Domestic Abuse

Information and Resources for Professionals

Controlling and Coercive Behaviour

Social workers have been issued guidance on safeguarding people who are victims of controlling and coercive behaviour. The Department of Health has funded a set of tools to help practitioners respond to the issue, which experts say underpins domestic abuse and can be a heightened risk among people with care and support needs.

To access the toolkit, please click here (this will take you to an external page).

Isle of Wight VAWG Conference 2016 - 30th November 2016, Riverside, Newport

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is prevalent, both in Britain and around the world.  Last year an estimated 1.4 million women experienced some form of domestic abuse in the UK, whilst 31% young women aged 18-24 report having experienced sexual abuse in childhood.  Globally, approximately 35% of all women have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner at some point in their lives.

We were delighted that the inaugural VAWG Conference went so well. The main hall at the Riverside Centre was just about full to capacity and, from the feedback sheets and conversations on the day, delegates found the presentations extremely informative and, on occasion, moving. The speakers were excellent and kept the attention of the audience throughout. To read the full report for the event, please click here (PDF, 393KB, 4 pages).

The speakers from the day have also very kindly allowed us to distribute their presentation slides:

Tim Rowlandson - Hampshire Constabulary - to view slides please click here (PDF, 1.44MB, 15 pages)

Nick Gazzard - Hollie Gazzard Trust - to view slides, please click here (PDF, 2.62MB, 32 pages)

Zoe Lodrick - Psychotherapist - to view slides, please click here (PDF, 313KB, 15 pages)

  • To view Zoe's YouTube video on The Effects of Long-Term Physical and Sexual Abuse, please click here (this will take you to an external site).

Celia Jeffries - Barnardos - to view slides, please click here (PDF, 478KB, 20 pages)

Fiona Gwinnett - Wight-DASH - to view slides, please click here (PDF, 333KB, 17 pages)

We are already looking forward to next years event, so if you have any comments or queries, please get in touch via the 'contact us' tab above!

DASH Form for Reporting Domestic Abuse

If you have received a disclosure of domestic abuse from an individual, these forms can be used to refer them to the WightDASH (Isle of Wight Domestic Abuse Services Hub) services.

The first form is a Multi-Agency Referral Form. The form asks for basic information about all persons associated with the family.  It makes reference to the RIC. The SafeLives RIC (Risk Indicator Checklist) is the multi-agency domestic abuse risk assessment tool used nationally. Part of it's function is to assess whether a case needs to be referred to MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference) as it grades risk as either high, medium or standard. It allows too for particularly high risk behaviours to be identified e.g. strangulation, stalking, sexual behaviours - factors that should immediately be referred to MARAC.  It is established good practice to complete the RIC in all DVA cases. For now, WightDASH will continue for now  to accept referrals without RIC, however would urge all colleagues to consider completing. The RIC form can be found below with guidance.

To download the Multi-Agency Referral form, please click here (PDF, 966KB, 1 page)

To download the SafeLives RIC, please click here (PDF, 317KB, 8 pages)

Full training on the referral forms and processes can be arranged for you and your agency either at County Hall or at your agency. Please contact us via the 'contact us' tab above for more information.

Domestic Abuse Posters

A new poster campaign was launched across the island in September 2016. If you would like to download and print the posters, please click here (PDF, 656KB, 4 pages). Alternatively, please contact us via the above 'contact' tab and we can arrange to have material posted out to you. These posters are free of charge.

Home Office Posters

The 'Disrespect nobody' Campaign by the Home Office was launched in 2016. Posters from the campaign, which was shown widely on television, can be downloaded by clicking below:

Poster 1 - (PDF, 325MB, 1 page)

Poster 2 - (PDF, 1.86MB, 1 page)

Poster 3 - (PDF, 3.31MB, 1 page)

Poster 4 - (PDF, 3.37MB, 1 page)

Poster 5 - (PDF, 1.69MB, 1 page)

Isle of Wight Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy

To view the current VAWG Strategic Document, please click here (PDF, 298KB, 13 pages).

VAWG Strategic Partnership Quarterly Newsletter

The VAWG Strategic Partnership newsletter contains news, events and policy changes in the world of Domestic Abuse, and is published quarterly. If your agency has any news, events or training which you would like us to consider for our newsletter, please contact us through the 'contact' tab above.

