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Domestic Violence and Abuse (JSNAA)


Key Issues

High Level Priorities

Those at Risk

Level of Need

Unmet Needs

Projected Need and Demand

Community Assets and Services

Evidence for Interventions

Key Contacts and References


Domestic abuse is persistent and widespread.  It affects women, men and children of all ages, regardless of sexuality, ability or economic circumstance.  Domestic abuse affects all family members, directly related, in-laws or step-family. 

Domestic abuse occurs on a significant scale, and is acknowledged to reflect inequalities of power between genders, with violence against women and girls culturally embedded in different societal groups.  This can include forms of family violence for example, cyclical inter-generational violence in families; forced marriage; and so called "honour" crimes which occur in many forms in different ethnic groups, including White British.

Domestic violence and abuse can have a significant impact on women/ men's safety, wellbeing, confidence and housing situation.  It also negatively affects children who witness domestic abuse or violence.  Domestic abuse is the most common factor in situations where children are at risk of serious harm in England1 and can have a detrimental and long-lasting impact on a child's health, development, ability to learn and well-being.  The definition of "harm to a child" includes "impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another"2.   Children who are harmed through witnessing domestic abuse or violence at home can therefore be considered to be in need of help and protection.

The Home Office definition of domestic abuse is "any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality.  This abuse can encompass, but is not limited to: psychological; physical; sexual; financial; and emotional."3

This includes controlling and coercive behaviours.  Controlling behaviour is "a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour."

Coercive behaviour is "an act or pattern of acts of assaults, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim." Under the Serious Crime Act 2015 (section 76); a new offence of 'controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate family relationship' came into force in December 2015.

Key issues

During 2017, Ofsted led a national Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) of domestic abuse.  This sampled prevalence and practice in 6 local authority areas to develop a strong representative picture.  The Inspectorates who were engaged in the review were:

  • Ofsted (education and children's services)
  • HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)
  • HMI Probation (HMIP)
  • Care Quality Commission (health services).

This multi-agency inspection assessed the response to domestic abuse across local areas, and across partnership services, including services which respond to crisis, act to protect victims and children, and also work with perpetrators.  The review concluded:

"...Domestic abuse is a widespread public health issue that needs a long-term strategy to reduce its prevalence.

The volume of activity that domestic abuse creates for agencies is so great that it requires sophisticated systems and well co-ordinated processes.   Whilst agencies have overcome many of the problems associated with the volume of cases, the next step is for them to take a long-term approach towards the prevention and reduction of domestic abuse over time.  This is more than a task for agencies individually; it requires a societal change on the conceptualisation of domestic abuse among professionals and between individuals in the public domain.

Accepted practice in tackling social problems is to prevent, protect and repair. Whilst much good work is being done to protect children and victims, far too little is being done to prevent domestic abuse and repair the damage it does."4

The review closely reflects the key issues for South Tyneside:

  • Domestic abuse affects thousands of lives every year, and absorbs a substantial volume of statutory and third sector resources
  • The range of services is limited and predominantly focused on response rather than prevention
  • Individually, agencies are not able to impact the prevalence of domestic abuse in the Borough.  A well-coordinated multi agency approach is an essential foundation stone for change.

The Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) estimates of domestic abuse are based on a relatively broad definition covering male and female victims of partner or family nonphysical abuse, threats, force, sexual assault or stalking.  The 2016/17 statistics show that:

  • Some 7.5% of women and 4.4% of men were estimated to have experienced domestic abuse in 2016/17, equivalent to an estimated 1.2 million female and 713,000 male victims.
  • Overall, 26% of women and 15% of men aged 16 to 59 had experienced some form of domestic abuse since the age of 16. These figures were equivalent to an estimated 4.3 million female and 2.4 million male victims.

A Research Report from the Home Office entitled "The Economic and Social costs of Domestic Abuse" (January 2019) estimated the social and economic cost of Domestic Abuse in the year ending March 2017 in England and Wales to be approximately £66 Billion.  This equates to an average cost of £34,015 per victim of domestic abuse, including those who experience more than one incident.

The biggest component of the estimated cost is the physical and emotional harms incurred by victims (£47 billion), particularly the emotional harms (the fear, anxiety and depression experienced by victims as a result of domestic abuse), which account for the overwhelming majority of the overall costs. The cost to the economy is also considerable, with an estimated £14 billion arising from lost output due to time off work and reduced productivity as a consequence of domestic abuse.

Some of the cost will be borne by Government such as the costs to health services (£2.3 billion) and the police (£1.3 billion). Some of the cost of victim services will also fall to Government, such as housing costs totaling £550 million, which includes temporary housing, homelessness services and repairs and maintenance. Victim services costs also include expenditure by charities and the time given up by volunteers to support victims.5

The table below estimates the cost of domestic abuse in South Tyneside using the incident figures for 2017/18 and the cost per incident calculated by the Home Office report referenced above.  This method has limited reliability, but does provide a bench-mark estimate which suggests that the cost of domestic abuse in South Tyneside is approx. £83.5m per annum.

