Standing Together 

is a multi-agency 

EuroPROFEM - The European Men Profeminist Network http://www.europrofem.org 

 

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Standing Together is a multi-agency and co-ordinated response to the crime of domestic violence in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

 

In brief, Standing Together Against Domestic Violence is an integrated multi-agency response to domestic violence in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Please find the Project Outline with our contact details attached. Standing Together does not have a website however one of our partners, the Domestic Violence Intervention Project has - www.dvip.org  

 

Additionally Standing Together has recently produced several publications and I have attached an order form should you wish to purchase any of the reports. 

Please contact us if you have any questions or require clarification of any issues.  

Nicole Hunter Coordinator  n.hunter_standingtogether(at)btinternet.com  

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Standing Together Domestic Violence Definition:

Standing Together participants use the term domestic violence to include any form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse within or after an intimate relationship. Current research and the experiences of a wide range of agencies responding to domestic violence indicate that overwhelmingly it is women who experience the abuse and almost always, it is the male partners or ex-partners who are the perpetrators. The needs of women survivors for services are therefore the focus of the work of Standing Together. It is acknowledged that domestic violence also takes place within same sex relationships and that men can be abused by women and Standing Together aims to respond appropriately to the needs of male survivors for services.

January 2002.
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PUBLICATION UNITCOST*
Survivors Speak: A report of the findings of consulting with survivors ofdomestic violence 2001 – 2002 (pp76)(This report has been subsided by the CRP) £5.00
Health and Domestic Violence: What can be done?A report of the implementation of a domestic violence protocol at three health sites in London March 2002 (pp68). (This report has been subsided by the CRP) £5.00
Effective Interventions in Domestic Violence:Explorations in improving the justice system’s response (pp77) £6.00
Standing Together Annual Report 2001 50p
Standing Together Information Pamphlet Free
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Standing Together aims to:

· Improve safety for those subject to domestic violence, from the moment of first contact with the criminal justice system through to the period after the abuser completes the sentence

· Increase offenders’ accountability for their actions

· Deliver more effective prosecution and sentencing of abusers

· Strengthen the message that domestic violence is a crime which will not be tolerated

Standing Together against Domestic Violence has grown out of many years’ work on domestic violence by voluntary and statutory agencies in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

The project has been inspired by the work of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project in Duluth USA.

 

The Partnership

The partners are: Hammersmith and Fulham Police; the Crown Prosecution Service West London Branch; London Probation Area; ADVANCE (Advocacy Project); The Hammersmith and Fulham Community Law Centre; Charing Cross Hospital Accident and Emergency Department; the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP); Hammersmith Women’s Aid (HWA); Awareness in Practice and LBHF Council (Community Safety Unit, Information Technology Services and Social Services). West London Magistrates Court and Blackfriars Crown Court have observer status on the Steering Committee.

The Objectives of Standing Together are:

1. To increase the safety of domestic violence survivors in the short and longer term.

2. To increase the safety of children who live with domestic violence.

3. To hold abusers accountable for their actions.

4. To ensure that the onus of holding the abuser accountable lies with statutory and other agencies rather than with the survivor.

5. Whilst acknowledging that each agency maintains its independence, to ensure that all the agencies involved work in an integrated and co-ordinated way with each other to achieve these objectives.

6. To provide accountability to the public, to survivors, and to other agencies for the ways in which domestic violence is handled.

7. To test and develop effective policies, procedures and practical measures which can be integrated into the ongoing work of agencies during and after the Pilot.

The Objectives provide the framework for setting targets and monitoring and evaluating the Project.

 

The Work Begins

In the autumn of 1998 the participating agencies agreed their roles and drafted the initial protocols. The statutory agencies committed their time and resources. Applications were submitted to the National Lottery Charities Board. Inner London Probation Service made a ‘start-up’ grant to employ the first Advocate. The HF Regeneration Partnership helped to fund the Co-ordinator. ‘Standing Together’ went operational from 1 November 1998.

The project developed the structure, management, and initial protocols in the Fulham area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. In November 2000 the co-ordinated response was extended Borough wide to Hammersmith.

 

Innovation

Tracking and co-ordination lie at the heart of this Project. Standing Together is innovative in that partners are holding each other accountable for the roles they have agreed to play and to change practice within their own agencies. Good co-ordination is essential in negotiating the problems as they arise, reviewing the protocols, assessing the monitoring against the objectives and developing an evaluation of the work. Standing Together is unique in that participating agencies sit around the table once a month and share their statistics, monitoring and experiences face to face. This is an operational partnership and the relevant agencies meet monthly to discuss cases, tackle problems and improve responses.