The Autumn 2016 Edition of our quarterly newsletter can be accessed by clicking here (PDF, 678KB, 4 pages).

The Summer 2016 edition of our quarterly newsletter can be accessed by clicking here (PDF, 457KB, 3 pages). 

The Spring 2016 Edition of our new quarterly newsletter can be accessed by clicking here (PDF, 428KB, 4 pages). 

Annual Report

The 2015/2016 Annual Report is now available, and can be accessed by clicking here (PDF, 787KB, 22 pages).

The 2014/2015 Annual Report is now available, and can be accessed by clicking here (PDF, 720KB, 20 pages).

Modern Slavery

The Modern Slavery Partnership has made the following guidance and resources available: 

Global Slavery Index 2016

The Global Slavery Index has now released it’s 2016 report. This estimates that there are 11,700 people in Modern Slavery in the UK. The following are recommendations put forward:


  • Implement the recommendations made in the independent review of the Overseas Domestic Workers (ODW) visa and immediately revoke the tied visa.
  • Sign and ratify ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers.
  • Enact a statutory system of independent child trafficking advocates or guardians for all separated and trafficked children.
  • Ensure provision of specialist foster care for trafficked children and training of frontline workers.
  • Improve data collection on victims and perpetrators of modern slavery in the UK and encourage European countries to follow the UKs led by estimating prevalence within their borders so progress can be tracked over time.
  • Increase funding for quality-assessed victim-support shelters and services.
  • Undertake a robust and comprehensive evaluation of the NRM pilots ensuring inclusion of victim feedback.
  • Restructure and reform the NRM to improve identification decision-making, and improve access to services and outcomes for victims of modern slavery.
  • Closely monitor the impact of the supply chain requirements of the Modern Slavery Act, to ensure they deliver results not just reporting.

You can read the full UK country report and that of countries around the world by clicking here.

Slides for your Child Safeguarding Presentations:                                                    

You can now download ready made PowerPoint slides, courtesy of the Hampshire Barnardo’s Trafficking Service, to insert directly into your Safeguarding training on Child Trafficking.  The slides are available from their website by clicking here.

For further information on these PowerPoint slides, please contact Kate Norman, Team Manager at

FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) Resource Pack

FGM Guidance from Karen Bradley MP and the Home Office was updated in May 2016. The link below will take you to the new FGM Resource Pack homepage, which contains FGM guidance, case studies and support materials for local authorities, professional services and specialist voluntary organisations.

Please click here to access the page (you will be re-directed to a UK Government Webpage).

New Offence of 'Controlling or Coercive Behaviour'

A new criminal offence was introduced on the 29th December 2015 of 'Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate or Family Relationship' which carries a maximum sentence of 5 years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

The offence closes the gap in law around patterns of controlling or coercive behaviour that occurs during a relationship between intimate partners, former partners who still live together, or family members and sends a clear message that this form of domestic abuse can constitute a serious offence.

While the legislation is gender neutral, statistics consistently show that women and girls are disproportionately affected by crimes of domestic violence and abuse. In 2014/15, 92.4% of defendants in Domestic Abuse cases were male.

Victims of 'Controlling or Coercive Behaviour' may not recognise themselves as such. It is therefore important that agencies dealing with and supporting victims of domestic abuse recognise the potential evidence that can identify this offence. The types of behaviour a perpetrator might demonstrate might include:

  • Isolating a person from their family and friends:
  • Depriving them of their basic needs
  • Monitoring their time
  • Depriving them of access to support services, such as specialist support or medical services
  • Repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless
  • Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim
  • Financial abuse which includes the controlling of finances, such as only allowing a punitive allowance

There may be other forms of behaviour or abuse which will constitute an offence in their own right such as assault, rape, criminal damage or threats to kill.

The police and specialist services are available to support victims of 'Controlling and Coercive Behaviour' and it is important for agencies to consider making a referral or signposting a victim when identified.

For further information on this legislation, please visit the GOV.Uk website by clicking here, where you can then access the Home Office Statutory Guidance Framework.