Cost of domestic abuse

Cost per victim (Home Office estimates, 2016/17)

South Tyneside cost

(2,453 victims in 2017/18)

Physical and emotional harm



Economic cost



Health services



Victim services



Police costs



Criminal legal costs



Civil legal costs



Anticipation costs









One of the key issues is a low level of reporting; it is estimated that only around 1 in 6 domestic abuse victims will report their abuse to the police.  This has implications for agencies being able to protect the victims and their families, and also results in an underestimation of the demand for services and total costs to the system.

High level priorities

National priorities

The draft Domestic Abuse Bill6 was published in January 2019 with the aim of supporting victims and their families, whilst also pursuing offenders.  The new legislation includes:

  • The introduction of the first ever statutory government definition of domestic abuse to specifically include economic abuse and controlling and manipulative non-physical abuse - this will enable everyone, including victims themselves, to understand what constitutes abuse and will encourage more victims to come forward.
  • Establishing a Domestic Abuse Commissioner to drive the response to domestic abuse issues.
  • Introducing new Domestic Abuse Protection Notices and Domestic Abuse Protection Orders to further protect victims and place restrictions on the actions of offenders.
  • Prohibiting the cross-examination of victims by their abusers in the family courts.
  • Providing automatic eligibility for special measures to support more victims to give evidence in the criminal court.

Through consultation with victims, survivors, organisations and professionals, four main priorities were identified to underpin the Domestic Abuse Bill. Each priority places prevention and protection at the centre of the implementation process:

  • Promote awareness - to put domestic abuse at the top of everyone's agenda, and raise public and professional awareness.
  • Protect and support - to enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.
  • Transform the justice process - to prioritise victim safety in the criminal and family courts, and review the perpetrator journey from identification to rehabilitation.
  • Improve performance - to drive consistency and better performance in the response to domestic abuse across all local areas, agencies and sectors.

Furthermore, a key component of the proposal includes, for first time ever, a legal duty placed on local authorities to deliver support to survivors of domestic abuse in accommodation-based services, backed by funding to place services on a sustainable footing. This new requirement will end the variation across the country in support for those fleeing domestic abuse.

In March 2016, the Home Office published its 2016-20 strategy to end violence against women and girls (VAWG).  Until the proposals within the draft Domestic Abuse Bill are made in legislative practice, the following priorities adopted within this strategy are to be utilised as guidance in relation to law, which are:

  • Preventing violence and abuse
  • Provision of services
  • Partnership working
  • Pursuing perpetrators

This set out the vision for 2020 in relation to violence against women and girls:

  • There is a significant reduction in the number of VAWG victims, achieved by challenging the deep-rooted social norms, attitudes and behaviours that discriminate against and limit women and girls, and by educating, informing and challenging young people about healthy relationships, abuse and consent;
  • All services make early intervention and prevention a priority, identifying women and girls in need before a crisis occurs, and intervening to make sure they get the help they need for themselves and for their children;
  • Women and girls will be able to access the support they need, when they need it, helped by the information they need to make an informed choice;
  • Specialist support, including accommodation-based support, will be available for the most vulnerable victims, and those with complex needs will be able to access the services they need;
  • Services in local areas will work across boundaries in strong partnerships to assess and meet local need, and ensure that services can spot the signs of abuse in all family members and intervene early;
  • Women will be able to disclose experiences of violence and abuse across all public services, including the NHS. Trained staff in these safe spaces will help people access specialist support whether as victims or as perpetrators;
  • Elected representatives across England and Wales will show the leadership, political will and senior accountability necessary to achieve the necessary change, and will champion efforts to tackle these crimes;
  • Everyone in a local area will be able to hold their elected leaders to account through clear data on how local need is being met;
  • There will be a lower level of offending through an improved criminal justice response and a greater focus on changing the behaviour of perpetrators through a combination of disruption and support; and
  • A stronger evidence base of what works, and victim safety, will be embedded into all interventions to protect victims of VAWG.

The Government's 2018 Victims Strategy aims to ensure support for all victims of crime is improved, which includes;

  • Strengthening the Victims' Code, and consult on the detail of victim focused legislation, including strengthening the powers of the Victims' Commissioner, and delivering a Victims' Law;
  • Holding agencies to account for compliance with the Victims' Code through improved reporting, monitoring and transparency;
  • Improving victim support for reporting crimes and the court process

National funding has been announced to support the legislation, priorities and strategies highlighted above.   In 2016 £80 million of dedicated funding was identified to provide core support for refuges and other accommodation-based services, rape support centres and national helplines.  A further £20 million was announced in the 2017 Spring Budget, including a £8m fund to support children who witness domestic abuse; £2m to support female offenders who have been victims and £2m to support hospital trusts to direct domestic abuse victims to appropriate services.  The Government has also ring-fenced a Domestic Abuse Fund of £18.8 million in 2018-2020 to support the provision of accommodation-based support services and the local reforms needed to meet the Priorities for Domestic Abuse Services.

