48 cases of domestic violence crime every day in the West Midlands as new standards are signed-up to for a co-ordinated response
Groups from across the public and voluntary sectors in the West
Midlands have come together to launch the country's first set of
standards for domestic violence and abuse services.
The standards set out for the first time levels of service and
support that victims from across the West Midlands should receive
and can expect.
In the West Midlands there are on average 48 cases of domestic
violence each day, up from 33 crimes a day three years ago. There
were over 17,000 such crimes a year in the West Midlands. The
increase is due to improved recording and increased confidence of
victims coming forward. Domestic violence and abuse takes place
throughout all neighbourhoods, communities, socio-economic
backgrounds and ages.
The standards state that the responsibility to end violence lies
with the abuser and state institutions. Combating domestic violence
requires a comprehensive and coordinated inter-agency response.
Victims do not experience violence in silos and neither should
agencies respond in silos.
Minimum standards of service are therefore key to ensuring that
victims (both adults and children) are treated with dignity and
respect and have services that help them be safe and support them
and their children in their recovery from violence.
A clear message will be sent that domestic violence perpetrators
are accountable for their behaviour and that victims are never to
blame, but work will go on to reform perpetrators of violence.
Domestic abuse does not just refer to violence, but also covers
all forms of abuse, including emotional and coercive control.
David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner,
"I will be holding the police to account to ensure that they
deliver these standards and will be working closely with other
bodies to ensure that they are meeting these standards too.
"Domestic violence occurs at least 48 times a day in the West
Midlands. We therefore need robust services in place to support
victims and help them to recover.
"The increase in the reporting of domestic violence is a
positive step, that shows that there is increased confidence in the
police to deal with such crimes."
Stephen Rimmer, West Midlands strategic lead for preventing
violence against vulnerable people, said:
"These Standards set out a very clear and public commitment from
all of the key agencies across the West Midlands to provide the
best possible service to victims and their children of this
industrial-scale violent crime - and to be relentless in holding
perpetrators to account. It is essential that we demonstrate
consistent compliance with these Standards, and what we are doing
to tackle any shortfalls. And I expect the police, local
authorities, health, Probation, CPS and partners to ensure this
gets the collective priority it deserves."
Carole Collins, Lead Nurse for Domestic Abuse & Domestic
Homicide Reviews across Birmingham's CCGs, said:
"These standards are the result of excellent collaboration. It
is very important that we all make sure that they are embedded in
to all of organisations.
"These new domestic violence and abuse standards will also help
safeguard children across the region.
"By avoiding unsafe responses to domestic violence and abuse we
are firmly showing that it is always the perpetrator's and never
the victim's fault or responsibility.
"Birmingham CCGs are committed to these standards and want to
emphasise that are piloting the IRIS Programme to GPs to lead this
The West Midlands Specialist Provider Domestic Abuse Partnership
"The West Midlands Specialist Provider Domestic Abuse
Partnership welcomes the launch of the Domestic Abuse Standards as
for too long there has been an inconsistent approach to supporting
victims of violence and abuse. These standards offer a real
opportunity for all partners to have a greater understanding of
best practice and what really works. Our Partnership is pleased to
see inclusion of some of our best practice in these standards.
Specialist Services working together will continue to shout out
loud and clear as we stand united in combatting this heinous
Councillor Ann Lucas, Leader of Coventry City Council and the
Local Government Association's National Domestic Violence Champion,
"This is an important piece of work for all of us in the West
Midlands who are determined to address domestic violence and abuse
and make our region safer for everyone who has been or could be a
victim of this shocking and unacceptable crime.
"Partners involved in this groundbreaking piece of work - the
first of its kind in the country - are determined to drive this
agenda forward. Leaders of councils across the West Midlands will
hold each other and agencies to account in delivering these clear,
concise and compelling standards.
"Of course any strategy is only as good as the outcomes it can
deliver. We will remain focused on measurable outcomes that prove
the value of partnership working and these standards.
"The importance of tackling domestic violence and abuse has been
an issue I've been proud to lead on nationally, regionally and
locally for many years. These standards will help us do more in
this crucial area of work and I am proud to have played a small
part in their launch."
The Statement of Principles commits each organisation to the
will prioritise the safety of victims and their children in every
aspect of decision making and intervention. We understand that
victims and their children are at most risk when they end a violent
relationship or seek help and will work to protect them when they
understand that without effective intervention domestic violence
& abuse often escalates in severity. We will make every effort
to reach and identify adult and child victims earlier.
will treat victims with respect and dignity. We will listen to them
and believe their experiences of violence; take seriously their
concerns and seek to understand and strengthen their safety
will seek to gain informed consent from victims where possible when
there is an intention to share information.
will respect confidentiality and privacy wherever possible and
understand the increased risks associated with information sharing
in the context of domestic violence and
will maximise choices for domestic violence and abuse victims and
empower domestic violence and abuse victims to make informed
decisions about their lives wherever possible.
will actively work to develop competent services which are
sensitive to the diverse range and needs of the individuals and
communities we serve.
will send clear messages that domestic violence perpetrators are
accountable for their behaviour and that victims are never to
will work co-operatively with the range of services that victims
will recognise the importance of specialist independent domestic
violence and abuse services in providing a voice for victims and
children and guiding us on safe practice.