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Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy (2013 – 2020) Consultation Questionnaire RESPONDING TO THE CONSULTATION
Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy (2013 – 2020) Consultation Questionnaire RESPONDING TO THE CONSULTATION

Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy (2013 2020)

Consultation Questionnaire

RESPONDING TO THE CONSULTATION

The Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety, DHSSPS, and the Department of Justice, DoJ, are seeking your views on the draft joint Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy. Please use this questionnaire to tell us your views on the draft document.

Please send your response, no later than 11 April 2014, to:

DHSSPS

Integrated Projects Unit Room D3

 

Castle Buildings Stormont Estate BELFAST BT4 3SQ

Tel:

028 90522512 028 90828565

Minicom:0800 243 787 (free call)

E-mail: DSVA@dhsspsni.gov.uk

Please note that all responses will be treated as public and may be published on the DHSSPS and DoJ websites. If you do not want your response to be used in this way, or if you would prefer for it to be used anonymously, please indicate this when responding (See Statement of Confidentiality and Access to Information Legislation below).

Confidentiality and Access to Information Legislation

Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal information, may be published or disclosed in accordance with access to information legislation: these are chiefly the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).

If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, under the FOIA, there is a statutory Code of Practice (section 45) with which public authorities must comply and which deals, amongst other things, with obligations of confidence. In view of this, it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information, we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the DHSSPS/DoJ.

For further information about confidentiality of responses please contact the Information

Commissioner’s Office

Northern Ireland Information Commissioner's Office 3rd Floor 14 Cromac Place Belfast BT7 2JB

Tel: 028 9027 8757 or 0303 123 1114 Email: ni@ico.org.uk

Please tick the box below if you want your response to be treated as anonymous. (Response details may still be shared under any future Freedom Of Information requests.)

[ ] I want my response to be treated as anonymous.

Thank you for completing this questionnaire and providing input to this consultation.

SECTION 1: ABOUT YOU

 

Consultee Details

 

Question 1(a):

 

I am responding as

...

(Please tick one option only)

 

[

] A member of the Public

 

[ x ] On behalf of an organisation

[

] Other

(Please

specify)

 

Question 1(b):

Please enter your details below:

 

Name:

 

Peter Morris

Job Title: (if applicable)

 

Chairman

Organisation: (if applicable)

Mens Aid ( NI )

Address:

 

Withheld

City/Town:

   

Postcode:

   

Email Address:

 

Peter.morris@mensaidni.co.uk

SECTION 2:

DEFINITIONS

For the purpose of this draft strategy, the definitions of domestic and sexual violence and abuse are as follows:-

Domestic violence and abuse:

‘threatening, controlling, coercive behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, verbal, sexual, financial or emotional) inflicted on anyone (irrespective of

age, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation) by a current or former intimate

 

partner or family member’

(Page 23)

Sexual Violence and Abuse

‘any behaviour (physical; verbal, virtual/digital) perceived to be of a sexual nature

which is controlling, coercive, exploitative, harmful, or unwanted that is inflicted on anyone (irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation) without

their informed consent or understanding.’)

(Page 25)

 

Question 2 (a):

Do you agree with the definition of Domestic Violence and Abuse as outlined in the Strategy? (Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[

x ] No

If no, please explain and submit alternative.

Persistent denial of contact should also be included within “emotional and psychological abuse “. ACPO stated in 2007 “ repeatedly denial of contact of children to other parent” DOES fall within the definition of Domestic Abuse.

 

Question 2 (b):

Do you agree with the definition of Sexual Violence and Abuse as outlined in the Strategy? (Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[ x

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternative.

Sexual abuse is not gender specific, but the current proposal for the definition has been gendered whereby male genital mutilation has been omitted. We are aware this is an issue within society and young males have been known to have lost their life from this act.

SECTION 3:

STRATEGIC VISION

The Strategic Vision is set out as

The People of Northern Ireland will not tolerate domestic and sexual violence and abuse in their community; effective services and support will be provided to all victims and perpetrators will be held to account.

 

Question 3:

Is the Strategy Vision reflective of want we want to achieve?

 

(Please tick one option only).

[

] Yes

[

x No

If no, please explain and submit alternative.

The strategic vision has the best outcomes contained within, but we would have concerns how support would be employed especially for male victims, in an impartial manner.

 

SECTION 4:

KEY DELIVERY STRANDS

The Key Delivery Strands within this strategy have been developed in line with the current strategies in domestic and sexual violence and abuse. They are;

Driving Change

Prevention and Early Intervention

Delivering Change

Support, and

Protection and Justice

 

Question 4:

Do you agree that the Strategy should be considered under these key strands?

 

(Please tick one option only).

[

x ] Yes

[

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

Although we agree the strategy should be considered under these strands, this will not be possible unless effective funding is shown to the men`s sector, out with the org Woman`s Aid, who are perceived at present, to be the sole provider of DV services in N Ireland. The IDAP is gender discriminating whereby programs re in place for male offenders, and also male ALLEGED offenders, yet we have no mention of female offender programs, or alleged female offender programs, even although we have around 2500 cases of male victims reported to PSNI.

SECTION 5:

STRATEGIC OUTCOMES/PRIORITIES

DHSSPS and DoJ are aiming to implement the Strategy over a seven-year period (2013

2020).

They will deliver the key outcomes and priorities as outlined in each of the Key Strands.

