Agenda item

Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse commissioning

Report to follow


Senior Public Health Specialist provided a presentation and spoke to the report (details in the published pack)


The Commission was advised that it’s important to be aware that there was a need for provision for men as well as women; this could be different types of provision.


There was a discussion about what support was available  for people affected by  Domestic violence and sexual abuse, and Members were advised that the needs assessment had made the following recommendations for additional service provision:


·         Counselling

·         Work directly with children;

·         Support around child to parent violence

·         Co-located services;

·         Clear pathways.


The Commission asked if the intention was to procure one service that covered both domestic and sexual violence and abuse; Next Link, a specialist provider of domestic violence and abuse services also had a sexual abuse support service called Safe Link; the Council had worked with the Sexual Violence Consortium, including Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse SupportSARSA, the Green House and Womankind.


Members were told that the two strands Domestic Violence & Abuse and Sexual Violence & Abuse had been joined up, although commissioned services had remained separate. Developing a model to approach this disconnect would be part of the strategy development.


There was a discussion about evidence and the Commission asked why the National Crime Survey data stopped at age 59.  Officers advised that this was the cut off for data at this point, although there was now a recognition that older people had suffered from DVA as well.  The Commission was also advised that there was a link between areas with high deprivation and abuse, although the data was unclear due to an element of under reporting.


The Director of Public Health said Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) educationin schools helped with early intervention,  an important element that enabled young people to respect each other.  Members were advised that there was a need to understand behaviours better to be able to reduce harm. 


There was a query whether the Bystander programme with UWE had been incorporated into a strategy and Members were advised that the principles of challenging sexist and other inappropriate behaviours had been incorporated and University of Exeter has developed this work in male-orientated environments, e.g. sports clubs.  Officers stated that they had been looking to embed these approaches.


There was a discussion about how people and groups who were not online could engage in the consultation, such as disabled women dependant on carers.  Officers told the Commission that there had been work with equalities groups; this was a known issue that required addressing, and all suggestions from Councillors were welcomed.


There was a query about whether men have been recruited to reach out and have conversations with boys, to talk about behaviours and respect agenda. The Deputy Mayor said that within the work that had been undertaken around mental health, which had included Bristol Somali youth group,  the use of  local role models in those communities were key.  The Commission was told that the Bystander initiative had trained people within communities to challenge behaviours, and the Future Men project had worked with males from BME communities so there could be male role models to challenge behaviours.


The Commission were invited to join officers on College Green for the Next Link annual candle-lit vigil and march to highlight the number of women and children affected by Domestic Abuseand Rape and SexualAbuse. The march highlighted the United Nation's International Elimination of Violence against Women's day.


Supporting documents: