16 Days of Activism 2020 – Day 6


Breaking chainsSeparation is our theme that Changing Pathways has picked for the 6th Day of #16DaysofActivism. This is to align with question 6 of the DASH Risk Assessment which is about #separation.
We know from the domestic homicides and statistics that women are more likely to be killed in the first month or first year of separation. Once someone has left a coercively controlling, violent and abusive partner if there is then stalking this can be the precursor to serious harm or murder.
At the point of separation it’s fundamental that the survivor gets safety planning from someone who knows what they are talking about. A domestic abuse worker or someone trained to do this. That safety planning should be bespoke to the survivor.

If there are any threats to kill or anything indirect such as “if I can’t have you no one else will” and you have the high risk factors of separation, threats to kill, coercive control & then stalking – the criminal justice system and the domestic abuse workers must take this threat seriously especially when the victim/survivor perceives that this is a credible threat.

So some of the High warning risk indicators are:

• Separation

• Coercive control & excessive jealousy (whilst in the relationship) – psychological and or violence

• Threat to harm or kill – direct or indirect

• Victim’s perception – the victim believes that she or someone else will be killed or harmed by the abuser

• Stalking – fixated, obsessive, unwanted, repeated behaviours.

A wraparound safety plan must be in place and please read The Femicide Census as this gives people an insight into #femicides.

As Karen Ingala Smith says: “the state’s response is also dangerously gender blind. Globally, while homicide figures are declining, femicide is on the rise. “We have a domestic abuse, not an end violence against women and girls bill,” “That minimises sex differences. Men who kill do so within a context of endemic sex discrimination in a society that normalises male predatory behaviour from an early age and is too eager to blame victims.”

The following list commemorates a few women who were coercively controlled, separated were stalked and murdered by a former partner: Hollie Gazzard, Clare Bernal, Jane Clough, Shana Grice, Alice Ruggles, Kirsty Treloar, Clare Woods and the roll-call continues. The Femicide Census commemorates the lives of those women & girls tragically killed by a man, many after separation.

We need to ensure we risk assess properly, safety plan properly and that the Criminal Justice System works for victims of domestic abuse. The deaths of the women listed above highlight that the murderers were serial perpetrators and posed a real risk to these women. That the criminal justice system let them down.

We must save lives and take separation with the other high risk factors seriously to safeguard women and children.

In Essex we are proud to work with our partner charities: Next Chapter and also SOSDAP/Safe Steps to work with the end goal of safeguarding those at risk and ending #domesticabuse. #16daysofactivism #separation #orangetheworld #femicidecensus @surviving_DA @EssexSafe @K_IngalaSmith
Link to read: 

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