Good Practice

Staff in a range of agencies will be working with people affected by domestic abuse. Make sure you read your own agency’s policy and protocol in relation to domestic abuse. Please let us know of any other new documents which relate to domestic abuse and will help improve understanding and practice.

Publications and relevant papers. Some documents require a PDF reader – you can download one for free from here

Rights of Women/Imkaan Forced Marriage Report

Evidence for Family Law Matters for Obtaining Legal Aid,please see these useful links including templates for letters for agencies. 

Hearing the Voices of IRIS Service Users. The IRIS project (Identification and Referral to Improve Safety) stems from a successful randomised control trial led by Professor Gene Feder, Chair in Primary Health Care at the University of Bristol, and one of the two DVA clinical champions at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The intervention is provided by two clinical leads and a domestic violence advocate based within Manchester Women’s Aid. Training is provided to both the clinical and reception/administrative staff by the clinical lead and the advocate, to help them identify those patients who may currently/have been affected by domestic violence, ask the question safely, respond, risk assess, record and offer the IRIS service.  The practice is then provided with a simple referral form to IRIS for any patients who disclose current or historic abuse. Public Health Manchester, who currently commission the project, recently arranged an independent study report ‘Hearing the voices of the IRIS Service Users’.

IRIS service users study April 2014 Report  

The Women’s Migration and Asylum Networkis a Google group that enables participation and information sharing between professionals who have an interest in gender, migration and violence against women. Benefits of joining the Network include the ability to seek information, share research and events, keep up-to-date with legal and policy changes on gender and migration issues and access free, accredited training and events.  To join the Network visit!forum/womens-migration-and-asylum-network . For more information see

A GROWING CRISIS OF UNMET NEED(2013):There has been significant change to the provision of domestic violence services since 2010.
There were 31% funding cuts across the domestic and sexual violence sector between 2010/11 and 2011/127 and one third of Women’s Aid
member services faced further cuts in 2012/13.8 In 2012, the UK had only 65% of the family places recommended by the
Council of Europe as needed for women fl eeing domestic violence,9 and as a result, many organisations had to turn women away.
This report is based on the Women’s Aid Annual Survey of domestic violence organisations, UKRefugesOnline (national database of violence
against women and girls services), qualitative interviews with managers of specialist domestic violence services, survivors of abuse and existing academic research. GrowingCrisis(1)

The City of Manchester’s strategic aims for domestic abuse are:

  • To ensure domestic abuse is a strategic priority for all
  • To improve early identification and prevention of domestic abuse
  • To reduce the prevalence of domestic abuse
  • To ensure that victims of domestic abuse and their children are adequately protected and supported
  •  To hold perpetrators of domestic abuse accountable and increase the rate of domestic abuse offences that are brought to justice
  • To ensure that victims and perpetrators receive quality services which meet the needs of Manchester’s diverse communities DA Forum delivery plan 2013-2014 (f)

Local Government Association: Adult safeguarding and domestic abuse.
A guide to support practitioners and managers (2013) click here for the report

The DAME (Domestic Abuse Money and Education) project is back.
Money Advice Plus Services is pleased to announce that their telephone money advice service to support
survivors of domestic abuse is now up and running again. Dame Leaflet

Results of EC Daphne III Project “Mind the Gap!” Improving intervention in Intimate Partner Violence against older women
Violence against women in their intimate partnerships is not only an issue for younger women – also older women experience violence.
But in fact service providers and the police only rarely have contact with older women and are therefore not always adequate for the needs
of older women. Mind the Gap! a project funded by the European Commission Daphne III grant aims to address this problem.
The goal of the project was to improve the intervention in Intimate Partner Violence against Older Women” and all end materials on addressing
intimate partner violence against older women are available on the Intimate Partner Violence Against Older Women (IPVOW) website

