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Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence

  • Fiona
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8 years 8 months ago #311832 by Fiona
MCA1973 just states the first consideration is the welfare of children under 18. For example that doesn''t mean children over 18 are irrelevant and both Acts make provision for maintenance for over 18s.

Anyway perhaps rather than either of these Acts the age of consent stipulated in the Sexual Offences Act ??? is more relevant to intimate partnership relationships.

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  • rubytuesday
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8 years 8 months ago #311834 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the UK government in 1991, states that a child “means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless, under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.” (Article 1, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989).

This is a gray area, I think - an individual is still considered a child at 16, but yet, by law, is allowed to consensual sexual relationships then the law is allowing children to have sexual relationships?

I agree that those 16/17yos in "adult" relationships require protection from DV, but surely as DV is a criminal offence, they would receive the same legal recourse as a 40 yo who has been a victim of DV? ie if both the 40yo and the 17yo were physically assaulted by their respective partners, the law regarding assault would apply equally to them both?

Im confusing myself here :ohmy:

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8 years 8 months ago #311846 by Tets
Isn''t the confusion created by an automatic entitlement to legal aid for those over 18, so a 17 year old in an abusive relationship wouldn''t have the same entitlement?

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8 years 8 months ago #311848 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence
Under 18s can make an application for legal aid in their own right, Tets. I don''t know how many applications from U-18s are successful though.

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8 years 8 months ago #311864 by Fiona
Tets makes a good point. Figures from the ‘Not Seen and Not Heard’ report reveal the government’s planned legal aid cuts will remove direct free legal aid advice and support services for 6,000 under 18 year olds.

My understanding is that extending the definition to include 16 and 17 year olds would mean they would be treated in much the same way as adults by the various agencies. ACPO Council accredited DASH (2009) assessments could then be carried out as well as multi agency risk assessments for the highest risk cases of abuse in order to create safety plans for the victims. This is more appropriate for intimate relationship abuse than children services.

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8 years 8 months ago #311908 by rubytuesday
Replied by rubytuesday on topic Re:Home Office Consultation on Domestic Violence
So how are 16/17yos in intimate relationships assessed currently? (I ask so that I can understand)

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8 years 8 months ago #311937 by Fiona
Currently there are no specialist services for 16-17 year olds in abusive relationships and I assume they are assessed under the Common Assessment framework for child abuse.

In 2008, the Home Affairs Select Committee report on Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage and Honour Based Violence stated that:

We heard of concerning attitudes and abuse between young people in intimate relationships. However, 16–18 year olds are excluded from the current government definition of Domestic Violence, there has been little research on the needs of teenage victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, and there is little support for under-18s in abusive relationships. The existence of abuse in teenage relationships further underlines the urgent need for effective early education on domestic violence and relationships.


and

The Government’s current definition of domestic violence excludes 16–18 year olds. The Association of Chief Police Officers told us that this was a problem:

There is increasing comment directed to us from practitioners and professionals that by excluding persons under 18, vulnerable young people in abusive relationships are being deprived of the expertise and resources available to adults in similar circumstances.

ACPO recommended an extension of the Government’s definition to include “persons over the age of 16 who are or have been intimate partners and adults (i.e. over 18 years) in other familial relationships”

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