Local priorities

To meet the priorities which underpin the 2019 Domestic Abuse Bill given above, there is a national expectation that local authorities will commission services which:

  • Ensure that no victim is turned away from the support they need at the time they need it, including those with children, through understanding the risks they face and the full extent of their need to keep them safe and promote their long term safety and wellbeing.
  • Put the victim first, by providing flexible services that meet their needs, including enabling them to make their own choices and to live independently and safely as soon as possible.
  • Respond to the needs of diverse groups, including those with complex needs, those from isolated and/or marginalised communities, BAME, LGBT, disabled, young (aged 16-18) and older victims, offenders, and children of victims.
  • Meet the needs of victims from within and outside the local area, recognising that many victims move from their local area to be safe.
  • Take a strategic approach to service commissioning, based on data about need and evidence of what works.
  • Establish and continue effective, collaborative partnership working, including between commissioners and specialist domestic abuse services.
  • Be led by clear, accountable local leadership, joining up across agencies and areas to provide better services and pooling budgets for maximum flexibility.

The South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership is accountable for the Borough's strategy to tackle Domestic Abuse7.   The priorities for domestic violence and abuse in South Tyneside are presented below in 4 key themes:

Preventing violence and abuse

  • Raise public awareness of domestic violence and abuse through multi-agency campaigning across the Borough, while also targeting specific groups such as the BME community and areas with high levels of deprivation
  • Target awareness raising to areas across South Tyneside where domestic violence and abuse rates are high and where there is deemed to be increased risk of domestic abuse
  • Develop targeted interventions for young people to raise their understanding of domestic abuse and to prevent future incidents
  • Awareness raising amongst local services, facilities and employers to identify potential signs of domestic abuse
  • South Tyneside is participating in a DWP project to address the issue of parental conflict. Staff across agencies will be trained to identify and assess the impact of parental conflict on children and young people. This will include recognising differences between conflict and domestic abuse. Following assessment, referrals will be made to specialist, evidence based programmes that will support families with the issue.

Provision of Services

  • Greater promotion of services which supports increased reporting of domestic abuse, including within BME communities
  • Up-skill professionals in all agencies to enable them to intervene effectively when early signs of controlling, coercive or abusive behaviour are identified
  • Multi-agency approach to safeguarding victims and the families, including any children affected
  • Improve support for victims to develop personal resilience and strategies to keep themselves and their children safe.
  • Ensuring effective accommodation-based support services which ensure victims and their children are safe.
  • Reduce the number of children affected by domestic abuse.
  • Ensure there is sufficient capacity across the system to meet the needs of victims of domestic abuse, and that any victims and their children at risk of abuse are appropriately supported to remain safe.
  • Development of coordinated pathways between domestic abuse support and mainstream health and wellbeing services, to ensure a holistic approach to care and support.
  • Ensure effective, joined-up and outcomes-focused support for victims with complex needs and chaotic behaviours.
  • Ensure availability of evidence-based interventions for perpetrators which are tailored to meet individual needs and prevent future offences.
  • Develop support for children and young people which minimises the long-term impact of witnessing domestic violence and abuse. 
  • Ensure support for victims helps them to rebuild their lives and maximise their independence.
  • Ensure victims from BME communities are able to access support, e.g. availability of sensitive interpretation services.

Pursuing Perpetrators

  • Ensure offences of controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate family relationship are pursued. This offence is specific to domestic abuse and allows for justice to be sought against perpetrators whose behaviour includes a course of conduct of psychological and emotional abuse.
  • Further support will be available where domestic abuse continues post separation, particularly where this involves economic abuse, ensuring that guidance makes it clear when the behaviour should be addressed under the coercive control offence or the stalking and harassment offence.
  • Ensure effective implementation of Stalking Protection Orders, which will be made available to protect both victims of so-called 'stranger stalking' and victims of stalking in a domestic abuse context where appropriate.
  • Greater awareness and understanding throughout the borough, from statutory officials to the wider public, of such offences mentioned above. This is to be achieved by increased reporting and increased court leading to successful prosecutions.
  • Economic abuse to be recognised as part of controlling or coercive behaviour, as well as abuse perpetrated through the courts system and through child contact arrangements, all of which can occur post-separation.
  • Ensure victims are aware of special measures available, for example, a common special measure is a screen that allows the victim to give evidence without being seen by the defendant or the public gallery.
  • Domestic abuse regional leads to continue to develop a local best practice framework. This is a multi-agency project which analyses courts with high conviction rates for domestic abuse related offences to identify the key reasons behind their performance and how these practices might be extended to other courts.
  • Introduction of new powers into the family court system to prohibit direct cross examination of a victim by their abuser, and the consultation document reiterated commitment to legislate on this.
  • Promotion of perpetrator interventions to those convicted of an offence, and these interventions can be made a requirement of community sentence, or a condition of release.
  • Explore options for interventions of perpetrators who have not been convicted of an offence. These interventions can be delivered or commissioned by the police, local authorities, or by Cafcass, and are designed to support perpetrators to change their behaviour to prevent an initial offence from occurring. These interventions can also prevent the escalation of offences or any instances of further abuse.
  • Support the important work of Respect, who through their service standards is helping to ensure that programmes targeted at a range of perpetrators are delivered safely and effectively.
  • Improved multi-agency working with other statutory partners, making better use of risk assessment to identify perpetrators, and clearer pathways for managing, monitoring and mitigating the risk that perpetrators pose.

