-Tees to the criminal justice system is 4.4 million.

In 2011, data from Harbour adult outreach referrals shows that 40% of perpetrators had issues with alcohol, 23% had issues with drugs and 14% had issues with both alcohol and drugs.

Data from Harbour’s perpetrator programme shows that just over one-quarter of those attending in 2010/11 (27%) admitted to having problems with alcohol.

Last updated: 21/08/15

5. What services are currently provided?


Harbour provide support to adults, children and young people who experience domestic abuse. Harbour also supports DA perpetrators in their behaviour change. The service uses family approach to make sure everyone has appropriate support if domestic abuse has identified. Support services and programmes include:

  • Refuge support – a provision of a residential service for adult and children who are experiencing domestic abuse;
  • Advocacy support and advice - including safety planning, legal, housing and financial matter;
  • Floating support – an interventions aims to ensuring tenancy breakdowns do not occur;
  • Parenting support – improve and build relationship with their children and to understand how domestic abuse affects their children and how to protect them;
  • Perpetrator programmes – to support individuals to have better understand on their perpetrating behaviour and make appropriate change;
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA) – to address the safety of victims at high risk of harm from intimate partners, ex-partners or family members to secure their safety and the safety of their children Children and young people provision – to address the emotional, psychological and physical harms arising from children and young people who expose to domestic abuse; and
  • Outreach support.
Last updated: 07/11/16

6. What is the projected level of need?

It is difficult to predict the true prevalence of domestic violence, due to the difficulties in obtaining reliable information and the recognised levels of under-reporting. 

Domestic violence is not reducing at the same rate as other types of violent crime. There is the possibility for domestic violence to increase in the forthcoming year as many families struggle financially in the current economic climate.

Last updated: 21/08/15

7. What needs might be unmet?

The biggest issue with domestic abuse is that the true prevalence remains unknown due to under-reporting, the data available is not always collated at a single point and analysis of the data is necessary to target resources.

There is a need for a location based approach to tackling issues with interventions based according to risk.

There is limited information from police data in relation to the number of people from diverse and minority community groups that experience abuse (e.g. LGBT community, disabled people, the BME community, male victims). The only available data is what is collated by specialist services.

Last updated: 21/08/15

8. What evidence is there for effective intervention?

NICE (2014) Domestic violence and abuse: how health services, social care and the organisations they work with can respond effectively

AVA Project (2014) Community Co-ordinated Response Model (Home Office Endorsed Toolkit)

CAADA (2012) MARAC Development Programme (Home Office Endorsed Programme)

Durham University (2010) Briefing note 1: Domestic Abuse perpetrator programmes: What counts as success?

Communities and Local Government (2010) The Effectiveness of schemes to Enable Households at Risk of Domestic Abuse to Remain within their own homes.

Home Office (2009) Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls: a Strategy

Crisis (2006) Homeless women: Still being failed but struggling to survive

Hester M et al (2006) Domestic Abuse Perpetrators: identifying needs to inform early intervention.

Walby, Sylvia and Johnathan Allen (2004) Domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking: Findings from the British Crime Survey. Home Office Research Study 276. Home Office: London.

Debra and Kenny, Dora (2002) The Provision of Accommodation and Support for Households Experiencing Domestic Violence in England. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Respect Briefing Paper: What is the evidence base for interventions with domestic violence perpetrators? (Respect 2013 – updated 2015)

Evidence around prevention:

Last updated: 07/11/16

9. What do people say?


National research (Department of Health, 2010) shows that women think that the health services (health visitors, GPs, hospitals, dentists, sexual health services, practice nurses) have a vital role in early identification and response to violence, particularly for those who are isolated and therefore more vulnerable. They also felt that the health services should have a key role in supporting and safeguarding women and children, particularly some groups of women who might have difficulty in communicating with them: older women, women with learning disabilities or mental health issues, and women with language barriers, particularly if dependent on violent partners for translation.

In 2011/12, 7.3% of women (1.2 million) and 5% of men (800,000) who were surveyed as part of the British Crime Survey reported having experienced domestic abuse.

The data collated from the British Crime Survey between 2004-2013 (now the Crime Survey for England and Wales) has consistently shown that victims of domestic abuse were more likely to experience repeat victimisation than victims of other types of crime.

The 2012/13 CSEW self-completion module on intimate violence, which is asked of adults aged 16 to 59 years old, included a special focus on the nature of partner abuse and 4.4% of men surveyed reported having experienced any type of domestic abuse in the last year.


In 2013, a consultation with 5,488 residents and visitors to Stockton-On-Tees was carried out via postal, face to face and on line consultation. Domestic abuse was identified as the seventh priority overall by respondents.

Last updated: 21/08/15

10. What additional needs assessment is required?

No additional needs assessments are required at present.

Last updated: 07/11/16