Complicated Matters: Stella Project Toolkit – Download from here
Domestic and sexual violence, problematic substance use and mental ill-health are three issues that often co-exist.
And when they do, things can become complicated. Complicated matters: a toolkit and e-learning programme addressing domestic and sexual violence, problematic substance use and mental ill-health are designed to ‘uncomplicate’ matters by raising professionals’ awareness about how the three issues interlink and reflecting on the most effective ways to engage with individuals and families who are affected by these issues.
To this aim, the toolkit provides information on:

  • the links between experiences of domestic and sexual violence, problematic substance use and mental ill-health
  • ways to encourage survivors to engage with services and how to meet their needs
  • ways to increase safety for survivors and their children
  • holding perpetrators accountable for their own violent and abusive behaviour
  • developing a holistic approach based on partnerships and integrated work
  • practical, adaptable tools which enable organisations to improve policy and practice

The End Violence Against Women (EVAW) Coalition campaigns for governments at all levels around the UK to take urgent action to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. We are the largest coalition of its kind in the UK representing over seven million individuals and organisations.
In May (2013)  the EVAW Coalition launched a new report, entitled ‘Deeds or Words?’, which assesses the Westminster government’s promise to prevent abuse of women and girls. Developed with experts, the report concludes that whilst there is good work in some areas of government, such as the Home Office’ excellent this is ABUSE campaign, in other key areas the promise is “virtually meaningless.” Overall the report awards the government just 2.5 out of 10 for work in this area   Deeds_or_Words_Report

This report is the product of the first ever study, by the Crown Prosecution Service, of the number
and nature of cases involving allegedly false allegations of rape or domestic violence, or both.
In this review, the CPS found that “only a very small number of individuals were prosecuted for having
made a false complaint.”
Amongst those cases referred for perverting the course of justice or wasting police time, 33% involved  alcohol or drugs and 18% of suspects had a diagnosed mental health problem. Click here for the report

Handle with Care: A guide to responsible media reporting. This guide is an attempt to lay down some common sense standards
and procedures for reporting on men’s violence against women, in all its forms. The proposals for best practice go further than
the legal requirements on journalists. They form a handbook of moral guidance. Journalists may not agree with every word –
but the survivors’ perspectives in particular will prompt fresh thinking, and present conscientious journalists with a challenge –
how to help change society by reporting men’s violence against women in a more neutral, less “colourful” way. Click here for the guide

Respect Toolkit for work with male victims of domestic violence – (added Feb.2013) The second edition of the Respect Toolkit for work with male victims of domestic violence (February 2013) is now available. It features:

  • New case studies to illustrate the different client categories;
  • an updated analysis of calls to the Men’s Advice Line based on 5,214 callers in 2010 and 2011;
  • a new section looking at quantitative and qualitative differences between heterosexual and gay men in their reports of sexual abuse experiences;
  • we have incorporated the assessment forms in the main body of the text (it was in an appendix in the first edition) following the brief assessment process section, hoping that frontline workers and organisations supporting male victims will use and adapt whatever is relevant to their particular service;
  • the idea of ‘Identify-Assess-Respond’ in relation to work with male victim runs throughout the toolkit and it aims to provide a step-by-step approach to supporting male victims;
  • finally, the Research chapter has also been updated to include research and findings after 2009.

The new edition of the Respect Toolkit is available to download chapter-by-chapter free from our website or to buy hard copies (£10 per copy including p&p). To download the Toolkit or order hard copies please visit:

Greater Manchester Police is one of four forces who have been chosen to take part in a 12 month pilot of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (DVDS) or “Clare’s Law” as it is more commonly known.

The pilot began on 6  September 2012 and will give members of the public a formal mechanism to make enquires about an individual who they are in a relationship with, or who is in a  relationship with someone they know, where there is a concern that the  individual may be violent towards their partner.  DVDS leaflet

An Overview of Sexual Offending in England and Wales January 2013. The  report

Trafford Safeguarding Adults ‘Say No to Abuse’Easy Read Booklet  Say no to abuse Tfd2

NATIONAL SURVEY REVEALS THE EXTENT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AT UNIVERSITIES ‘Hidden Marks’ was the first ever nationwide report into women students’ experience of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault.The report documented the findings of a survey, carried out in 2009 and 2010 by the National Union of Students, which explored the prevalence, and nature, of violence against women students. One in seven survey respondents has experienced a serious physical or sexual assault during their time as a student

THE AYA CAPACITY BUILDING PROJECT Is your service under threat? The Aya Project has been set up to help build the resilience of the specialist women’s sector and BMER women’s sector working to end violence against women and girls. We offer support at time of serious threats to services and severe hardship for the most marginalised and vulnerable.