Partnership Working

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 requires that every local authority has a Community Safety Partnership. The partnership is called 'Safer South Tyneside' and comprises of representatives from the following agencies:

  • South Tyneside Council
  • Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service
  • South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Northumbria Police
  • National Probation Service
  • Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company
  • South Tyneside Homes
  • Youth Justice Service

The partnership has a duty to produce and publish a plan which sets out the strategic approach that will be used to tackle crime and disorder throughout the Borough. The plan is a three year document which is refreshed on an annual basis.

Data and intelligence is utilised from consultations with the public, business community and partner agencies and are regularly reviewed this to ensure that we are focusing on the right things at the right time.

This review forms the annual Community Safety Strategic Assessment, which is the main evidence base for this plan. Having analysed this data and intelligence, the partnership has identified the priority areas that will have the most positive impact in our communities.

Those at risk

The latest estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) for the year ending June 2018 highlighted an increase in the total number of domestic abuse-related offences recorded by the police (up 22% to 629,767). This counts for approximately 1 out of 10 of all crimes in 2017-18.

As well as general improvements in recording, the police may have improved their identification of which offences are domestic abuse-related and more victims may be coming forward to report these crimes.8


According to the CSEW year ending March 2018, as in previous years, women were more likely to experience domestic abuse than men, both since the age of 16 years (28.9% compared with 13.2%) and in the last year (7.9% compared with 4.2%).

The year ending March 2018 CSEW showed:

  • An estimated 4.8 million women and 2.2 million men aged 16 to 59 years had experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16 years.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women and 695,000 men aged 16 to 59 years had experienced domestic abuse in the last year.
  • Non-sexual partner abuse was the most common type of domestic abuse experienced in the last year for both women (5.6%) and men (2.4%).
  • Domestic stalking was experienced by 1.8% of women and 0.7% of men in the last year.
  • Women were around four times as likely as men to have experienced sexual assault by a partner in the last year (0.4% compared with 0.1%) and nine times as likely to have experienced it since the age of 16 years (6.3% compared with 0.7%).
  • Of those victims who received medical attention, 73.6% were female and 26.4% were male.9


The main findings from the year ending March 2018 CSEW were:

  • Women aged 20 to 24 years were significantly more likely to be victims of any domestic abuse in the last 12 months than women in any other age group
  • Men aged 16 to 19 were more likely to have experienced domestic abuse in the last year compared to older men.

Data published by the Department for Education (DfE) shows there were 646,120 referrals overall to councils' children's services during 2016/17, equating to 1,770 referrals every day - a rise of 4% on the previous year.  Of the referrals assessed, domestic violence aimed at the children or other adults in the household was the most common factor, applying to half of all children in need - a figure that has risen since 2013/14, when it stood at 41 per cent. 

Children living in households affected by domestic abuse

Evidence has shown that particular Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are strongly related to the development and prevalence of a wide range of health problems throughout a person's life.  ACEs are traumatic events which affect children while growing up, such as suffering child maltreatment or living in a household affected by domestic violence, substance misuse or mental illness.10

ACEs have been found to have lifelong impacts on health and behaviour and they are relevant to all sectors and involve all of us in society. We all have a part to play in preventing adversity and raising awareness of ACEs.  Research has found that those with 4 or more ACES are more likely to;

  • Have been in prison
  • Develop heart disease
  • Frequently visit the GP
  • Develop type 2 diabetes
  • Have committed violence in the last 12 months
  • Have health-harming behaviours (high-risk drinking, smoking, drug use).11

Child / adolescent to parent violence

Child/ adolescent to parent violence is a growing issue in families across the country and is a form of Domestic Abuse. It is under reported often due to the embarrassment of parents/ carers to disclose or identify it is happening or because they do not receive an appropriate response from some professionals who may be quick to judge their parenting skills.