 

Measuring Success

All participating agencies are monitoring their work as part of Standing Together This includes:

· The number of incidents, crimes, severity, repeat offences

· The number of referrals to participating agencies of victims, offenders and of children at risk

· The number of arrests, charges, bail breaches, prosecutions, pre-sentence reports

· The number of court orders for attendance at violence prevention programmes, number of offenders completing them and their re-arrest rate

· The number of successful prosecutions with or without the co-operation of the victim

Measures are being put in place to evaluate how the attitudes of offenders change and how women perceive their level of safety in Standing Together and their awareness of their rights and options.

Targets have been set to reduce repeat victimisation by 5% and to increase the number of suspects arrested and charged by 10% as part of the HF Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy.

Data collection is an important part of the work of the Project. Agencies have perceived an increase in cases prosecuted, an increase in guilty pleas and an improvement in the preparation of cases.

 

The Partnership in Action

The roles of partners of ‘Standing Together’ are as follows:

The Hammersmith and Fulham Community Law Centre

· Employ the Co-ordinator and Tracking Officer of ‘Standing Together’

Police

· Chair the Steering Committee of ‘Standing Together Against Domestic Violence’

· Employ the staff for the two Crime Reduction Projects

· Follow a pro-active arrest policy

· Offer all victims referral to the Advocates at ADVANCE

· Enhance evidence gathering, including forensic evidence and use of cameras at the scene to reduce dependence on victim testimony

· Liase closely with CPS and ADVANCE to build more effective prosecutions

· Extend the good practice developed in Fulham to the whole Borough

· Train officers in Hammersmith Community Safety Unit in enhanced evidence gathering and in Standing Together procedures

· Employ a Police Tracking Officer to input data directly onto the STATS Database

· Monitor all domestic violence cases

· Share this data with ‘Standing Together’

· Enter agreed data onto the STATS system

Crown Prosecution Service West London Branch

· Continue to apply best practice in prosecuting cases of domestic violence

· Tag and Monitor all Hammersmith and Fulham cases for checking by a key prosecutor

· Share this data with ‘Standing Together’

· Maintain a continuous dialogue with the police, advising on matters of evidence and policy

· Meet on a monthly basis with Advocates and Police and Co-ordinator to learn from case experience

· Make lawyers at CPS aware of the aims of Standing Together and its role in building successful prosecutions, supporting the new Guidelines for CPS.

 

West London Magistrates Court and Blackfriars Crown Court

· Address the safety needs of the victims using the Court

· Arrange for briefing of Magistrates in the work of Standing Together

· Monitor all domestic violence cases

· Share this data with Standing Together

· West London Magistrates Court is developing and managing a Specialist Domestic Violence court in conjunction with Standing Together

London Probation Area

· Write pre-sentence reports as requested by the Court

· Ensure a place on a Violence Prevention Programme for any perpetrator sent there by the Courts as a condition of probation

 

· Monitor all such referrals and their outcome

· Share this data with Standing Together

Hammersmith and Fulham Council Community Safety Unit

 

· With the Council Information Technology Services Department, install and maintain the ‘STATS’ domestic violence computer tracking application

Hammersmith Women’s Aid

 

· Take into their two Refuges any woman from the Pilot area, referred by the Police, as an emergency over night

· Offer an Outreach Service to women in the community

· Share data with ST

 

ADVANCE

· Provide 24-hour information and support to victims where Police have been called to incidents of domestic violence and to victims referred through the CRP Health Project

· Offer advocacy with related matters [Housing, Refuge, Welfare, Child safety, Civil Law, Immigration]

· Offer support to any woman as her case goes through the criminal and civil justice system, accompany her to Court, keep her informed of case progress etc

· Work to ensure the maximum safety of the victim at all times

· Offer referral to specialist agencies for additional support where necessary e.g. with language, culture, ability or sexuality

· Monitor all referrals

· Share this data with Standing Together

· Input data directly onto the STATS Database

 

Domestic Violence Intervention Project [DVIP]

· Offer a place on a violence prevention programme to any man from LBHF volunteering to join one

· Contact the partners of such men and offer support

· Provide support to women survivors of domestic abuse

· Monitor this work

· Share this data with Standing Together

 

LBHF Social Services Department

· Take referrals from Police of children at risk due to domestic violence

· Monitor referrals made

· Share this data with Standing Together

· Produce with the Domestic Violence Forum and the Area Child Protection Committee, multi-agency guidelines for good practice in Child Protection where domestic violence is present

Awareness In Practice

· Provide Training advice, assessments and expertise

· Provide expertise in community safety audits

Charing Cross Hospital

· Screen, record and refer to support services, all women over the age of 16 and all men with indicators of abuse coming in to the A&E Dept or the two Walk-In Health Centres in the Borough

All partners have committed themselves to jointly managing the ‘Standing Together Against Domestic Violence’ co-ordinated response through monthly Steering Committee meetings.

June 2002

E:PACK CONTENTSProject Outline 2002.doc.

 

 

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