legislation which seeks to make it possible to prosecute coercive and controlling behaviour, professionals will need to look at new ways of approaching victims and responding to different forms of abuse.
In the latest edition of Sanctuary Social Work News, Dr. Siobhan Weare talks about the need for more than an offence of coercive control to combat domestic abuse. The magazine also features a new tool that is helping professionals interact with victims and gather evidence. Dr Jane Monckton-Smith, a criminology lecturer at the University of Gloucestershire, has developed the new Domestic Abuse and Stalking Reference Tool (DART) to assist public professionals in differentiating between what is and isn’t domestic abuse. The unique reference tool is currently being piloted by Gloucestershire Constabulary. Dr Jane Monckton-Smith explained: “We conducted research at the University of Gloucestershire which collected data from victims and professionals, such as the police and social workers, to find out their concerns about responses to domestic abuse. “The recommendations were developed into the Domestic Abuse and Stalking Reference Tool, DART, which is a set of evidence based reference cards, or an app, which are designed to help professionals from any agency respond to disclosures of abuse or stalking. They help to create consistency with and between agencies, can give professionals confidence in what they are saying or doing, and they are concise.” DART addresses three major changes professionals face: recognising the importance of control and the chronic fear it produces; recognising the high risk factors; and gathering evidence in a way which will help achieve successful prosecutions both now, and when the new legislation is enacted. The research is published as a book, available on amazon.co.uk: Domestic Abuse, Homicide and Gender by Monckton Smith, Williams and Mullane. – See more at: http://www.sanctuarysocialcare.com/blog/spotting-the-signs-of-domestic-abuse-52221010502?sthash.s5trOH0A.mjjo#.dpuf