About this strategy

Our Domestic Abuse Strategy 2022 to 2027 outlines how we'll work with our partners to tackle and prevent domestic abuse in Barnsley.

It's informed by the findings of a comprehensive needs assessment of our domestic abuse services. It outlines how we'll achieve our strategic priorities below:

  1. Providing victims and survivors of domestic abuse with the right support
  2. Preventing domestic abuse
  3. Ensuring a strong multi-agency response to domestic abuse
  4. Holding perpetrators to account and supporting them to change their behaviour.

Our strategy meets the regulations as required by the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. It contributes to the Safer Barnsley Partnership Plan 2021. 

Ultimately, our strategy aims to improve the lives of victims, survivors and their children. It helps make Barnsley a place where people are safe from domestic abuse.

We'd like your feedback 

Draft Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan 

As part of our ongoing mission to prevent domestic abuse we're currently working on a new plan and we'd like to get your thoughts about what's covered in it. 

You can read our Safer Places Delivery Partnership's Draft Violence Against Women and Girls Action Plan. Once you've read it please email us your comments to domesticabuse@barnsley.gov.uk.


Domestic abuse has far-reaching repercussions for all of society. It has devastating effects on families, children and local communities. In 2021, Parliament passed the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, the first statutory definition of domestic abuse.

What is domestic abuse

Abusive behaviour is defined as:

  • physical or sexual abuse
  • violent or threatening behaviour
  • controlling or coercive behaviour
  • economic abuse.  Including behaviour that has a substantial adverse effect on a person for example their  ability to obtain, use, or maintain money or property, or obtain goods or services
  • psychological, emotional or other abuse

It doesn't matter whether the behaviour consists of a single incident or a pattern of behaviour.

Domestic abuse doesn't only happen in current romantic relationships. It can occur if the people involved:

  • are, or have been, married to each other
  • are, or have been, civil partners of each other
  • have agreed to marry one another. (whether or not the agreement has been terminated)
  • have entered into a civil partnership agreement. (whether or not the agreement has been terminated)
  • are, or have been, in an intimate personal relationship with each other
  • each have, or there has been a time when the each have had, a parental relationship in relation to the same child
  • are relatives

Domestic abuse can affect anyone, regardless of:

  • age
  • gender identity
  • sex
  • race
  • sexual orientation
  • wealth
  • disability
  • location of the victim or perpetrator

What we know about domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is often referred to as a ‘hidden crime’. Domestic abuse largely happens behind closed doors or out of sight of others. It's also an under reported crime. Victims and survivors may fear not being believed or what might happen if they do report abuse. They may fear that they'll face barriers in accessing support. Therefore, it's likely that reported statistics will be much lower than real abuse levels.

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse involves the regular and deliberate use of words and non-physical actions used with the purpose to manipulate, weaken or frighten a person mentally and emotionally. It can confuse or influence a person’s thoughts and actions within their everyday lives. This can change their sense of self and can harm their wellbeing.

The cost of living crisis

Domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Perpetrators of domestic abuse are using concerns of financial hardship during the cost of living crisis as an extra tool for coercive control. This can include restricting access to money, work or items they need such as clothing and food.

For those experiencing domestic abuse, it can be dangerous, traumatic and relentless. Victims and survivors of domestic abuse are being faced with a choice – remaining in an unsafe home or facing poverty or homelessness. It's likely that reported statistics will be much lower than real abuse levels.

However, data is still useful in understanding how far reaching domestic abuse is.

The crime survey for England and Wales estimated in the year ending March 2023 that 2.1 million people aged 16 years and over (1.4 million women and 751,000 men) experienced domestic abuse. 889,918 domestic abuse- related crimes were recorded by police in England and Wales (excluding Devon and Cornwall).

More recent data is available at a local level. 

Domestic abuse incidents graph

During the period April 2019 to June 2021, there was a monthly average of 567 domestic abuse incidents reported to police in Barnsley.

There's evidence of an increase in overall incidents during and since the first Covid lockdown in March 2020. Monthly averages went up from 524 in the year prior to the pandemic (finishing March 2020) to 602 in the year finishing March 2021. There was a very clear spike during the first six months of lockdown, where monthly averages were at 637.