The Aya Project has launched a website with useful information to support organisations

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE (2011/12) How parents deal with children who use substances and perpetrate abuse. A report by Adfam and AVA click here for the report

IDVA INSIGHTS INTO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTIONS: CAADA 2012 Differences and similarities in the victims’ profile at the point of intake into the IDVA service and profile and outcomes at the point of exit from the IDVA service are discussed. Overall, it can be seen that the proportion of victims experiencing a cessation of abuse at the point of exit from the IDVA service increases at each stage of the criminal justice process. The most significant increase in cessation of abuse is for those victims where the perpetrator had been charged with an offence following a report to the police, compared to where there is no charge. This suggests that victims of domestic abuse who are in contact with IDVA services and have some engagement with the Criminal Justice process are more likely to experience a reduction in abuse or a cessation of abuse than those victims who report to the police but where there is no decision to charge. Click here for the report

“TREAT ME LIKE A HUMAN BEING, LIKE SOMEONE WHO MATTERS” (July 2012) Findings of the Stella Project Mental Health Initiative Survivor Consultation:This report presents the initial findings of a two-month consultation with survivors of domestic and sexual violence who have also experienced problematic substance use and/or mental ill-health which was conducted as part of the Stella Project Mental Health Initiative.The Stella Project Mental Health Initiative (SPMHI) is a three-year project, funded by the Department of Health, which aims to improve responses to victims and perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence who are also affected by problematic substance use and/or mental ill-health. All three issues are core areas of work, frequently intertwined, for health professionals, with substance use becoming further incorporated into health paradigm with the transition of the National Treatment Agency into Public Health England. Click here for the report

YOUR RIGHTS, YOUR BODY, YOUR LIFE The Havens and Rights of Women have produced a new booklet for young people aged 13-17 (July 2012). ‘Your rights, your body, your life’ provides information and support for young people who have experienced sexual violence including the law and the legal process should they want to report to the police. Click here for the report

AVA SURVIVOR INVOLVEMENT PROJECT AVA believes that survivors are the experts in what responses are helpful, what services are needed and how they should be provided. As such, some kind of survivor involvement is not just a quirky extra but an essential element of service design and planning. This section brings together a range of guidance, ideas and publications relating to survivor involvement from ensuring their inclusion in general consultations to co-production of services to setting up survivor scrutiny panels Click here for useful information and resources


CALL TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS TAKING ACTION – THE NEXT CHAPTER MARCH 2012 This updated plan includes new actions to help keep women safe. For the first time, we will be piloting a process to give women access to information about the past actions of a new partner where that may help keep them safe. We will also introduce two specific criminal offences of stalking and we will work to reduce the harm suffered by the vulnerable women working in prostitution. Click here for the report

THE DOMESTIC ABUSE AND MONEY EDUCATION (DAME) GUIDANCE for Professionals Supporting Survivors with Financial Issues’ has been developed out of the Domestic Abuse, Money and Education project (DAME), a three year project undertaken by Women’s Aid Federation of England (Women’s Aid) and Money Advice Plus Services (MAPS) working in partnership, and funded by the Nationwide Foundation. Research and practical experience provides conclusive evidence that living with domestic violence and abuse often has a direct impact on the financial circumstances of the victim/survivor and her children. We set up this project because we believed that existing money and debt advice services often lacked knowledge of the particular financial difficulties survivors of abuse might face. The DAME project aims to increase the knowledge and confidence of professionals when assisting survivors who are experiencing financial difficulties and learning from the project has influenced the development of the DAME Toolkit

