International Women s Day - victims of domestic violence in Hackney urged to speak out

In the week of International Women’s Day (8 March), where the achievements of women are celebrated across the globe, Hackney Council is urging women who are suffering to speak out about domestic violence. Approximately a quarter of domestic violence incidents go unreported and untreated in the UK.

To support women affected by domestic violence, Hackney Council runs crucial, confidential services for victims, including counselling, one-to-one advocacy, support with finding refuge or safe emergency housing and help through the process of getting an injunction.

Since September 2009, working with partners from the Police, Tower Hamlets Council and Hackney-based domestic abuse charity, the Nia Project, the Council has run the Thames Specialist Domestic Violence Court (SDVC) which fast-tracks domestic violence cases, increasing victims’ confidence in the criminal justice system and bringing offenders to justice quickly. The court, which runs every Thursday at Thames Magistrates Court in Bow, provides every alleged victim with their own advocate who will support them through the process of giving evidence.

Since its launch, the Specialist Domestic Violence Court has seen a total of 115 domestic violence trials, resulting in 21 prison sentences and 14 restraining orders.

The court is now able to apply a new power, introduced in September 2009*, to protect victims by imposing restraining orders in court whether a perpetrator is convicted or acquitted of domestic violence. This power helps to keep victims safe and save them time otherwise spent applying for an injunction through the Family Court.

Cllr Alan Laing, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods,
said: "On the week of International Women s Day we urge all those who
are living with domestic abuse to take the first step and approach Hackney s Domestic Violence team for help.

"The team can guarantee that all help, advice and advocacy is given in
the strictest confidence by friendly and experienced case workers. Everyone who comes to our services for help will be offered a one-to- one case worker, who will tailor their support to meet the needs of each individual."

Find out about Hackney’s support services for those who have experienced domestic violence – from emergency accommodation, to refuge, counselling, advocacy and support in arranging injunctions, as well as the services of the SDVC by calling: Hackney Council’s Domestic Violence and Hate Crime Team: 0800 056 0905.

All domestic violence services put the safety of women and their children as their first priority; and their safety remains at the heart of all support, services and advice the Council offers.


* The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004.

44 per cent of domestic abuse survivors are victimised more than once. One in five are victimised three or more times.