The most recent quarter (to end June 21) shows a slight increase (9.5%) on the previous quarter.  The total remains just below 600.

Domestic abuse service referrals

During 2020/21, IDAS received a total of 4122 referrals for all of its services. They're working with 4092 clients and receiving an average of 1022 referrals per quarter.

  • Female victims made up the vast majority of referrals (89%). 11% of referrals involved male victims. A total of 49 referrals to IDAS (1.2% of referrals) were known to be from transgender victims. 99 individuals (2.4% of clients) identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual.
  • Most referrals were for people in the 26 to 30 age group. Although the numbers of older people accessing IDAS represent a small part of the total, the numbers are by no means insignificant. In 2020/21, 104 people in their sixties; 68 people in their seventies; and 10 people aged 80 and over were referred to IDAS.
  • Around 7% of referrals in total were from minority ethnic backgrounds. The largest minority group were white Eastern Europeans.
  • 2.5% of IDAS clients during 2020/21 stated a language other than English as their main language. This represents 104 people and 27 different community spoken languages.
  • During 2020/21, 711 of IDAS’s 4092 (17%) clients identified as a disabled person or has having a health condition, with mental health being by far the most common. 348 (8.5%) of IDAS’s clients described themselves as having a mental health condition.

Domestic abuse and children

In 2022/2023, 6.5% of IDAS referrals were made for women who were known to be pregnant. In 2020/21, domestic abuse was identified as a risk factor in nearly three-quarters (73%) of cases coming to child protection conferences. Domestic abuse is by far the most frequently identified risk factor in these audits.

This figure – as others relating to domestic abuse – had jumped up during 2020/21. In the previous two years, 59% (2018/19) and 48% (2019/20) of cases coming to child protection conferences included domestic abuse as a risk factor.

Domestic abuse and housing

In the period 2020/21, housing options were approached by an average of 96 people citing domestic abuse per quarter (32 per month, or 7 per week).

Women made up the vast majority making a formal homeless application where domestic abuse was the primary cause of homelessness. This is 94% compared to 6% of clients being men. However, men made up 34% of total clients approaching the Housing Options service. This is a figure not shown in the number of men making formal homeless applications. Women made up 66% of clients approaching the Housing Options service.

The proportion of households containing children approaching Housing Options citing domestic abuse has significantly increased. Households with children are more likely to make homeless applications than those without. There's a greater proportion of households with children making homeless applications (45%) compared to approaches to the service (27%).

Developing the strategy 

In 2021, we brought in the work of Imogen Blood Associates. They carried out and produced a detailed needs assessment of the domestic abuse services provided in Barnsley. They carried out stakeholder interviews, analysis of a range of service data and case studies, an online survey, and practice sharing discussions. The needs assessment set out to assess the volume of domestic abuse in Barnsley. They also identified gaps in the current services offered for domestic abuse.

Carrying out the needs assessment met the Domestic Abuse Act’s requirement. They're assessing the need for housing-based domestic abuse support. Its findings helped to create this strategy and are continuing to help our approach for 2022/2023.

This strategy will be a live document. It will make sure our priorities can correctly respond to the changing landscape of domestic abuse and the needs of victims.


Understanding the wider picture

This strategy is part of a bigger picture of works that are in place to help to tackle domestic abuse.  Here are some of the things we're working on to help and support. 

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 

This strategy is part of, and informed by, a wider framework of legislation and governance for domestic abuse.

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021.

The Act requires local authorities to:

  • provide housing based support to victims of domestic abuse
  • give victims of domestic abuse priority need for homelessness assistance. It grants secure lifetime tenancies when granting new secure tenancies to social tenants who had or has a secure lifetime or assured tenancy
  • appoint a multi-agency Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board
  • assess the need for housing based domestic abuse support in their area for all victims and their children. This includes those who come from outside the area
  • develop, publish and give effect to a domestic abuse strategy
  • monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy
  • report back to central government

For more details on the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, you can read the factsheet on gov.uk.

Safer Barnsley Partnership 

The Safer Barnsley Partnership is the statutory partnership. Its responsible for tackling crime and disorder, protecting vulnerable people and reducing reoffending.