 

Question 5(a):

Do you agree with the strategic outcome and priorities on Driving Change for this Strategy? (Page 36)

(Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[ x

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

adequate funding should be disseminated between diverse groups to enable them to hold secure and effective database systems.

 

Question 5(b):

Do you agree with the strategic outcome and priorities on Prevention and Early Intervention for this Strategy? (Page 39)

(Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[ x

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

Pro arrest policy within PSNi has to be removed. This policy is missing possible victims. Dual Risk assessments should be enforced as per Isle of Wight, where more victims were uncovered who had been alleged to have been the perpetrator. Funding needs allocated to men`s sector to allow for interventions etc to be implemented

 

Question 5(c):

Do you agree with the strategic outcome and priorities on Delivering Change for this Strategy? (page 49)

(Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[ x

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

Men`s Aid NI has conducted presentations to PSNI Training Schools and serving officers, which has formed a basis for a referral between PSNI and Men`s Aid. |Due to no funding to Men`s Aid, this cannot be extended to other groups, gp`s etc. This area needs addressed

 

Question 5(d):

Do you agree with the strategic outcome and priorities on Support for this Strategy? (Page 59)

(Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[ x

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

Funding needs provided to men`s sector to allow support services to be employed for male victims. Currently only group receives adequate funding, Woman`s Aid. MARAC process is open to abuse due to self-reporting answers to questions.

 

Question 5(e):

Do you agree with the strategic outcome and priorities on Protection and Justice for this Strategy? (Page 65)

(Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[ x

] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

Currently, Woman`s Aid is the only group to be funded sufficiently to ensure the Protection and Justice priorities can be provided to female victims. Funding needs extended to men`s sector to allow same for male victims. One group, representing females with some anti-male policies,

shouldn`t be catering for both sexes. The current status relating to sentencing has a huge disparity between male perpetrators and female perpetrators. Gender should NOT cause a disparity in sentencing. IDVA`s are needed to represent male victims, including within PSNI DV Units, as per Woman`s Aid salaried position within PSNI DV Units.

Question 5(f):

Are there any other outcomes/priorities that should have been considered?

Funding issues to allow for equal representation within Justice and Protection for male victims.

Question 5(g):

Are there any aspects of the strategy that you consider could be made clearer or easier to understand?

The questions are misleading. We want to answer YES because we believe the Strategy is the way forward, but, it is the methods and text within the strategy we have the issue with. The questions should not ask a straight yes or no.

13

SECTION 6:

GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY

The proposed Governance and Accountably outcome is to;

Ensure efficient and effective Governance and Accountability throughout the implementation and evaluation of this Strategy.

 

Question 6:

Are there clear levels of governance and accountability set out within the proposed structure? (Page 75)

 

(Please tick one option only)

[

] Yes

[

x ] No

If no, please explain and submit alternatives.

Sufficient representation, which may not highlight the issues some wish to hear, should be sustained within RSG. Due to huge under representation for males, we now need a Minister for Men to carry forward equality for male victims.

SECTION 7:

EQUALITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 requires Departments to “have due regard” to

the need to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation; between men and women generally; between persons with a disability and persons without; and between

persons with dependants and persons without. Departments are also required to “have

regard” to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of a different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

 

Question 7 (a):

Are the proposals set out in this consultation document likely to have an adverse impact on any of the nine equality groups identified under Section 75 of the NI Act 1998? (Please tick one option only)

[

x ] Yes

[

] No

If yes, please state the group or groups and provide comment on how these adverse impacts could be reduced or alleviated in the proposals.

There will continue to be Section 75 issues whereby all funding is currently poured towards Woman`s Aid, which provides services for females, but has jumped on the band wagon with limited services for men, to ensure they have control of DV funding block

 

Question 7 (b):

Are you aware of any indication or evidence qualitative or quantitative - that the proposals set out in this consultation document may have an adverse impact on equality of opportunity and access? (Please tick one option only)

[ x

] Yes

[

] No

If yes, please give details and comment on what you think should be added or removed to alleviate the adverse impact.

Whilst Woman`s Aid continue to hold remit of “all victims” there will continue to be adverse

equality issues across the board, more so for male victims.

 

Question 7 (c):

Is there an opportunity to better promote equality of opportunity or good relations? (Please tick one option only)

[

x ] Yes

[

] No

If yes, please give details as to how ..

Funding needs disseminated throughout various diverse groups, not just Woman`s Aid, in relation to Domestic and Sexual Abuse.

 

Question 7 (d):

Are there any aspects of this Strategy where potential human rights violations may occur? (Please tick one option only)

[

x ] Yes

[

] No

If yes, please give details.

Due to knowledge of false allegations of domestic abuse being made against men for outcomes such as preventing contact with children, benefiting from benefits system and all that comes with it including housing, to cover for extra marital occurrences and for financial gain via divorce proceedings, breaches could occur in relation article 6 and 8 of ECHR and of Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 6 and 8.

False allegations are also not removed from statistics, therefore, they are highlighted when funding applications are put forward.

SECTION 8:

ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY

Please use the space below to provide any additional comments you may have.

It would be helpful if you reference which part of the document you are commenting on. If you refer to any other documents, please provide the title, author and if possible approximate date of publication.

Men`s Aid NI has linked with many statutory bodies to represent male victims and issues males face within society, and to encourage male victims to come forward. Despite this, the current Health Minister portrays Woman`s Aid as the sole provider of Domestic and Sexual Abuse services throughout N Ireland. This is a huge issue which unless remedied, this Strategy will be like all others, and still fail to apply same standards to male victims as will be to females.