In February 2019, the South Tyneside Community Safety Team, Safeguarding Children's Board and Safeguarding Adult's Board delivered awareness sessions on the topic of Adolescent to Parent Violence and Abuse. Following on from this, South Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police, in partnership with RESPECT, are progressing with further specialist practitioner training and awareness raising activity regionally.

Pregnancy and birth

Pregnancy and birth can lead to changes in the pattern and severity of domestic abuse, and NICE publishes a range of guidance around diagnosis and response to working with mothers experiencing domestic abuse9.

Domestic violence during pregnancy endangers both the pregnant woman and her unborn child. It increases the risk of:

  • Miscarriage
  • Infection
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Fetal injury
  • Still birth


In 2015 Public Health England published a report indicating that disabled people experience disproportionately higher rates of domestic abuse. They also experience domestic abuse for longer periods of time, and more severe and frequent abuse than non-disabled people.

The differences between genders in experiences of domestic abuse are similar among disabled people.  Disabled women are significantly more likely to experience domestic abuse than disabled men and experience more frequent and more severe domestic abuse than disabled men.

People with disabilities may also experience domestic abuse in wider contexts and more often from significant others, including intimate partners, family members, personal care assistants and healthcare professionals. Disabled people encounter differing dynamics of domestic abuse, which may include more severe coercion, control or abuse from carers. Abuse can also happen when someone withholds, destroys or manipulates medical equipment, access to communication, medication, personal care, meals and transportation.

The CSEW highlighted that those with a long-term illness or disability were more likely to be victims of domestic abuse in 2017/18 than those without; this was true for both men (9.8% compared with 3.5%) and women (16.8% compared with 6.3%).  This difference was true for each of the different types of domestic abuse excluding sexual assault.


Stonewall's research shows that one in four lesbian and bi women have experienced domestic abuse in a relationship. Two thirds of those say the perpetrator was a woman, a third a man. Almost half (49%) of all gay and bi men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16.

There is limited research on how many transgender people experience domestic abuse in the UK, and the best studies have small group samples. However, these figures suggest it is a significant issue. A report by the The Scottish Transgender Alliance indicates that 80% of transgender people had experienced emotional, sexual, or physical abuse from a partner or ex-partner.

GALOP, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity, state that while transgender and cisgender people may face similar patterns of abuse, many transgender survivors also face specific forms of abuse related to their transgender identity12.

Minority ethnic communities

Women from minority communities can experience greater challenges in seeking support for domestic abuse due to religious and/or cultural isolation, or barriers due to language or migration status.

Culturally specific

Domestic violence can be perpetrated by immediate or extended family members and may be referred to as 'culturally specific', such as dowry related abuse, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and 'honour' violence.   So-called honour based violence is a crime or incident, which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour or the family and/or community.

However, it is important to recognise that communities and families of all ethnic and cultural origins have codes of behaviour for men and women which may create more permissible conditions for domestic abuse to occur.  In South Tyneside, there are families and communities in whom the "usual" range of verbal, physical and emotional expression includes aggression, violence and control. 

Level of need

Gaining a comprehensive picture of the extent of domestic abuse in South Tyneside is challenging for a number of reasons:

  • Domestic abuse is under-reported and therefore incidents are not always recorded.
  • Agencies collect data based on their requirements, collating different measures (for example, the Police record incidents of abuse, whilst Children's Social Care Services record children affected).
  • Third sector providers do not collate information on a consistent basis as their contact numbers reflect their service offer.  Due to the nature of domestic abuse, agencies in South Tyneside may be contacted by individuals from other boroughs.  
  • There is a strongly co-occurring relationship between domestic abuse, alcohol and drug use and mental health.  The term "Toxic Trio" is used to describe these co-occurring issues, which can only be understood in a broader public health context.

Northumbria Police recorded incidents of Domestic Abuse in South Tyneside during 2017-18 are provided in the table below:

South Tyneside


Annual Change

Domestic Abuse Incidents






Incidents with Children Involved



Total number of victims



   -   Female Victims



   -   Male Victims



   -   BAME Victims



Victims 16-17



Victim over 55



Number of repeat victims



The pattern of incidents in South Tyneside suggests that need is significant, particularly bearing in mind that incidence is under-reported.   In 2017/18 there were 2,453 victims of domestic abuse incidents in the Borough, of which 1006 (41%) were victims of repeat abuse.   These figures demonstrate an increase from previous years (2,328 victims in 16/17). The hidden nature of domestic abuse means that by the time it comes to the attention of the police, there are likely to have been other incidents.  This suggests that a significant proportion of domestic abuse is part of a bigger picture and relationship/ family history, rather than a single incident.