All members of the partnership are committed to working to end domestic abuse. It creates a culture of zero tolerance towards domestic abuse in Barnsley. Amongst others, the Safer Barnsley Partnership’s commitments include:

  • improving and enhancing the response to domestic abuse by targeting offenders. It offers an excellent victim’s service.
  • completing the strategic review of substance misuse, domestic abuse and multiple needs services. It presents a business case for extending the service.
  • evidencing how the local authority is leading in developing domestic abuse services and those proposed in the Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 to make sure victims have safe housing.

For more details you can visit Safer Barnsley Partnership.

Domestic abuse is a high priority for the Safer Barnsley Partnership and its Harm Reduction Sub-Group. The Harm Reduction Sub-Group will perform the function of the multi-agency Domestic Abuse Local Partnership Board. This is outlined in the Domestic Abuse Act.

A key objective of the Harm Reduction Sub-Group is to "Work together to make sure that domestic abuse becomes socially unacceptable. Making sure the harm caused to victims and their families is reduced."

The Harm Reduction Sub-Group’s key commitments for domestic abuse are:

  • Workforce training: All BMBC and strategic partner workforce managers trained to identify and offer support through domestic abuse.
  • Safeguarding:  All school and college safeguarding leads equipped to manage domestic abuse identified with pupils and others.
  • Safe housing: Develop the domestic abuse safe housing. Establish additional housing portfolio.
  • Widening access to support:  Approach the market to engage potential domestic abuse providers.  For the delivery of future provision.
  • Reducing inequalities: We're committed to developing further our specialisms within our services. For LGBTQ+, BAME, the deaf community and work with young people.
  • Support to children and young people: Providing therapeutic group and individual work to children and young people impacted by familial domestic abuse.

The commitments are reflected in our Safer Barnsley Partnership Plan 2022 to 2026, which is currently under development.

Stronger Communities Partnership

The Stronger Communities Partnership is a multi-agency board that contributes towards our health and wellbeing vision for Barnsley.

The Stronger Communities Partnership vision is to make sure people in our communities get the right support, at the right time, in the right place to tackle problems early.

Early help is relevant to preventing domestic abuse. It's about focusing on the root causes of problems. This will help to improve outcomes for children, young people, families and vulnerable adults. It also avoids costly statutory interventions.

The Early Help Plan 2022-24 is currently under development.

Children and young people

The impact of domestic abuse on children and young people can be incredibly damaging. This strategy acknowledges the importance of working closely with children and young people’s services. We need to keep children and families safe, by tackling and preventing Domestic Abuse in Barnsley.

This strategy supports Barnsley’s Children & Young People’s Trust (BCYPT). Several priorities are identified in the BCYPT’s Children & Young People’s Plan.

Safeguarding adults 

Domestic abuse often co-exists within a range of complex issues. This includes mental health issues or substance misuse. The response to domestic abuse therefore plays a vital role in Barnsley’s overall response to safeguarding vulnerable adults. This strategy supports the ambitions of the Barnsley Safeguarding Adults Board Strategic Plan.

Barnsley 2030

Looking at developing support services and the prevention of domestic abuse. This strategy also supports the vision of a healthy Barnsley.

For more details read the Barnsley 2030 strategy.

Violence against women and girls

This strategy will also evidence how we, together with our Safer Barnsley Partnership partners will support the Government’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy by:

  • prioritising prevention
  • supporting victims
  • supporting the Criminal Justice and Legal system to pursue and remove perpetrators


What we currently deliver

In 2021, we commissioned a detailed needs assessment of the domestic abuse services provided in Barnsley.  

Introduction video

Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS)

Domestic abuse can affect anyone. It happens regardless of age, gender identity, sex, race, disability or sexual orientation. Barnsley domestic abuse services are available to anyone who's facing domestic abuse. Our services are delivered by the specialist charity Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS). They're based in a community hub in Goldthorpe developed by Ministry of Justice (MoJ) grant money. Services delivered by IDAS include:

  • Independent domestic violence advisors/advocates (IDVAs). They offer advice and support, crisis intervention, safety planning, advocacy and practical and emotional support.
  • Therapeutic groups and counselling
  • Recovery and safety planning and care 
  • Target hardening
  • Community support
  • Recovery check-ups
  • Management of the Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC) process

Accommodation based support

Both nationally and locally, housing based support for victims and survivors is at the forefront of agendas for service provision. Housing concerns are often a significant barrier for victims and survivors leaving an abusive partner. Victims can be subject to serious financial and emotional hardship due to having to leave their home (Women’s Aid, 2020).

