Domestic abuse is the abuse of one partner within an intimate or family relationship. It is the repeated, random and habitual use of intimidation to control a partner. The abuse can be physical, emotional, psychological, financial or sexual.
Domestic abuse can also have a big impact on any children within the family and they may not feel safe in their own home.
Why is domestic abuse a priority for the Safer Harlow Partnership?
Domestic abuse has seen a 6% reduction in incidents in 2013-14 but despite this seemingly positive result the Safer Harlow Partnership (SHP) wants to encourage more victims of domestic abuse to report incidents, so victims can be supported and the number of repeat victims reduced. Therefore it remains a SHP priority to continue encouraging victims to come forward and to reduce the number of repeat incidents.
Domestic Homicide Reviews
In 2011, the SHP became responsible for undertaking Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) where the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence, abuse or neglect by a relative, household member or someone s/he had been in an intimate relationship with.
The purpose of a DHR is to consider the circumstances that led to the death and identify where responses to the situation could be improved in the future. In so doing, the lessons learned will be taken on board by the professionals and agencies involved, such as the police, social services, councils, and other community based organisations.
A panel, led by an independent chair and made up of members of local statutory and voluntary agencies, is commissioned to undertake the DHR. The panel reviews each agency’s review of their involvement in the case and considers recommendations to improve responses to domestic abuse in the future. They also have the opportunity to hear from family, friends and work colleagues who may be able to help us understand the impact of an agency’s involvement with the victim or the perpetrator.
DHRs are not inquiries into how someone died or who is to blame and they are not part of any disciplinary process. They do not replace, but will be in addition to, an inquest or any other form of inquiry into the homicide.
In this way, agencies will improve their responses to domestic abuse and work better together to prevent such tragedies occurring in the future.
DHR Overview Reports
Harlow DHR Overview Reports:
- DHR Overview Report into the death of CP (pdf)
- DHR Overview Report into the death of Eystna Blunnie (pdf)
Please note: the statutory guidance from the Home Office regarding the publication of DHR Overview Reports states that they should be suitably anonymised. However, Home Secretary Theresa May MP granted special permission for the Eystna Blunnie report to include Eystna’s name and that of her unborn child, Rose.
DHR Overview Reports from other parts of Essex along with the Harlow Overview Reports are published on the Essex Safeguarding Adults Board website.
J9 Domestic Abuse Initiative
The Safer Harlow Partnership are looking for local businesses and services that can assist in the J9 Initiative to stop domestic abuse and help victims to seek the help they so desperately need. The training and information leaflets are available free of charge. More information on the J9 Domestic Abuse Initiative