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Surviving Domestic Abuse: Improving systems that support victims

According to Women’s Aid, domestic abuse is defined as “an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer.”

Healthwatch Camden held interviews with nine female survivors of domestic abuse and an additional six people completed an anonymous online survey. This report documents the experiences of these 15 survivors.

Our Findings

Our findings demonstrate that to meet the needs of victims of domestic abuse, services need to take a more holistic approach to design and implement domestic abuse support programs. This includes access to mental health support, safe and accessible housing, primary care and other health care services, help with filing police reports, access to legal aid and benefits, and more.

Our findings support the changes included in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. Specifically, the statutory basis for Clare’s Law and the duty put on local authorities to give support to victims and their children in refuges, safe accommodation and offering new tenancies when leaving existing housing for reasons connected with domestic abuse

We recognise the existing good work taking place both nationally and locally to support victims of domestic abuse by service providers and first responders. However, our research shows that there is still more to be done to help victims.

To improve services further, we have suggested recommendations to the below organisations:

  • North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Camden Council
    • Social services 
    • Housing
    • Camden Safety Net/Safeguarding Team
  • Local Magistrates Courts and Public Prosecution Service
  • Camden Police

 

If you are facing domestic abuse of any kind, you may call or contact Camden Safety Net using the below details –

Phone: 020 7974 2526

Email: camdensafetynet@camden.gov.uk

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