Current support offered in Barnsley includes buying in the provision of a women’s-only refuge delivered by IDAS. It consists of eight self-contained units, the refuge is available for Barnsley residents, as well as domestic abuse victims and survivors from other local council areas.

We've commissioned Target Housing, a Registered social landlord to purchase four properties across the borough on our behalf. These will vary in size and will be used for victims and survivors of domestic abuse. Target will provide intensive housing support for residents whilst IDAS will provide domestic abuse support through a specialist worker.

In partnership with IDAS and Humankind, our housing options team also provide specialist support to female offenders who have experience of domestic abuse through four separate units of safe housing.

Our housing options team provide temporary and emergency housing for victims and survivors who present as homeless due to domestic abuse. They work closely with Berneslai Homes to identify suitable properties for victims and survivors.

Survivors voice support service

We've recently commissioned GROW to provide a peer led post-crisis support service for women and their children who have previously been subjected to domestic abuse. The service will support and empower survivors and their families to live safely and take back control of their lives. Delivery will include:

  • A key worker for each client/family.
  • Coproduced support/resettlement plans which are holistic and bespoke to individuals’ needs.
  • One-to-one support.
  • Weekly group support and activities.
  • Courses and learning programmes covering topics such as health and wellbeing, building and maintaining healthy relationships and budgeting.

Support for children 

The Domestic Abuse Act, for the first time, recognises children exposed to domestic abuse as victims and survivors in their own right. It's widely recognised that witnessing domestic abuse can have devastating long and short term effects on children of all ages. We're committed to designing a system that sees through the eyes of children. We'll make sure that the right support is available at the right time to those children and young people affected by domestic abuse. This prioritises early intervention and a holistic approach.

IDAS currently provide the following support to the children of victims and survivors of domestic abuse:

  • You & Me Mum. A programme for mothers in refuge, or anyone who may have children but that may not be residing in the refuge with them. This aims to support and empower victims and survivors in furthering their understanding of their role as a parent. It addresses the needs of children and young people who have lived with domestic abuse.
  • Protective behaviours. The programme helps children and adults recognise situations where they feel unsafe or worried. This includes feeling stressed, bullied or threatened etc.
  • One-to-one parenting courses
  • One-to-one support with children around thoughts and feelings
  • Safety planning
  • Crèche/after school clubs
  • Work around topical issues with children such as online abuse or bullying, safety planning when moving on, and domestic abuse.
  • Trips and seasonal events/parties.

We, in partnership with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have also funded the role of a children’s therapeutic worker.

An IDAS Independent Domestic Violence Advisor (IDVA) is going to be redeployed to our children’s integrated front door team to provide specialist advice and support for cases where domestic abuse is present.

Domestic abuse training

IDAS provide training to a range of partners. IDAS provide training on specific topics to groups at their request. Its often being delivered by their local IDVA team in order to build positive working relationships with partners. IDAS will also attend team meetings of partners to increase visibility of the service. It will also provide a chance for them to ask questions.

IDAS have been commissioned to provide a bespoke training package for Barnsley professionals covering topics related to domestic abuse such as safeguarding children and recognising children are also victims and survivors of domestic abuse. It also covers understanding trauma and how it affects victims and supporting male victims and survivors of abuse.

Communication and campaigning

IDAS employ a comms officer who manages their Instagram and Facebook accounts. They make sure their social media presence is always up to date and in line with current news.

IDAS also join in with local events such as Safeguarding Awareness Week and school galas. They have the aims of making sure they're visible in as many areas of the community as possible. They're promoting their services and raising awareness.

Stakeholder interviews from the needs assessment report many more victims and survivors coming forward following media awareness campaign during COVID-19. Police data shows that, in 2018/19, there were an average of nine disclosures per quarter under Clare’s Law. This increased to an average of 29 per quarter in 2019/20 and to 38 per quarter in 2020/21 following the release of media campaigns.