Health and wellbeing needs of victims

The Home Office report "The Social and Economic Costs of Domestic Abuse" (2019) identified that different types of domestic violence and abuse will likely impact on a person's health and wellbeing in different ways.  For example, victims of domestic stalking are more likely to suffer from depression and/or anxiety, and there are likely significant psychological impacts of emotional abuse such as controlling and coercive behaviour.

Physical injuries are often experienced by victims of domestic violence and rape.  For example, the report predicts that around 10% of victims of violence with injury will suffer broken bones, and almost 40% will suffer from severe bruising.

In relation to emotional harms, the report predicts that around 70% of victims of domestic stalking will suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, and around 53% of victims of violence with injury will suffer from depression.  People who experience violence without injury are also likely to suffer from depression and anxiety (around 22% and 27% respectively).

Housing related needs

Tackling domestic abuse is not only a corporate priority but it can also be directly linked to strategic priorities within the Integrated Housing Strategy, which focuses on balancing the housing market and preventing homelessness across the borough. Domestic Abuse remains one of the greatest reasons for homeless presentations within South Tyneside, and although we are very effective in rehousing survivors we need to be more proactive at preventing homelessness as we recognise the importance of tackling the root causes of domestic abuse through supporting survivors and educating perpetrators.

The Integrated Housing Strategy makes a commitment to review all domestic abuse service, ensure commissioning of effective and supportive services in the borough and ensuring that services and advice is consistent throughout the borough. The council have recently set-up a domestic abuse review group, which is a cross-departmental cohort who will focus services in a more coordinated and holistic way. This will cover all aspects of domestic abuse, including financial abuse.

South Tyneside Homes have committed to DAHA accreditation, which will include the reviewing of policies and related documents, training of staff following gap analysis and ensuring that there is corporate buy-in to this agenda. This accreditation programme has been developed with social housing providers in mind; however Local Authorities and wider stakeholders are likely to get involved within the process and result in effective signposting and joined up services in the borough. The implementation of this accreditation was agreed at a sub-regional level with neighbouring authorities to ensure a consistent approach and a cross-authority protocol when it is beneficial and in the best interest of the survivor.

The sub-regional Domestic Abuse Coordinator group have been successful in gaining finance from central government to provide outreach services to some of our most complex and vulnerable survivors of DA; this project will be monitored carefully and where demonstrable outcomes can be identified services will be tailored accordingly. One element of this project is to analyse positive practice and learn from other areas and the way in which they are tackling DA; again this review will assist in shaping services in the future.

Children and young people

Children were present or involved in 44% of incidents in South Tyneside in 2017/18. Domestic abuse can look different in different families, and some children will have been exposed to an on-going level of incidents, which will directly shape their understanding of relationship and gender roles.

In February 2017, Children's Social Care undertook a review of every case open to the service under the category of "Abuse and neglect".  This concluded that domestic abuse is a factor in 49% of children's experience when referred.  In 2016, there were 1940 referrals to Children's Social Care, and the profile indicates that 950 of these children would have domestic abuse as part of their experience of family life.

Schools are supporting children affected by domestic abuse through Operation Encompass, which aims to safeguard and support children and young people who have been involved in a domestic abuse incident. Following an incident at home, children will often arrive at school distressed, upset and unprepared for the day.  Northumbria Police and South Tyneside Council are working with schools and academies across South Tyneside to make sure that schools are able to offer support and guidance to children who may be experiencing domestic abuse in their home.

Additionally, Operation Encompass Next Steps is a new Northumbria Police and Council driven scheme of work in schools that educates children and young people and promotes healthy and respectful relationships.   All schools within South Tyneside are signed up to this programme.

Support is also available through the Early Help team in South Tyneside, a family-orientated intervention service that works closely with families to provide the right support at the right time.

Unmet needs

Third sector service providers in the Borough report that levels of demand for their services which far outstrip their capacity to respond.  The experience of these organisations is important as people may contact them when they do not contact statutory services.  Demand for domestic abuse services in South Tyneside has been rising steadily over recent years. 

We know that different agencies are working with families and individuals where abuse is an issue, but approaches to monitoring are not consistent between agencies and we are unable to establish what the overlap in population groups is.  Given the known prevalence of domestic abuse, and the resources absorbed by the range of agencies who respond, understanding the pattern and types of abuse across the Borough, is a priority.  Putting in place a more holistic approach to gathering pathway information will help us map the patterns of unmet need in the Borough. 

However, we know from our analysis to date that:

  • The focus of statutory services is to respond to and minimise instances of harm, and the volume of incidents is so great that professionals sometimes work in a short-term way to tackle immediate risk , rather than supporting change in the longer term.
  • The cost of repeated incidents and response is significant.  In direct resource terms, repeat incidents make up 40% of all incidents.  But in failing to tackle entrenched behaviours and impact on children and young people leads to ongoing prevalence and will not impact the volume of demand. 
  • Professionals (particularly in health and education settings) report a lack of professional confidence and skills to explore the reality of intimate relationships, which might enable intervention at an earlier stage.

