Re: Use of community resolutions in cases of domestic abuse

28th July 2014

Diana Barran, Chief Executive of Caada said: “With two women a week killed by their current or ex partner, domestic violence remains an intractable and widespread problem.The statistics released today simply scratch the surface - hundreds of thousands of domestic violence cases remain hidden each year. Victims deserve a better service. Families deserve to be safe.

“We don't support the use of community resolutions – we think they are inappropriate. We know from our own research that these victims have been experiencing severe domestic abuse for many years; it is not a low level crime or a first offence. More importantly, this is not the big issue here. Community resolutions are just one of many faults in a broken system. And they only reflect 3,000 cases a year – that's just 0.3% of people that report domestic abuse to the police.

“We are much more concerned about levels of attrition in the criminal justice system and a response that fails to address the risks that families live with. The system as it stands only supports 10% of people – we are losing nearly everybody along the way.

“Caada has been working tirelessly for over a decade to help ensure that families receive fast, effective support that gets it right first time.The model we have recommended is that families get intensive support in the form of Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (Maracs) and specialist Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (Idvas). With this support, we know that victims and their children, are more likely to continue through the system to eventually live in safety.

“But this vital help is far from secure. Recent cuts to Idva services mean fewer people are able to access the help they need and those that do are supported for a much shorter time. Our research, along with our work to support commissioners, shows that things still aren't joined up enough. Without better coordination at local level, many more cases will sadly remain hidden – costing more lives and costing the taxpayer almost £4bn a year.

“We want to see families safe. That's why we see it as a priority for local commissioners to mainstream funding for Maracs and Idvas to reduce the risk currently faced by too many families everywhere.”

Please note, Caada is the former name of SafeLives.