Doncaster domestic abuse incidents on the rise as senior councillors approve strategy to clamp down on abusers and better help victims
Senior councillors have signed off on a strategy to clamp down and help people suffering from domestic violence in Doncaster as reported incidents are on the increase in the borough.
The aim of the strategy will help to reduce incidents of domestic abuse, support adult and child victims and survivors to deal with the trauma they suffered and hold abusers to account, while also supporting them to change their behaviour through a ‘trauma informed response’, council bosses said.
Data in Doncaster shows there were 5,281 criminal complaints related to domestic abuse in 2018/2019 but this rose to over 6,000 in 2020/2021.
During the same period in 2018/2019, domestic abuse reports made up 14 per cent of all crime in Doncaster, but this rose to 17 per cent in 2020/2021.
When comparing South Yorkshire, Doncaster has the highest rates of domestic violence in the county with 167 crimes per 10,000 with Sheffield having the lowest with 117 crimes per 10,000 people.
In a further breakdown, 57 per cent of all reports in Doncaster were classed as ‘emotional or coercive control’, which includes stalking and harassment with 36 per cent related to violence with or without injury.
The findings also found women between the ages of 26-29 were most likely to suffer from domestic abuse in Doncaster and 79 per cent of perpetrators of abuse were male.
Balby and Thorne/Mexborough rank first and joint second respectively when looking atindividual settlements for referrals to domestic abuse hubs, but when considering the populations of each settlement and rate per 10,000 of the population, Stainforth ranks first (92) followed by Thorne (84), Balby (82) and Bentley (82).
Following the introduction of the Domestic Abuse Act in April 2021, councils are now required by law to have a local domestic abuse partnership board and produce a strategy, give effect to that strategy and provide updates to the Government.
The Doncaster domestic abuse strategy sets out a coordinated, multi-partner response to the issue, making sure that it is ‘everyone’s responsibility’ while setting out clear objectives to make an impact.
Consultation on the creation of the strategy involved: survivors of domestic abuse, residents, elected members, practitioners and community leaders, perpetrators of domestic abuse and young people.
Cabinet member for children’s social care, communities and equalities, Rachael Blake said: “Our very clear message is that domestic abuse is everyone’s responsibility. The strategy does not claim that we have it all perfect and sorted but there are still areas for development.
“It’s important to read out some of the strategy’s introduction written by two domestic abuse survivors.
“We’re calling on our communities to stand by us and call out abusive behaviours and to help us shine a spotlight on an issue that is far too often hidden behind a front door.
“We must strive to allow our next generation to grow up free from the deathly clutches that is domestic abuse and the children that experience this are embraced by professionals that truly understand trauma responses.”