THE SOJOURNER PROJECT WILL COME TO AN END ON 31st MARCH 2012 A new policy will come into force on 1st April 2012. This policy will enable migrants who entered the UK on a spousal or partner visa and are victims of domestic violence to apply to the UK Border Agency for a short period of leave, to allow them to make a claim for income-related benefits while an application under the Domestic Violence Immigration Rule is made and decided. Temporary leave for DV cases briefing

ONE PUNCH KILLS – Leeds Gypsy and Traveller Exchange Domestic Violence Project Report. Click here for the report


THREE STEPS TO ESCAPING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE The Home Office worked in partnership with Southall Black Sisters to develop the content for this leaflet. The leaflet is aimed specifically at women in black and minority ethnic communities. It covers advice on the three steps to escaping violence and abuse: report the abuse, how to take actions and how to keep safe from abuse. It brings together such issues as ‘honour’-based violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, dowry abuse, domestic and sexual abuse, and having no recourse to public funds. We have translated the leaflet into 12 other languages, including Welsh. Click here for the leaflet

BUDGET CUTS EXPECTED TO LEAD TO INCREASE IN VIOLENCE according to new report by Professor Sylvia Walby, UNESCO Chair in Gender Research, and Jude Towers at Lancaster University, raises concern about the implications of public expenditure reductions for the provision of local violence against women services. ‘Measuring the impact of cuts in public expenditure on the provision of services to prevent violence against women and girls’ (2012) collects together the data as to where the cuts have been falling drawn from around 20 published and previously unpublished sources. Click here for the report

WOMEN’S RESOURCE CENTRE publishes new report on demonstrating the impact of women’s voluntary and community organisations Conducted over a two year period, ‘Hidden Value…’ (Nov. 2011) highlights the far reaching benefits of the services provided by women’s organisations and the significant savings they create for the state, local economies and communities Click here for the report

HOMICIDES, FIREARM OFFENCES AND INTIMATE VIOLENCE 2010/11 Latest home office statistics on domestic abuse. Click here

STANDING TOGETHER AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – ‘A Guide to Effective Domestic Violence Partnerships’


IMKAAN REPORT WARNS OF RISE IN FGM CASES, FORCED MARRIAGE AND HONOUR BASED VIOLENCE Imkaan has written to the prime minister urging him to work with key ministers to forge a concerted plan to combat female genital mutiliation (FGM), ‘honour’ violence and forced marriage. The organisation’s report ‘The Missing Link’, launched 25 November 2011 to coincide with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, found that the number of births in London by women with female genital mutilation has increased to around 7,000 a year, of whom a significant number are likely to be girls at risk of FGM. The report also found that in 2010 the government’s Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 330 cases of women and girls at risk of forced marriage in London, while scores of women and girls are contacting specialist women’s services every week saying they are suffering from, or are threatened with, ‘honour-based’ violence, forced marriage and FGM. Click here for the report

REDUCING BARRIERS TO SUPPORT FOR WOMEN WHO EXPERIENCE VIOLENCE – A Toolkit for Supporting Women with Varying Levels of Mental Wellness and Substance Use. Click here for the toolkit


“STANDING ON MY OWN TWO FEET” disadvantaged teenagers, intimate partner violence and coercive control. This research report from the University of Bristol and the NSPCC looks at intimate partner violence in the relationships of disadvantaged young people. It focuses on the experiences of young people outside mainstream education, young mothers, young offenders, young people living in residential care and young people at risk of sexual exploitation. September 2011 Click here for the report


SURVIVORS OF DOMESTIC & SEXUAL VIOLENCE This report documents the views and experiences of women in London who have experienced some form of domestic or sexual violence. The material is drawn from a number of different focus groups. Click here for the report

IMPROVING DOMESTIC ABUSE SERVICES The Audit Commission has published a web resource for local commissioners and practitioners, ‘Improving local domestic abuse services’. This web resource describes the characteristics of a successful service and how to make practical changes with partners to improve services. Click here to access the resource

RIGHTS OF WOMEN have produced a number of information sheets on legal issues affecting women. You can download them here, free of charge

RESPECT – Women can be violent or abusive towards their partners too. Although it is generally acknowledged that the majority of domestic violence is perpetrated by men against women, it happens the other way round too. The Respect Phoneline is available for women who have concerns about the way they behave towards their partners. They have also produced information booklets for women in heterosexual relationships and women in same sex relationships. For more information click here

To find out more information about the budget cuts for local domestic abuse services click here to be redirected to the government website.