Operation Encompass 

All schools and colleges in Barnsley are signed up to Operation Encompass. Its a national initiative which makes sure that a school’s trained designated safeguarding lead will get a notification prior to the start of the next school day. This is after police have attended a domestic abuse incident where there are children involved.  This is done to make sure the child is given ‘pastoral’ support.

Operation Encompass offers a chance for greater support to the child if the incident is repeated or escalates. It  encourages better partnership between schools and police. The programme aims to make sure that the sharing of information results in appropriate support. This needs to be given to children who are facing domestic abuse.

South Yorkshire perpetrator programme - Cranstoun's Inspire to Change

In partnership with our regional neighbours, Doncaster Council, Sheffield City Council, Rotherham Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.  We commission a county wide voluntary domestic abuse perpetrator programme. This is delivered by Cranstoun.

Cranstoun’s Inspire to Change programme is available to perpetrators of all genders from the age of 16+. People who have displayed controlling, abusive or violent behaviour in their intimate or inter family relationships. Cranstoun’s Inspire to Change has been designed to help perpetrators find better ways to manage and control their abusive behaviour. It encourages participants to think and behave more positively in order to prevent harm to their partner and their families.

For more details or to make a referral visit Cranstoun’s Inspire to Change programme.

Domestic homicide reviews 

A Domestic Homicide Review (DHR) is a multi-agency review, looking at the circumstances in which the death of a person aged 16 or over has, or appears to have, resulted from violence. This could be from abuse or neglect by a person whom they're related or with whom they're, or had been, in an intimate personal relationship. It could also be a member of the same household as themselves. For more details about the process of DHRs and to read previous DHRs conducted by Barnsley’s CSP, visit domestic homicide review.

DHR’s are not designed to assign blame. The purpose of a DHR is to consider and evaluate the circumstances that led to the death of an individual. It helps to identify learning options for agencies. This can be used so they can work better together and prevent such tragic situations from happening again.

Going forward, we'll also conduct “Near Miss” DHRs. These take place in the event that a victim of domestic abuse had sustained a potentially life threatening injury, serious harm, or significant impairment. It records the circumstances of the incident, and raises concern about the way local professionals and services work together. Safeguarding victims of domestic abuse.

A “Near Miss” process for DHRs will allow us to make sure that learning from cases which don't meet the criteria for a DHR aren't lost. It will provide further options to inform and improve local inter-agency practice in response to domestic abuse.


Where are our gaps?

Early findings from the needs assessment suggest domestic abuse in Barnsley has become more complex. 


Findings from our needs assessment suggest that domestic abuse in Barnsley has become much more complex. The ‘traditional’ scenario of a female victims fleeing violence from a male perpetrator isn't as prominent as it once was. Services are seeing more cases of mutual partner conflict, female perpetrators/male victims, same sex couples, older/adult children abusing parents or grandparents. There are also cases where people don't want to leave the property and/or relationship.

The needs assessment also found that there are increasing numbers of women who have complex needs.  This includes mental or physical health issues, substance misuse issues, offending history, and housing instability.

Key gaps found by Imogen Blood Associates at this stage in their research are shown in the sections below.

Providing safe and suitable housing support 

A gap in our service provision is the lack of available safe and suitable housing for victims.

Barnsley’s refuge typically receives around 10 referrals per month. (120 per year; 33 in the most recent quarter). They're able to accommodate roughly one client in every three referrals. Refusals are both due to lack of vacancies and needs being too high. Refuge can't accommodate people with multiple and complex needs.

The lack of vacancies in the refuge is driven by clients staying at the refuge for long periods of time. This is partially due to lack of suitable housing to move to. There are long waitlists for social housing properties, managed by our housing company Berneslai Homes. There's also financial challenges for victims looking to move on into the private rented sector. Further to a lack of move-on housing, the needs assessment has shown a lack of short-term emergency housing. There's a lack of what can be used to offer a safe space for victims or perpetrators to ‘cool off’ and safely consider their options.

The needs assessment highlighted that there's a large gap in housing support. This is for victims who don't fit the ‘traditional’ description of a victim of domestic abuse.  For example, male victims or victims with complex needs. There's also a found need for housing options officers to be made further aware of how target hardening measures can be accessed by victims living in a range of tenures.