These factors lead to the conclusion that investing in prevention could have a significant positive impact in tackling abusive relationships earlier, before risk escalates to the threshold for statutory intervention.

Although it is appropriate to ensure that victims of domestic abuse are protected and supported, this can marginalise the role and impact of perpetrators.  We do not currently focus sufficiently on perpetrators and their behaviour.  Perpetrators can move from one family to another with a repeated pattern of abuse.    The cost to the criminal justice system is substantial.  The long-term impact on families and children can be very significant.   So investment in perpetrator services is crucial to prevent and reduce domestic abuse over time.

Cultural factors can play a significant part in how domestic abuse is perceived and reported.  This is true for all cultural groups in the Borough, including the local white population.  However, we are not consistently able to communicate effectively with women from some populations where sensitive, female interpreter services are needed to explore issues of cultural identity.  So sensitive interpretation services are required to respond to potential unmet need.

Projected Need and Demand

It is reasonable to assume that whilst the current system conditions prevail, domestic abuse will continue to be a prevalent factor affecting the lives of thousands of adults and children in South Tyneside.  The extension of the definition of domestic abuse to recognise coercion and control will extend further the number of known victims, perpetrators and incidents.

Evidence suggests that services in South Tyneside are acting effectively to protect victims and children. However, domestic abuse is a substantial public health concern in South Tyneside, absorbing significant resource across statutory agencies.

Domestic abuse requires a coordinated approach from agencies across a person's lifetime and in many aspects of life, from midwifery through primary and secondary health care; education and children's provision; children and adult social care; end of life care. 

To reduce prevalence, a whole system approach is required which ensures that agencies work effectively together towards reducing the prevalence and impact of Domestic Abuse.

Community assets and services

The Community Safety Partnership has a website resource which includes:

  • Advice for citizens
  • Information for professionals
  • Directory of local services
  • Signposting to services outside the Borough which offer support.

The resource identifies many services within the Borough which are committed to providing help and support for people who experience domestic violence including victims, children and perpetrators.

The webpage is available at: Domestic abuse services directory

Six police forces across the North East, Yorkshire and Humberside have come together, along with their local partners, to provide a better protection to victims and their families and to bring more perpetrators to justice.

Further information is available at:

Local Services

Listed below are the key services, both statutory and non-statutory, within the borough available to residents:

  • Apna Ghar: Offers support to minority ethnic women.
  • Changing Lives GAP (Girls Are Proud) / MAP (Male Action Project): Changing Lives GAP / MAP provides assertive outreach to vulnerable men and women who are involved in sex work or at risk of being sexually exploited, and are over the age of 16. ........Not sure this service still exists?
  • Changing Lives Domestic Abuse Services: Changing Lives support women and girls who have suffered from childhood abuse and domestic abuse. We understand the on-going impact this has, and we focus on recovery, resilience and community integration.
  • Domestic & Sexual Violence Workplace Champions: Form part of a Northumbria-wide network of Champions. Domestic Violence Workplace Champions have an important role within their organisations, both in the public and private sector, in raising awareness around the issue of domestic and sexual violence and guiding people, including their colleagues, towards help and guidance.
  • Homefinder (Homeless Service): This service provides advice and assistance to those who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or are unable to remain in their current home.
  • Impact Family Services: Impact Family Services provides services for individuals and families who are facing a difficult time due to separation and/or divorce, domestic violence and abuse, and for children and young people affected by family or peer relationships.
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advisers (IDVA) Service: Provides crisis intervention, support, advice and information to high risk victims of domestic abuse (male and female, including those in same sex relationships) whether you are still in a relationship or are separated from your partner.
  • Northumbria Police: Choice helpline: Northumbria Police Helpline provides confidential advice and assistance to anyone who may be suffering from Honour-Based Violence or has been or may be forced into marriage.
  • Northumbria Police: Safeguarding Department: Northumbria Police Safeguarding Department provides help and advice to victims and investigates rape offences, domestic and child abuse as well as monitors sex offenders and dangerous offenders living in the community.
  • Places for People (South Tyneside Women's Aid) Women's Refuge: Places for People offers advice and support as well as providing safe, temporary and emergency accommodation to women, with or without children, at risk of domestic abuse.
  • Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland (RCTN): Provides information, support and counselling to girls and women, aged 13 and over, who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any times in their lives.
  • REACH (Rape, Examination, Advice and Counselling Help): Free, confidential counselling, support and advice service for women aged 16 and over.
  • Relate Northumberland and Tyneside: Offers a range of services to help with all relationships, whether young or old, straight or gay, single or in a relationship.
  • Respect: A confidential and anonymous helpline for anyone concerned about their violence and/or abuse towards a partner or ex-partner.
  • Safe Hands Children's Service (Impact Family Services): Ear 4 U Children's Service provides support and advice for children, aged 5 - 11 who have witnessed and been affected by domestic abuse.
  • Sanctuary Scheme: If the fear of domestic abuse is making you think about moving, the Sanctuary Scheme could make it possible for you to stay living safely in your own home, if the perpetrator no longer lives there.
  • South Tyneside Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme (STDAPP): The programme is for any man who is concerned about his behaviour towards his partner or ex-partner and wants to change. This service is no longer operating an open door policy - they are now commissioned to provide a limited service via referral from Children Social Care only.
  • Women's Health in South Tyneside (WHiST): WHiST provides a wide range of services for women in South Tyneside.