Information regarding the Teenage Relationship Abuse Campaign run by the Home Office can be found by following this link. To view the Home Office toolkit for working with teenagers click here

MANCHESTER FORCED MARRIAGE STANDARD This is a useful tool for all commissioners or providers of forced marriage related provision, particularly those delivering training or devising protocols. This is a useful tool for all commissioners or providers of forced marriage related provision, particularly those delivering training or devising protocols.

THE FORCED MARRIAGE UNIT have helped us with the production of this document so that it represents the Forced Marriage Statutory Guidance. We would like you to work with us by using this tool to ensure that any work relating to forced marriage across Manchester is both consistent and of best quality. Please ensure that it is cascaded to those in your organisation who provide forced marriage training or are responsible for developing and renewing forced marriage protocols. Sarah Khalil Acting Adult Safeguarding Manager

GUARDIAN REPORT Director of public prosecutions Keir Starmer issues guidence to help distinguish genuine victims in danger of attack. To see the report click here.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, IMMIGRATION AND NO RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS Rights Of Women Report on the law surrounding domestic violence and immigration issues.

WOMEN AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS In January 2011 Platform 51 published a report (1) which showed that three in five girls and women in England and Wales experience mental health problems of some kind.

FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION GUIDELINES The Government has launched new guidelines to support front-line professionals such as teachers, health professionals, police officers and social workers to prevent and tackle female genital mutilation (FGM). The guidelines explain the complex issues around female genital mutilation; identify the signs that girls and women may be at risk or who are dealing with the consequences of FGM and set out the actions that professionals should take, often in conjunction with other agencies, to protect girls and women and offer them the support they need.

PATHway An independent Domestic Violence advisory service at St Mary’s Maternity Hospital, Manchester. An independent evaluation report has been carried out. The summary document can be found here and the full evaluation report can be downloaded here.


HOUSING OPTIONS PROTOCOL between Manchester City Council Homelessnessness Services, Manchester City Council Independent Domestic Violence Advice Service, Manchester Womens Aid and Independent Choices (Womens Domestic Abuse Helpline)

To view a presentation regarding Safeguarding Young Women and Girls from the impact of gangs and domestic abuse November 2010 click on the above link.

Women and children have consistently said that they would trust and disclose abuse to a health care professional, if they were encouraged and supported to do so. The guidance published in 2005, Department of Health: Domestic Abuse Handbook for Health Professionals is useful for all staff working in any agency, not just the NHS.

NICE QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE Pregnancy and Complex Social Factors September 2010 Providing information on a model for service provision for pregnant women with complex social factors.

SUPPORTING FAMILIES AFFECTED BY SUBSTANCE USE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Research Report written by Dr Sarah Galvani, University of Bedfordshire (2010)

PROF HESTER’S REPORT ON PERPETRATOR PROGRAMMES Sex and Violence: Improving your care – young people’s version of the Task Force Report on health aspects of Ending Violence against women and children.

IMPROVING SAFETY, REDUCING HARM: CHRILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE AND DOMESTIC ABUSE (2009) A toolkit which provides information about children and domestic violence, an overview of Every Child Matters, commissioning services, risk assessment and safety planning, guidance for schools, explanations of key standards and policies, sample forms and key fact sheets.

SAFE TO RETURN? PAKISTANI WOMEN, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ACCESS TO REFUGEE PROTECTION A report of a trans-national research project conducted in the UK and Pakistan by South Manchester Law Centre in Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.