Information for Practitioners

Every year, thousands of people in the UK experience some form of violence.

This can include domestic violence, sexual violence and rape, coercive and controlling behaviour, 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.

For more information visit GOV.UK and read the documents available from this page.

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, coercive and controlling behavior, 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.

Key statistics

Two women are killed each week by a current or former partner in England and Wales (average taken over 10 years) (Office for National Statistics, 2016).

Women were far more likely to be killed by partners or ex-partners (50% of female victims aged 16 and over compared with 3% of male victims aged 16 and over) (Office for National Statistics, 2018).

Sexual violence

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.

45% of serious sexual assaults are committed by a woman’s current or former partner (Office for National Statistics, 2018). 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.