The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021. The Act introduces the first ever statutory definition of domestic abuse and recognises the impact of domestic abuse on children, as victims in their own right, if they see, hear or experience the effects of abuse. The statutory definition of domestic abuse, based on the previous cross-government definition, ensures that different types of relationships are captured, including ex-partners and family members. The definition captures a range of different abusive behaviours, including physical, emotional and economic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour.
Both the person who is carrying out the behaviour and the person to whom the behaviour is directed towards must be aged 16 or over and they must be “personally connected” (as defined in section 2 of the 2021 Act).
Types of domestic abuse include intimate partner violence, abuse by family members, teenage relationship abuse and child/adolescent to parent violence and abuse. Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, sexuality or background and domestic abuse can take place inside or outside of the home. The government will issue statutory guidance to provide further information for those working with domestic abuse victims and perpetrators, including the impact on children.
All children can witness and be adversely affected by domestic abuse in the context of their home life where domestic abuse occurs between family members. Experiencing domestic abuse and/or violence can have a serious, long lasting emotional and psychological impact on children. In some cases, a child may blame themselves for the abuse or may have had to leave the family home as a result.
Young people can also experience domestic abuse within their own intimate relationships. This form of peer on peer abuse is sometimes referred to as ‘teenage relationship abuse’. Depending on the age of the young people, this may not be recognised in law under the statutory definition of ‘domestic abuse’ (if one or both parties are under 16). However, as with any child under 18, where there are concerns about safety or welfare, child safeguarding procedures should be followed and both young victims and young perpetrators should be offered support.
Stopping Domestic Abuse Together (SDAT)
From 1st November 2018, Da Vinci Academy will receiving Domestic Abuse notifications from Derbyshire Constabulary within 24 hours of an incident.
What is SDAT?
- Stopping Domestic Abuse Together is a local version of the Encompass Model
- Derbyshire Constabulary lead on SDAT and aim to roll it out with all schools in Derby and Derbyshire.
- It is an early notification system to schools to quickly notify them of any incidents of domestic abuse where the police have attended household where children live.
- To provide a link between a statutory school aged child’s lived home experience and their experience in school when domestic abuse is a current issue.
- Helps ensure that schools can effectively support and respond to children’s needs in the education setting.
- Promotes effective communications between police, children’s social care, education welfare and schools where there has been a domestic abuse incident.