A consultation on a strategy to tackle domestic abuse has been launched today.
The Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse Strategy sets out a three-year plan to bring local authorities, Police, Probation, NHS providers and others together to prevent and reduce domestic abuse across communities and ensure that when people experience abuse, they can access the help and services they need.
This will be done by addressing five key priorities:
- Driving change together – promoting change through joint commitment, leadership and partnership working,
- Prevention and early intervention – seeking to reduce domestic abuse through effective preventative support,
- Provision of services – having responsive and effective services for groups at risk of, or subject to domestic abuse,
- Minimising harm – equality of access to all and supporting a person or family through longer term support needs,
- Justice, recovery and ongoing protection – provision of effective, engaged, supportive, responsive and timely protection and justice.
Domestic abuse is a widespread and chronically underreported form of crime which affected 2 million people across the country last year.
In 2017, Kent Police recorded 26,149 incidents of domestic abuse, making up 15% of all recorded crime and 38% of all violent crime.
As well as violent behaviour, domestic abuse can also include sexual, psychological or emotional abuse or coercive or controlling behaviour.
It can happen across different types of relationships and affect men as well as woman and children.
The strategy has been developed by the Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Executive. This is a partnership between the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner’s office, Kent Police, Medway Council, Kent County Council, the NHS, Kent Fire and Rescue, the National Probation Service, KSS Community Rehabilitation and district councils.
Kent Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Peter Ayling chairs the executive board of partners. He said : “The effects of domestic abuse can be devastating, impacting the lives of children in particular. As a partnership we have worked hard to give victims the courage to report abuse and the confidence we will give them the compassionate support they need. However, many victims still suffer in silence so there is more for us to do.
“No person should experience domestic abuse and through this strategy and its clear commitments, we will work together to prevent abuse from happening, strengthen our service provision and make sure we learn from the latest research. By understanding what works best and challenging ourselves to improve, we will deliver a first class service to victims of domestic abuse across Kent and Medway.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott said: “We have worked hard as a partnership to draw up this strategy. Now we want to hear the views of domestic abuse victims and get input from the fantastic charities and support services operating across Kent too. We can then develop an informed action plan to protect vulnerable people from abuse.”
This consultation will run for twelve weeks and closes on September 30th , all comments, feedback and suggestions will be considered before the final version is published.
After the strategy is finalised the executive will work to co-produce and consult widely on its action plan, to make sure we meet our commitments.
Mike Hill, Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “Domestic abuse poses a fundamental challenge to our society, harming families and often having a lasting impact spanning generations.
“As a council we recognise we must work more closely than ever before with our partners to both prevent domestic abuse and safeguard victims. The best way to do this is to ensure the services we offer are aligned and offer the best available support.”
Cllr Adrian Gulvin, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Community Safety, added: “We are committed to preventing and reducing domestic abuse in Medway and to ensure that when people experience abuse they can access the help and support they need.
“Domestic abuse can have a devastating impact on victims and their families, especially on their self esteem and mental health. We need to ensure that victims and their families are supported for both the immediate impact and possible long term consequences. The Kent and Medway Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Executive will look to strengthen and coordinate our responses across our services.”
To view the draft document and respond to the consultation questions online, visit: https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/domesticabusestrategy/consultationHome
A draft Equality Impact Assessment can also be viewed. If you require any of the information in an alternative format, please email PSRPolicy@kent.gov.uk, or call 03000 415782.
For further information about the Kent County Council Communications Office contact David Gazet on 03000 422589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.