The Domestic Abuse Bill became law in April. It aims to improve protection for victims of domestic abuse and bring more abusers to court. In addition, the Bill will raise awareness about the impact of domestic abuse. What’s more, it now extends to young people aged 16 and over.
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse is when threatening, humiliating or violent behaviour is used to control. In many cases, a partner or ex-partner is the abuser. However, sometimes family members or carers are the abusers. Domestic abuse can happen to anyone regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, sexuality or background.
Examples of domestic abuse
Here are some examples of what counts as domestic abuse by a partner, ex-partner, or someone you live with:
- cutting you off from family and friends and intentionally isolating you
- bullying, threatening, or controlling you?
- taking control of your finances?
- monitoring or limiting your use of technology
- physically and/or sexually abusing you?
Domestic abuse is not always physical violence. It can also include coercive control and ‘gaslighting’, economic abuse, online abuse, threats and intimidation, emotional abuse, sexual abuse.
Signs of being a victim of domestic abuse
- being withdrawn, or being isolated from your family and friends
- having bruises, burns or bite marks on you
- having your finances controlled, or not being given enough to buy food, medication or pay bills
- not being allowed to leave your house, or stopped from going to college or work
- having your internet or social media use monitored, or someone else reading your texts, emails or letters
- being repeatedly belittled, put down or told you are worthless
- being pressured into sex or sexual contact
- being told that abuse is your fault, or that you’re overreacting
Did you know that there at least 2.3 million victims of domestic abuse each year? Here are a few more statistics:
- One in ten of all crimes recorded by the police is domestic abuse.
- 130,000 children in the UK live in homes where ether is a high risk of murder or serious harm.
- On average, the police in England and Wales receive over 100 calls relating to domestic abuse every hour. (HMIC, 2015).
- According to CSEW data, only 18% of women report abuse to the police.
- Research by the NSPCC shows one in five children will witness domestic violence.
- Two-thirds of domestic violence victims are female.
How will the new Bill help?
The Bill sets out 123 commitments. These commitments:
- promote awareness of domestic abuse
- protect and support victims and their families
- change the way cases are dealt with so that victims are the main priority
- provide an effective response to offenders
- make sure responses to domestic abuse are the same everywhere.
How does the new Bill affect apprentices and other learners?
The minimum age for a person to be classed as victims of domestic abuse by a partner is now 16. Importantly, it now recognises young adults living in abusive homes as victims rather than just witnesses. Additionally, it will support young adults over the age of 16 who are homeless due to domestic abuse. Therefore, all apprentices and learners who are victims of domestic abuse will now be able to receive more support.
tpm staff, including tutors, safeguarding officers and mental health champions are aware of the new legislation and are available to answer any questions you may have. Also, they can help you access the necessary support should you require it.
Need more info?
Please contact any member of the tpm safeguarding team if you have any concerns about domestic abuse. In addition, here are some useful links to more information about domestic abuse:
How to get help if you are a victim of domestic abuse