Domestic abuse in the news

This article was sent by Karen Fost who is a DA Champion trainer in West Berks but also works as the pastoral lead within her local Methodist Church Circuit- thanks Karen for making us aware. Faith Groups can offer so much to those suffering domestic abuse who may not have the contact with agencies or professionals. (Methodist Church Website)

The Methodist Church’s first Domestic Abuse Webinar aimed to promote awareness of domestic abuse and look at how as a church we can begin to tackle this and respond appropriately to victims/survivors.

Extract from Key Messages

There is evidence in Scotland that, throughout lockdown, services received reports of children being exposed to increased levels of abuse. There were some reports of children who had fled domestic abuse experiencing severe isolation and digital exclusion, with remote engagement and with younger children being reported as very difficult.

This landmark case has massive implications for victims of domestic abuse with no access to funds but jointly own a property. The Legal Aid Agency would have previously not granted legal aid because of the "trapped capital" within the house (which they cannot release). As a result of this action, they now have to exercise discretion on each application. So very sad that this case had to rely on a legal firm's goodwill in offering to act for free to achieve this change. (Beck Fitzgerald, Lawyers & Consultants)

Today, ‘Claire’ a single parent and domestic abuse survivor, has overturned the rules that prevented her from accessing legal aid. It is already widely acknowledged that today’s ruling will improve access to justice for more survivors of domestic violence who are in poverty.

The Mental Health and Money Toolkit is a new resource to help people understand, manage and improve their mental and financial health. Many people living with or having left domestic abuse have real issues with mental health and finances and this is aimed to help. If you are working in mental health, you can also access advice for your patients here. (Money & Mental Health Policy Institute)

Last week, we were delighted to launch our Mental Health and Money Toolkit – a new resource that aims to help people understand, manage and improve their mental and financial wellbeing.

This great initiative from UK Says No More is about creating a place within some pharmacies for those living with DA to access help and support and signposting. The link will also allow anyone to find out where the Safe Spaces are near you. (UK Says No More)

UK SAYS NO MORE is working with Boots UK, Superdrug pharmacies, Morrisons pharmacies and independent pharmacies across the UK to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse.

How to access a Safe Space

  • Walk into any participating pharmacy in the UK.
  • Ask at the healthcare counter to use their Safe Space.
This article reminded us of a discussion at a recent DA Champion training. One of the Champions spoke passionately about male circumcision and how bodged religious procedures were leaving boys and men badly affected for their lifetimes- effectively a form of genital mutilation. This article highlights how Jewish and Muslim communities in Finland have now shelved amendments to a new law on female genital mutilation that would have potentially limited or outlawed nonmedical circumcision of males. (The Times of israel)

Lawmakers in Finland have removed language against nonmedical circumcision of boys from a bill on female genital mutilation following a push by Jews in the country and wider Europe.

The measure calling to “clarify” Finland’s ban on the genital mutilation of women passed Friday in the Parliament.

This interesting article from Pakistan looks at the inter religious abuses which have led to a 14 year old girl being kidnapped, converted and forcibly married off to an abuser. The case is being brought to the attention of the UK parliament this week as the family all seek asylum. (Independent Catholic News)

A 14-year-old Christian girl in Pakistan in hiding from the man trying to hunt her down is to release a video statement describing how she and her family are "constantly receiving death threats".

Maira Shahbaz will describe how Mohamad Nakash Tariq "tortured" her by gang-raping and blackmailing her as part of an ordeal in which he forced her to marry him and convert to Islam.

This article looks at Spanish research which claims that more than 3,650 girls in Spain are reportedly at risk of female genital mutilation. (Euro-Weekly News)

According to a study promoted and coordinated by the Government Delegation against Gender Violence and carried out by the Wassu-UAB Foundation in Spain there are 15,562 girls aged under 14 who are from countries where female genital mutilation is practiced.

The evidence that this Review will gather will include a case file review, input from those working in the family courts and an academic literature review of how the presumption is currently applied and the impact of parental involvement on the wellbeing of the child. The Ministry of Justice will follow a competitive tender process to identify the most appropriate individuals to conduct the evidence review to ensure a sound and independent evidence base. (Ministry of Justice)

A review launching today (9 November 2020) will consider how the current approach to decisions on parental access made in the family courts is impacting child safety, in the next step forward for government’s wider plans to reform family courts and bring in greater protections for domestic abuse victims.

According to this article, new research has revealed victims of coerced debt in the UK are faced with a total bill of £23.5m every year. (Sky News)

If Jessica's husband told her to buy him a new jumper, she had to do it.

She spiralled into more than £50,000 of debt, while he took out credit cards, bought expensive gadgets and left her to pay the mortgage and provide for their three children. "If he said, 'buy me that camera' or 'buy me those clothes', I was too scared not to. The consequences of not doing it would be so much worse," she told Sky News.

Jessica, not her real name, was a victim of economic abuse — a form of domestic abuse whereby perpetrators use their victims' finances as a way of controlling them.