National Services

Listed below are the key services, both statutory and non-statutory, available nationally:

  • Chinese Information Advice Centre: Women Support Project:  Provides support to women victims of domestic violence on issues relating to housing, legal protection, welfare benefits and children.
  • Elder Abuse Response Line: Elder Abuse Response Line offers a confidential helpline.
  • Forced Marriage Unit: Provides advice and support to victims of forced marriage as well as to professionals dealing with cases.
  • Galop: Galop provides emotional and practical support to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic abuse.
  • Halo Project: Halo Project supports victims of honour-based violence, forced marriages, and FGM by providing appropriate advice and support to victims, relatives and friends.
  • Jewish Women's Aid: A confidential and untraceable helpline service, which supports Jewish women and their children who are sufferers of domestic violence.
  • Mankind Initiative: The Mankind Initiative is a charity offering information and support to men who are victims of domestic abuse or violence.
  • Men's Advice Line: Men's Advice Line provides confidential support for any man experiencing domestic violence or abuse
  • Men's Aid Charity: Provides practical advice and support to men who have been abused.
  • National Centre for Domestic Violence: Provides a free, fast emergency injunction service to survivors of domestic violence.
  • National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline: Provides a service for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
  • National Stalking Helpline: Provides information and guidance on the law, how to report stalking, gathering evidence, staying safe and reducing the risk.
  • Polish Domestic Violence Helpline: Provides Polish people who are experiencing domestic violence with a confidential contact, which will allow them to talk about their situation in their native language and to obtain information about available help and support.
  • Respect Website: Respect is a UK domestic abuse membership organisation for work with perpetrators, male victims and young people's violence in close relationships.
  • Women's Aid: We are a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services and build a future where domestic violence is not tolerated. Freephone 24 hr National Domestic Violence Helpline Run in partnership between Women's Aid & Refuge

Evidence for interventions

Due to the complex nature of domestic abuse, a range of interventions are required which include working with victims, children, perpetrators and family groups.  We recognise that, in South Tyneside, we need closer partnership working around domestic abuse interventions to ensure that we agree chosen interventions for consistent implementation and assessment of impact, which are based on need and evidence.

These third sector organisations offer a range of evidence based tools and approaches:

Key contacts and references

Key contact

Jamie Brown


Job Title

Joint Commissioning Officer

Phone Number

0191 424 7142

Key contact

Graeme Littlewood


Job Title

Community Safety Officer

(Domestic Violence Co-ordinator)

Phone Number

0191 424 7935

Key contact

Scott Bentley


Job Title

Community Safety Officer

(Domestic Violence Co-ordinator)

Phone Number

0191 424 7954
  1. Characteristics of children in need 2016-17, Department of Education and Skills. GOV.UK: Characteristics of children in need 2015 to 2016
  2. Children Act 1989 as extended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (section 120)
  3. Information for Local Area on the definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse, Home Office, March 2013
  4. The Multi-Agency response to children living with domestic abuse, Ofsted, 19 September 2017. GOV.UK: JTAI domestic abuse
  5. The Economic and Social Cost of Domestic Abuse, Research Report, January 2019. GOV.UK: The economic and social costs of domestic abuse
  6. Government publishes landmark domestic abuse bill, 2019. GOV.UK: Government publishes landmark domestic abuse bill
  7. Domestic Violence and Abuse Strategy, South Tyneside Community Safety Partnership, March 2016
  8. Crime in England and Wales: Year ending June 2018. ONS: Crime in England and Wales: year ending June 2018
  9. NICE (2010) Pregnancy and complex social factors (CG110) A model for service provision for pregnant women with complex social factors NICE: Pregnancy and complex social factors: a model for service provision for pregnant women with complex social factors
  10. Domestic Abuse: Findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales: year ending March 2018. ONS: Domestic abuse: findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales: year ending March 2018
  11. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), website, 2019. ACEs programme
  12. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), website, 2019. Health Scotland: Overview of ACEs
  13. Supporting Trans Women in domestic and sexual violence services, 2018. Stonewall: Stonewall and NFP Synergy report [PDF]


Last Updated:

February 2020

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