Support for children and young people 

The Domestic Abuse Act makes sure that children are seen as victims of domestic abuse in their own right. Therefore, understanding our gaps in support for children and young people is crucial in designing future services.

The needs assessment highlighted that, in Barnsley:

  • Households with children are more likely to make homeless applications than those without.
  • The proportion of households containing children approaching Housing Options citing domestic abuse.  Its also shown a great increase over the last four quarters.
  • 823 children were discussed at MARAC meetings during 2020/21.
  • Services are reporting an increase in older/adult children abusing parents or grandparents.

The needs assessment found that there's a lack of specialist support for children and young people in relation to domestic abuse. It also showed that support for children who are residing in the refuge with their parent is limited.

Support for perpetrators 

Stakeholder interviews found a need for more skilled work with men/perpetrators. A more holistic support is needed to support and housing options in order to reduce the risk of repeat incidents. The needs assessment also finds a need for specialist help for younger perpetrators both male and female. There's also need for voluntary access to healthy relationships courses.  There should also be mandated programmes for those convicted of offences.

Review of MARAC

Stakeholder interviews with professionals who attend MARAC highlighted the nature of number of cases reaching MARAC. It resulted in lengthy meetings and difficulties in discussing cases in a timely manner. Individual workers are highly committed to engaging in the MARAC process.  They note that MARAC is an “add-on” to their already substantive roles. They have limited resource to follow-up and feedback on actions agreed during meetings.


What we're working on now

There are 4 priority areas that we are focusing on to help keep people safe. 

Introduction video

1. Providing victims and survivors of domestic abuse with the right support 

This priority focuses on providing victims and survivors of domestic abuse, and their children, with quality support to keep them safe. This includes meeting the requirements of the Domestic Abuse Act. It provides safe housing to allow victims and survivors to leave their abusive situation. There's also counselling and therapeutic support to provide victims with the confidence they need to move on. It's our priority that our domestic abuse services meet the needs of our communities.

Our aims:

Increase our capacity for providing safe housing to victims and survivors of domestic abuse

  • Purchase extra housing units in order to temporarily accommodate victims and survivors with complex needs and diversify the pool of housing options available.
  • Review and improve the monitoring of pathways into and out of the refuge.
  • Create a Housing Placement Coordinator post to support victims and survivors of domestic abuse access safe and suitable accommodation. Utilising the homeless prevention fund (targeting the rent arrears/cost of bonds). Unblock housing problems for victims and survivors and perpetrators

Ensure the development of services is driven by the needs of survivors

  • Ensure our domestic abuse service remains robust and inclusive. Addressing the needs found in our 2021 Needs Assessment.
  • Establish a framework for frequent needs assessments. Ensuring services are responding to the evolving needs of victims and survivors in Barnsley.
  • Establish a Lived Experience Group to provide ongoing feedback on our services.
  • Support the voice of survivors at strategic meetings such as our Domestic Abuse Partnership.

Develop an increased offer of community support, including an increased offer of support to children and families

  • Contribute to and monitor two full posts working with LGBT+ and BME victims and survivors and survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Continue to place children at the centre of provision.
  • Develop an increased offer of therapeutic support.  To all children who have been affected by domestic abuse.

Introduce the Safe & Together™ model in Barnsley

For more information about the Safe & Together™ model visit the Safe & Together Institute webpage.

  • The Safe & Together™ model offers practical solutions and meaningful tools to support assessment and intervention with families where domestic abuse is a factor.
  • The Safe & Together™ model can be practically applied across all systems touching on domestic violence and child well-being.
  • Where it is safe to do so, children are kept with survivors of domestic abuse without adopting a failure to protect approach. This reduces victim-blaming and creates a common language and framework to negotiate a way forward.

2. Preventing domestic abuse

We understand that tackling domestic abuse requires real cultural change. That prevention work is at the heart of this. This includes raising awareness of domestic abuse and the services available.  Establishing a well informed population on the dangers and signs of domestic abuse. This also includes thinking about the impact of abuse on children. How this affects the likelihood of victims and survivors becoming future perpetrators.  It ensures that individuals understand the difference between healthy and abusive relationships. Also know where to go for support.

