Agenda item


Stephanie McBurney, Team Manager Domestic and Sexual Violence, Leicester City Council and DCI Lucy Batchelor to submit a report and give a presentation on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse in Leicester, setting out the current situation, challenges and what can be done to improve pathways and support to those affected.


Stephanie McBurney, Team Manager Domestic and Sexual Violence, Leicester City Council and DCI Lucy Batchelor submitted a report and gave a presentation on Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse in Leicester, setting out the current situation, the challenges and what could be done to improve pathways and provide support to those affected.


It was noted that:-


  • Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse affected large numbers of adults and children in Leicester and could have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of those individuals directly involved and the communities around them.


  • Domestic violence and abuse included forced marriage, female genital mutilation and so called ‘honour based’ violence.  It could take place between those aged 16 years and over and be within an intimate partner (current or past) or familial relationship.


  • A 2019 Home Office report estimated the unit cost of domestic abuse to be £34,015.  Each domestic homicide is estimated to cost £2.2 million, arising from the cost of harms, health services and lost output.  In Leicester there had been 7 domestic homicides since domestic homicide reviews were made a statutory requirement.


  • Sexual abuse could take place inside or outside of a domestic violence situation.  Roughly a third of all sexual offences took place within a setting that would meet the definition of domestic violence and abuse.


  • Locally there was a growing volume in the number of increased cases, reflecting a national trend, although the rate in Leicester was lower than the national increase.  The reason for this was not fully understood.  All public sector services had a role to play in tackling the issue, supporting victims, responding to service demand and meeting the needs of victims.


  • It was estimated that currently services were dealing with between a fifth to a third of incidents what was realistically known to exist.



Members of the Board commented that:-


  • Previous work with childrens’ safeguarding had shown the positive benefits of engagement of partners in providing a cross-over of understanding of the issues amongst partners which had helped with the early identification and links into support.


  • Initiatives such as GPs being given a mouse mat with relevant telephone numbers on it 5 years ago, had produced a spike in the incidence of reporting issues of concerns.


  • 80% of children in care experienced domestic violence and this impacted significantly on their ability to form stable relationships.  The way in which schools treated cases of abuse and made school a safe environment for those vulnerable to abuse had a significant impact also.


  • Supt O Neill commented that domestic violence arose over number of issues such as drugs and drink etc, and part of the issue was the challenge and ability of services such as the Police to allow space to step back from simply being reactionary to dealing operationally with incidents and to understand the more holistic issues, possible early interventions and responses to incidents.


  • The new compulsory sex and relationship education programme in schools would hopefully create a more positive environment which would equip young people to have the relationship skills and understanding what constitutes an appropriate relationship and not to accept or remain in an abusive relationship. Many young people in abusive relationship had a tendency to stay in them following experiences of successive abusive partners.


The Chair thanked for Stephanie McBurney and DCI Lucy Batchelor for their informative and interesting presentation and felt it was important to reassure people to know there was somewhere to go if they were being subjected ot abuse.




            That the Board:-


1)     Notes the risks to the health and well-being of people of Leicester that domestic and sexual violence and abuse present and the value of having effective provision.


2)   Supports awareness raising, identification, better data and more efficient pathways for those affected by sexual and domestic violence and abuse.


3)   Establishes clear links and accountability with and to the Vulnerabilities Executive in relation to the Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy.

Supporting documents: