Merseyside police continue to work tirelessly with local authorities after UK data shows that high percentages of domestic abuse are experienced in young girls before they reached the age of 16.
Merseyside polices intelligence bureau team are currently working closely with the violent reduction partnership and public health to make sure that support is out there for all victims with increased domestic abuse, especially regarding younger victims.
Collette Rose Williams, Intelligence Manager for Merseyside Police in Liverpool, stated that, “we are making sure we are getting the right officers and staff around adverse child experiences, moving multiagency forward, becoming more trauma informed and have strategic practices put in a place.”
“There are ten adverse child experiences and one is definitely around domestic abuse”
The Office of National Statistics data disclosed that women had a higher percentage rate of abuse, under the age of 16, with 24.8 per cent, compared with 16.5 per cent of men.
Colette’s role is to protect vulnerable people, she looks at child exploitation and harmful practises towards younger victims in Liverpool. Her high profile allows her to have a strong team of researchers and analysists that look at the strategic priorities for the police force.
Adverse childhood experiences have shown that women had suffered from major trauma within different forms of an abusive background before reaching the age of 16; witnessing domestic violence and abuse at this young age was presented at the highest percentage.
“There are ten adverse child experiences and one is definitely around domestic abuse,” explained Colette.
Colette went on to say that herself and the team “really make sure we mitigate any harm and risk in our communities and deploy our resources affectively.”
Unfortunately, domestic abuse is an immense issue that needs to be controlled; an issue that is sadly most commonly seen in male and female adults.
John Bowers, Data Intelligence Manager for Liverpool City Council, focuses on family difficulties, monitoring issues and is currently involved in the troubled family program. Especially looking into child exploitation, organised crime and domestic abuse.
John stated that, “there has definitely been a rise during the pandemic in domestic abuse, more so in the complexity of families, but it is well under reported.”
He continued, saying that with a common trend in adults, “Liverpool do have 200 issues of child on adult domestic abuse cases.”
However, recent data released by the Office of National Statistics in January 2020, showed data from the end of March 2019 for the, “Proportion of adults aged 18 to 74, who experienced abuse before the age of 16,” Office for National Statistics studied.
Emotional abuse, was sadly one of the highest traumas suffered at 11.8 per cent, along with young victims under the age of 16, who witnessed domestic violence and abuse with 11.9 per cent of women from the UK.
Domestic abuse is not always easy to witness in child victims; therefore, it is important to look out for signs of behaviour. “We look at vulnerability in children; have they been involved in low level crime, exploitation, or organised crime groups,” Collette said.
The North West have a range of services that are there to help victims of the different forms of abuse they might sadly encounter.
With the two biggest football teams in the Liverpool city region, Everton and Liverpool in the community work closely with Merseyside police to stop abusive nature in the Liverpool community, raising significant awareness.
Colette reported that, “Everton in the community’s campaign, ‘All Together Now,’ is just one of the many interventions they are educating in the community.”
The intelligence team work with the education establishment in schools around Merseyside, working closely with school officers, who support young victims displaying behavioural signs in school and those children who have come from broken homes with abusive, toxic environments.
The early stages of support are a desperate requirement to help families in the right direction, allowing children to stay away from trauma in later life that can develop.
Colette importantly stated that, “toxic environments in the home are really harmful to a victim; something really prevalent is conversion and control and the psychological affects this has. It’s not just physical harm.”
With ACE, the brain effects the emotional side, which causes toxic stress. For example, “A pregnant lady, who is subject to abuse, that trauma is already happening to her unborn child,” said Colette.
For urgent help and advice visit:
- Merseyside Police
- Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service
- Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid
- Freedom Charity
Following the data from the Office of National Statistics, below are two infographics showing the proportions between men and women, who were victims of different forms of abusive nature, before the age of 16.