In identifying prevention as a priority. We also supports the government’s violence against women and girls strategy.

Our aims:

Continue to develop a strong comms plan to raise awareness and signpost to services

  • Work with our service provider and partners to deliver strong and consistent messages.  Through regular community updates and social media campaigns.
  • Develop communication campaigns targeted at specific events. Valentines Day, Christmas, sporting tournaments etc.
  • Develop unique communication programmes recognising different experiences of domestic abuse. LGBTQ+, BAME, male experiences etc.

Develop a curriculum for school safeguarding leads, creating a 'Wellness' Hub of Excellence for delivering education around healthy relationships

  • Utilising the infrastructure created by Operation Encompass. To develop a consistent training programme across all schools.
  • Establish a peer support network for safeguarding leads in schools.

3. Providing strong multi-agency support

We recognise that in order to end domestic abuse, it cannot be tackled in isolation. This means creating and maintaining strong relationships between agencies.  Also based on meaningful communication and partnership working.

Tackling domestic abuse is a key theme in the Safer Barnsley Partnership’s Violence Reduction Plan. Much of the work to address this priority is done through the Violence and Organised Crime Partnership and the Domestic Abuse Partnership.

Our aims:

Ensure the MARAC works for all agencies and delivers the best outcome for victims and survivors.

  • Subject to needs assessment advice. Review and refresh the MARAC process. Ensure the MARAC works for all agencies and can deliver the best outcomes for victims and survivors.

Maintain and develop positive relationships between agencies who are exposed to victims and survivors of domestic abuse

  • Continue to develop internal and external communications to ensure all agencies are familiar with the referral system for cases of domestic abuse.
  • Continue to develop and deliver domestic abuse training to a range of agencies. Also ensure that training is a key feature of future service specifications.
  • Develop the strong relationships that already exist between professional agencies to include those on the periphery.

Continue the success of our multi-agency Domestic Abuse Partnership

  • Continue to develop the agenda for the Domestic Abuse Partnership to include participation and ownership by members.
  • Develop and strengthen the service access pathway and make sure the voice of the survivor is central.
  • Establish a network of survivor voices to support with future developments.

Identify options or pooling resources amongst agencies to deliver the best services for victims and survivors

  • Continue to work closely with our regional neighbours.  To identify options for the joint commissioning of services.
  • Strengthen relationships with Children’s Social Care.  To ensure resources are fully utilised and explore options for joint commissioning further support for children.

Develop the expectations of agencies and professionals working together in the future to keep Domestic Abuse on everybody’s agenda and improve the outcomes for victims and survivors and their children

  • Develop the “Near Miss” DHR process to provide a further channel to identify ongoing learning options for agencies responding to domestic abuse.

4. Holding perpetrators to account and supporting them to change their behaviour

We recognise that too often, the burden of ending domestic abuse has fallen upon victims and survivors. In line with the government’s VAWG strategy. We prioritise the change of perpetrators and shifting the onus to change to those perpetrating domestic abuse. In prioritising supporting perpetrators to change their behaviour.  We hope to contribute to a culture change in how tackling domestic abuse is perceived. Prevent re-offending, and create positive outcomes for victims, perpetrators and their children.

Our aims:

Continue to support and develop the existing perpetrator programme to support perpetrators to change behaviour

  • Develop access points to the programme across the borough.
  • Develop communications to ensure the existing perpetrator programme is advertised to all relevant agencies.  So the programme is offered to a wide range of perpetrators including younger and female offenders.
  • Continue, with our partners, to monitor the existing perpetrator programme to ensure the best outcomes are being delivered for victims and survivors and perpetrators in South Yorkshire.

Support South Yorkshire Police in developing and implementing the MATAC process

  • MATAC refers to the Multi-Agency Tasking and Coordination process of identifying and tackling serial perpetrators of Domestic Abuse.  It's been piloted in Northumbria and rolled out across six other police forces in the North East and Yorkshire, including SYP.
  • A MATAC panel should bring together local agencies to identify strategies for responding to the most harmful Domestic Abuse perpetrators.
  • We await direction from SYP on how best we can support this process.