Town Hall conducting ‘whole systems review’ of domestic violence support

Camden Council is undertaking a “whole systems review” into how best to deliver support to victims of domestic violence and abuse (DVA) and their families.

Police recorded 1,922 domestic crimes in Camden in 2017, and attended a  further 1,476 non-crime domestic incidents.

The review aims for a more “holistic” approach to victims, going beyond addressing their immediate safety and aiding them in building “happier, safer, more resilient lives”, as well as attempting to address the root causes behind DVA.

A council report on DVA said: “Over 30 per cent of all referrals into the Children’s Front Door referral system had DVA as an identified need.

“National and international research points to the ‘toxic trio’ of DVA, substance misuse and mental health as common features in household where child maltreatment is present.

“National research indicates that DVA is very prevalent in pregnancy (over 20 per cent in some UK studies) and can often start in pregnancy.

“In Camden, five per cent of DVA cases coming through the Children’s Services Front Door were pregnant women.”

The Town Hall has also allocated an independent domestic and sexual violence advisor (IDSVA) to its project, integrating domestic abuse guidance and research evidence into practice, focusing on victims who first present at mental health service.

A weekly drop-in with the IDSVA at Early Intervention Service in Greenland Road has been running since October.

The report states that “uptake has been slow”, with four referrals so far, but goes on to add that “the consultancy element of the offer has been well utilised”.