Information for practitioners:
About domestic violence and abuse
Every year, thousands of people in the UK experience some form of violence including domestic violence; sexual violence and rape; forced marriage and honour based violence; sexual exploitation; trafficking: stalking and murder.
The human and financial costs of domestic violence and abuse is immeasurable, causing harm and disruption to families, communities and society on a massive scale. The negative impact on individual lives, public services and economic output are widely recognised and illustrated through numerous pieces of research and consultation.
Responding to domestic violence and abuse is a huge task and needs to be tackled on many levels through partnership work, effective commissioning and unrelenting commitment to delivering excellent standards of service to victims and effective responses to perpetrators.
What is domestic violence and abuse?
Domestic violence makes up the majority of violence against women, children and men locally and nationally and includes physical, psychological, sexual violence; emotional abuse; financial exploitation and stalking. It is best understood as a pattern of behaviour characterised by the misuse of power and control and often escalates over time.
More information can be found on the Citizen's Advice website.
On average two women a week are killed by a male partner or former partner: this constitutes around half of all female homicide victims.
(Home Office Homicide Stats 2012/13) (6% of male homicide victims are killed by a current or ex-partner).
In Leeds, 14,414 incidents were recorded by the police in 2014/15
Download: Home Office Definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse
It is common for victims to experience multiple incidents of sexual violence, sometimes over long periods before seeking help. It is important to note that victims of sexual violence perpetrated by a current or former partner are likely to be victims of the most severe forms of domestic violence.
54% of serious sexual assaults are committed by a woman’s current or former partner. (BCS 2009/10)
Leeds City Council’s Domestic Violence Team are responsible for support work across the city to reduce the prevalence and impact of domestic violence and abuse in Leeds. It can offer support to practitioners in Leeds, but it is not a direct service for the public.