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Domestic Abuse And The Law

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHR)

A domestic homicide is when someone has died as a result of domestic violence. This can include murder or manslaughter, causing death by neglect, and can include suicides in some circumstances. Very often a domestic homicide will have been preceded by a history of domestic abuse – physical, psychological, sexual, financial and/or emotional abuse involving partners, ex-partners, other relatives or household members. However this is not always the case.

What is the purpose of a Domestic Homicide Review (DHR)?

  • Establish what lessons are to be learned from the domestic homicide regarding the way in which local professionals and organisations work individually and together to safeguard victims;
  • Identify clearly what those lessons are both within and between agencies, how and within what timescales they will be acted on, and what is expected to change as a result;
  • Apply these lessons to service responses including changes to policies and procedures as appropriate;
  • Prevent domestic violence homicide and improve service responses for all domestic violence victims and their children through improved intra and inter-agency working

For more information about Domestic Homicide Reviews, please visit the Sheffield DACT website.

Domestic Violence Protection Notice/Order (DVPN/DVPO)
Domestic violence protection orders enable the police to put in place protection for the victim in the immediate aftermath of a domestic violence incident.

Under DVPOs, the offender can be prevented from returning to a residence and from having contact with the victim for up to 28 days, allowing the victim a level of breathing space to consider their options, including providing the victim with time to apply for alternative orders such as Non-Molestation Order. Support agencies will be included in this process and can help provide assistance to the victim. This space / time provides the victim with immediate protection.

This process can be run in tandem with criminal proceedings.

Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme – DADS (Also known as Clare’s Law)

Introduced in 2014 and operates under two principles:

  1. The Right to Ask – an individual can ask police to check whether a new or existing partner has a violent past. If records show that an individual may be at risk of domestic violence from a partner, the police will consider disclosing the information. A disclosure can be made if it is legal, proportionate and necessary to do so.
  2. The Right to Know – this enables an agency to apply for a disclosure if the agency believes that an individual is at risk of domestic violence from their partner. Again, the police can release information if it is lawful, necessary and proportionate to do so.

Revenge porn
Revenge porn is becoming increasingly common as another ‘method’ of inflicting abuse on ex-partners.

It is an offence for a person to disclose a private, sexual photograph or film if the disclosure is made:

a) without the consent of an individual who appears in the photograph or film;


b) with the intention of causing that individual distress.

For a prosecution to be possible both a) and b) have to be evidenced. So, if for example you receive text messages threatening to post pictures of you on a social media site, do not delete the texts as they may provide the evidence of ‘Intent’.

For more information, visit Revenge Porn: the facts.