Domestic abuse

The impact of domestic abuse (DA) on anyone and can be devastating. The effects are often hidden, leaving lasting physical, mental, social, and economic damage which can last a lifetime. It is estimated nationally that the cost of DA is upwards of £66 billion annually, most notably in costs associated with the long lasting emotional or mental impacts of DA, but also significantly in physical healthcare, policing, criminal justice, and lost productivity

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Domestic Abuse Needs Assessment

The Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21 states new statutory obligations for Local Authorities to respond to the issue of domestic abuse and domestic violence. This includes a statutory requirement for local authorities to provide a needs assessment to influence and inform the commissioning of services across a partnership, with oversight from a Local Partnership Board. Consequently an extensive review into Domestic Abuse was commissioned for Kent and Medway in 2020.

Input has been provided by Kent Police, the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, KCC Commissioning teams, KCC Adult Social Services, KCC Public Health, Medway Council, the Kent Community Safety Partnership, Prison and Probation services, Kent Fire and Rescue, Maidstone Borough Council, Swale Borough Council, and Sevenoaks Council, and collated and presented by the Kent Public Health Observatory.

The needs assessment highlights the prevalence of domestic abuse, which is estimated to affect 5.7% of adults annually (around 75,000 to 80,000 adults in Kent and Medway), and also considers the devastating and long-lasting impact on many victims and costs to society. The assessment examines in detail the prevalences and impact of abuse on different genders, age groups, ethnicities and variations in different parts of the county, as well as assessing the accessibility and impact of different support services for these different groups.