Dads Unlimited is trying to raise awareness of men also being the victims of domestic abuse, whilst not detracting from the very serious problem we, as a society have, with domestic abuse targeted at women.
What is domestic violence?
The Government’s definition of domestic violence covers controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between people aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. It includes the following types of abuse:
- emotional abuse
Domestic violence is most commonly experienced by women, but Men are now increasingly experiencing it, and now reporting it to the Police.
Many kinds of domestic violence such as physical assault, wounding, sexual assault, rape, threats to kill and harassment are criminal offences.
If you are the victim of an abusive relationship, you should get advice on your options, which may be to:
- report the violence to the police
- leave home temporarily
- leave home permanently
- stay in the present home and get the person who is harming you to leave
- take legal action
Reporting the violence to the police
Many kinds of domestic abuse are criminal offences and the police can arrest, caution or charge the perpetrator. Most police stations have Domestic Violence Units or Community Safety Units with specially trained officers to deal with domestic violence and abuse. You should call 999 in an emergency or 101 in a non-emergency or you can attend a police station in person to report an incident. Find information on all the UK police websites through the UK Police Service Portal at www.police.uk.
If the police arrest and charge a perpetrator, they will decide whether to keep them in custody or release them on bail. There will usually be conditions attached to their bail to protect you from further violence and abuse. Make sure you ask for your crime reference number which you may need if you contact other agencies for help.
The Crown Prosecution Service will make the final decision on whether a perpetrator is prosecuted.
The police can also give you advice on crime prevention and get a police marker on your address, so an officer can get to your home as quickly as possible.
The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
Under the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, you can find out about a partner’s history of domestic violence from the police. The police will give you information if it is necessary to protect you. The police can also warn you about an individual if they think you are at risk of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Protection Notices and Orders
If you have suffered or been threatened with domestic abuse, the police can issue a Domestic Violence Protection Notice and then apply to the magistrates’ court for a Domestic Violence Protection Order.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order can protect you from further abuse, and if you live with the perpetrator, ban them from returning to the home and contacting you. If the perpetrator does not keep to the Order, they can be arrested and brought before the court.
A Domestic Violence Protection Order lasts for up to 28 days and gives you time to explore your options and get further support.